April 11th, 2006

ESRB Website Gets New Look

What do you get when ESRB boss Patricia Vance decides the game rating body's Internet presence needs a redo? Extreme Makeover: Website Edition...

"Oh gawd, my eyes!!!" screamed fellow GP Correspondent Jabrwock when I strapped him to a chair, Clockwork Orange style, and forced his gaze upon the ESRB's recent website redux. Before the new page is finisher loading, the reader's eyeballs are assaulted by a full-screen flash of retina-searing yellow. This unfortunate choice of color permeates every inch of the redesign.

Aesthetics aside, the new ESRB layout is a breeze to navigate and most of the early bugs have been worked out since its relaunch late last week. The only problem (aside from the ghastly hue) is the site's search engine, which has taken a bit of step backwards. The original presented all search parameters on one page in a user-friendly format. Now, however, one must select search criteria one at a time from three separate drop-down menus. It's a bit cumbersome and not as powerful, but to the ESRB's credit, the content menu is organized very nicely.
Read more...Collapse )

Conservative Blogger Defends Video Games

With so many Democrats working anti-game violence rhetoric into their "family values" platforms, you'd think that Republicans might squirm at the prospect of ceding the moral high ground. After all, some pundits claim that the current spate of video game legislation is nothing more than Democrats' attempt to steal the key married parent demographic away from Republicans.

A few weeks ago, however, the National Review Online, a popular conservative political magazine, featured an op-ed by Adam Thierer (left), a senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF) in Washington, D.C. and director of PFF's Center for Digital Media Freedom.

Thierer begins by tearing into politicians for using a few game titles such as 25 to Life and Grand Theft Auto "to indict an entire industry." He compares it to judging Hollywood based on viewing Natural Born Killers and Sin City.
Read more...Collapse )

IEMA & VSDA Merge - The New Name is .... ?

Two key players in the politics of video games have joined forces.

The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) and the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA), previously representing game sellers and renters, respectively, have announced that they will merge. The name of the new organization has not yet been decided.

Here at GamePolitics, readers are most familiar with IEMA president Hal Halpin and VSDA VP Sean Bersell. Of the merger, Halpin told GP today:

"The merger of these two industry-leading organizations is a benchmark in the growth of the entertainment industry. Within separate sectors of the broader home entertainment space, the respective missions of VSDA and IEMA were beginning to become less disparate. New technologies and legislative initiatives impacting both areas have made it clear that working as one entity toward mutual goals is preferable. And frankly, there was very little overlap operationally between the work that the two organizations were undertaking, making the synergies apparent and the opportunity that much more desirable."

GP: The handwriting has been on the wall for this merger for some time. Biggest clue: IEMA and VSDA split the bill in the recent hiring of lobbyist Stuart Spencer. We're eager to hear the new name and wish both organizations well in their combined endeavor.