May 10th, 2006

E3 Blockbuster: New Edition of the Game Politicians Love to Hate

The arm in the picture is attached to Xbox executive Peter Moore. The venue was Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The logo, of course, is rendered in the familiar style of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series.

And the blockbuster news that Moore laid on the assembled E3 media was this: GTA4 will launch in October of 2007 and will be on Xbox 360 from Day One. Now, he didn't say it would be a 360 exclusive, but what he did say was enough to rule out the idea that GTA might once again launch as a Sony exclusive on the PS3.

Moore added, however, that there would be exclusive episodic content available for GTA4 on Xbox Live.

By the way, that braying sound you hear is the politicians practicing their denouncements of GTA4 in advance of its release. Now if Rockstar can just manage to keep the hidden sex animations out of this one...

Louisiana Mulls Game Bill... Thompson to Testify... Watch Live

The political process, as the saying goes, is like sausage. You really don't want to see how it gets made...

Despite that, GamePolitics readers may find themselves irresistibly drawn to watch the deliberations of the Louisiana House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice when it meets this morning.

The committee will be considering HB 421, a measure introduced by State Rep. Roy Burrell (D). HB421, as well as its companion bill, HB254, are examples of the new "games as porn" legislative tactic with which some elected officials hope to circumvent the First Amendment protections which have caused previous laws to be struck down in St. Louis, Indianapolis, Washington state, Illinois and Michigan.

Rep. Burrell's bill would also restrict games which depict violence against law enforcement officers. That's an admirable sentiment, to be sure, yet one which failed to pass constitutional muster in Washington state. You can read GP's previous coverage of HB421 here.

Well-known anti-game activist Jack Thompson has indicated he will be among those offering testimony at the committee hearing.

If you're the kind who likes to watch, the Louisiana legislature has an excellent webcast setup, allowing you to view the hearing as it happens, beginning at 9:00 A.M. Central.

UPDATE: The Shreveport Times also has a story on this, including a rather startling quote from Thompson, who told the Times, "there's more evidence (that violent games are harmful to kids) than there is that smoking causes cancer."

Want to talk about it? You can discuss this story via the "comments" feature (click below), or in the new GamePolitics Forums...

ESA's Lowenstein Accentuates the Positive in E3 Keynote

If you were expecting ESA president Doug Lowenstein to focus on the industry's political concerns in this morning's E3 kickoff speech, you were probably disappointed.

Instead, Lowenstein zeroed in on the many positive aspects of the industry, particularly the ripple effects it has on the U.S. economy, technological innovation and education. He suggested a forward-looking approach, thinking not in terms of the current console transition, but the next one, circa 2010. On this he said, "By the time we reach 2010... the video game industry will be bigger, more important, more influential, and more relevant than ever before."

The ESA's point man likened the video game business to other "transformational industries" (autos, T.V., PC's andphones)which changed the American way of life. He cited demographics which show that by 2010, 75 million Americans will be between the ages of 10 and 30.

"Video games," Lowenstein said, "are the rock and roll music for the digital generation and Halo and The Sims and Zelda are their Grateful Deads and their Rolling Stones."
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