February 7th, 2006

Florida Video Game Legislation on Hold

There's an interesting nugget of information coming out of Florida. It concerns S 0492, the Florida video game legislation proposed by Republican State Senator Alex Diaz de la Portilla (left).

A source familiar with the Florida bill told GamePolitics that Diaz de la Portilla's strategy will be to hold S 0492 in committee, pending the final result of the game industry's legal fight against California's video game law.

Why?

Florida's bill is modeled on the California legislation. Should Federal District Court Judge Ronald Whyte rule against the California law, Diaz de la Portilla's team will either shelve or revise S 0492. For now, the bill is safely parked with the state senate's Commerce and Consumer Services Committee.

By the way, GamePolitics recently suggested Florida as the key game legislation battleground state of 2006.

Guess Which Game This Developer is Slamming?

Here's something you don't see every day - a video game developer slamming another organization's game for issues like excessive violence and criminal behavior.

The developer is Michael Russell, a QA manager for Ritual Entertainment (Sin, Counter-Strike Condition Zero). Check out his blog, Rom's Rants and see if you can figure out which game he is talking about.

(hint: you won't hear Jack Thompson complaining about this one.)

New Bedford Mayor e-mails GP Reader on Robida Game Connection

Yesterday GamePolitics ran a story concerning comments made by New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang in relation to crazed killer Jason Robida. Although hizzoner did not link Robida specifically to violent games, he did imply a connection, writing in a statement:

"This was a hate crime... the actions of a single deranged individual act as a wake up call to our community and once again the nation... This cycle of violence must stop. The guns have to come off the streets. The violent video games have to be taken out of our homes."

GP regular Andrew Eisen e-mailed the mayor about his comments and received a reply, which he has shared with us:

"Dear Andrew:

When you get a chance please explain to me the social benefits behind police and military video games for the future of our children.

While I am not familiar with these videos I have seen enough to know they can provide no healthy education for our children. Lastly, there is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Robida played these video games on a regular basis as he was completely obsessed with weapons, violence and destruction. See his my space website for more details. I sincerely appreciate your comments.

Best regards.

Sincerely,

Scott W. Lang
Mayor
"

The key words in Lang's e-mail are, "I am not familiar." Jump to conclusions, much, Mr. Mayor? And, as far as Robida's MySpace goes, we've seen it, and it says nada about games. But we await any official word about Robida's gaming habits from New Bedford investigators.

GP: Nice job by Andrew in tracking down the mayor's comments. We think we'll promote him to correspondent. Ah, who are we kidding? We were going to do that anyway...