June 1st, 2006

GP's Eisen Names E3's Most Controversial Games

The lengths I go to for GP readers - forcing myself to attend this year's E3 in Los Angeles; playing all of the new games and even checking out a bit of the E3 party scene.

In fact, while waiting in line to play the Nintendo Wii, I began to wonder which games will politicians and the anti-gaming crowd target in the coming year? What game will be the new GTA San Andreas or 25 to Life? Based on what I picked up at E3, these games could bring some rough sailing for the game industry:

First up is Grand Theft Auto 4 Why? Well, just because it's GTA. What more needs to be said? Ever since Hot Coffee, poor San Andreas has been pegged as the poster child for everything that's wrong with the video game industry. Will GTA4 cause a similar brouhaha? My gut says yes. It's true that we don't know anything about the game except for its name and release date but a lack of facts has never stopped the industry's critics. And besides, it's a pretty safe bet the characters in GTA4 won't be playing much ping pong.

Reservoir Dogs - If you've seen the movie, you know there's going to be a lot of violence towards cops. And 25 to Life showed how politically disastrous that can be for the game industry. Based on E3 previews, Reservoir Dogs has two play styles: psycho (kill everyone in your path) and professional (don't kill anyone). Check out Gamespot's preview for a gameplay video detailing all of the ear-slicing fun.

Sadness - Not much is yet known about this adult horror game due out for Wii in 2007 but here's an excerpt from the developer's website: "Imagine driving away rats with a torch, throwing a rope (as a lasso) when you want to climb over the wall, or slitting the throat of a persecutor with a piece of glass... All of this with the help of the Revolution controller."
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June is Entertainment Ratings And Labeling Awareness Month

So you thought maybe June was for Dads, grads and weddings?

Nah...

According to a press release received by GamePolitics from something called the Coalition of Entertainment Retail Trade Associations (CERTA), June has been proclaimed Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month.

Let the festivities begin.

According to CERTA, the intent is to increase parental awareness of rating and labeling systems for movies, music and video games. If you'd like to know more about CERTA and ratings awareness, check out this streaming video.

And in case you were wondering, CERTA members include:

-Digital Media Association (DiMA)

-Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) (merged IEMA & VSDA)

-National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM)

-National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO)

Yes, even NATO is involved in this. Personally, we think June should be proclaimed "Alphabet Soup" month...

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BREAKING - Minnesota Guv Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

As of August 1st, underage buyers of "M" or "AO" rated games may face $25 civil fines in the state of Minnesota.

This afternoon, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) signed into law SF0785. The bill, sponsored in the Minnesota House by Rep. Jeff Johnson (R) and in the Senate by Sen. Sandra Pappas (D) uses the video game industry's ESRB ratings to define which games minors are ineligible to buy.

The bill is unique in that it places the onus for purchasing or renting adult-oriented games on the buyer rather than the seller. Retailers are, however, required to post signs explaining the consequences of violating the new law.

So far GamePolitics has no word regarding an industry appeal. We are attempting to get that information now.

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