February 20th, 2006

New Legislation Map Debuts on GamePolitics

Thanks to the miracle of Google Maps, GamePolitics is now able to offer to readers Legislation Tracker, an interactive map featuring current video game bills and laws. This is a level of service we've been eager to add to GP for a long time.

Our Legislation Tracker is also the only visual resource of its type for proposed laws regarding video games. We believe this tool will be of benefit to anyone interested in the kind of information we cover here on GamePolitics. We encourage you to bookmark the map and refer friends and colleagues.

In creating our Legislation Tracker, we used Map Builder, a free utilty for creating maps based on Google Maps. Map Builder is still in beta, but GP recommends it.

Currently we are listing U.S. legislation, only, but have plans to add international legislative data soon.

We hope you find our Legislation Tracker useful. Please feel free to offer comments and suggestions... as long as they don't end with the word "Hooah!."

UPDATE: Disappearing data has been fixed. We now are tracking all legislation of which we are aware. Naturally, we will add new bills as they are proposed.

GP: Bumping this to help get the word out...

New Video Game Legislation Proposed in Kansas

GP's recent coverage of game-related happenings in Kansas has exhausted our supply of cutesy opening lines based on the Wizard of Oz (as well as our readers' tolerance of same), so we'll just come right out with the news:

As expected, Kansas has joined the ranks of states considering video game legislation in 2006. HB 2921 was introduced last week by Rep. Jim Ward (left), a Democrat, and has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee for review.

The bill, part of the Kansas Democratic Party's Partnership With Families initiative, has been termed "The Child Protection from Violent Video Games Act." It was hinted at by Gov. Kathleen Sibelius during her recent State of the State address.

If passed by the Kansas House and Senate, it's a given that Gov. Sibelius would sign the bill into law. HB 2921 would then become part of the state's Criminal Code and would make it a misdemeanor for retailers to distribute "M" and "AO"-rated games to minors. Penalties include a $1,000 fine for a first offense and up to $2,500 for subsequent convictions.

GP: As submitted, the bill's language is quite sparse compared to other state legislation we've seen over the past year. Expect some tweaking along the way. Of particular note is the fact that the Democratic Party's website also refers to a requirement to display mature-themed games in an area not accessible to minors, while the actual bill contains no such language.

Latest GamePolitics Poll: Cheney's Fury Game: Funny or Offensive?

This morning's GamePolitics coverage includes the story of Cheney's Fury, an online Flash game in which players "hunt" images of President Bush, Senator Hillary Clinton, Osama bin Laden, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and anti-war mom Cindy Sheehan.

Is this game funny? Offensive? Both?

Vote on this important issue in the latest GamePolitics poll.

If you're reading GP via RSS, jump over to the main web page. The poll is located on the upper right side.

Dick Cheney Hunting Game - Does it Go Too Far?

Vice-president Dick Cheney's recent hunting accident has been lampooned by the best of them, including Jon Stewart, Jay Leno and David Letterman.

Here in video game land, more than a few wags suggested that Cheney might have been influenced by too many sessions of Duck Hunter.

But does Celebrity Hitman: Cheney's Fury, an online game which parodies the Veep's hunting accident, push the boundaries of taste - and perhaps U.S. law?

In the game players can choose their prey from menu which includes President Bush, Senator Hillary Clinton, Osama bin Laden, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and anti-war mom Cindy Sheehan appear as bonus targets during play. In the screen shot at left, President Bush is the character depicted in a bear skin.

GP got wind of the game via a press release from the host site, AddictingGames, which offers a wide array of free Flash and Java-based games. Cheney's Fury is a featured game on the site, along with the likes of Farting Dog Harmonics and Run Li'l Broccoli.

The AddictingGames press release reads in part, "Want to blow off a little steam Cheney style before heading into the long weekend? ...In the game, you're Dick Cheney, and you've invited your pals... on a little hunting trip. Play the game and see what happens to Cheney's "friends" when they rub him the wrong way..."
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