September 13th, 2006

Primary Update: Game-legislating Pols Advance

A number of primary elections were held around the country yesterday. Results in New York and Washington, D.C. have the potential to impact the video game industry in the future.

In New York, a pair of high-profile Democrats who are intent upon legislating video games secured their party's nominations and advanced to the general election in November.

U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (seen voting, at left), in a bid for re-election to the Senate, grabbed 80% of the vote to defeat challenger Jonathan Tasini. The former First Lady and likely 2008 presidential contender will square off against Republican candidate John Spencer in November.

Sen. Clinton, of course, is the sponsor of the Family Entertainment Protection Act (FEPA), video game legislation currently before the Senate.
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ESRB Head Named to List of Most Influential Women

Patricia Vance, president of the ESRB, has been named to Next Generation's list of the Top 100 Women in Games.

The influential video game news site created the list in anticipation of Saturday's Women in Games International Conference in Seattle.

Other honorees include game designer Brenda Brathwaite, author the recently-published Sex in Video Games, Erin Hoffman, who gained fame and shook up the industry under the pseudonym ea spouse, and conference co-founder Sheri Graner Ray, author of Gender Inclusive Game Design.

ESA Wants to Rock the Vote

Will gamers flex their collective political muscle in November?

The ESA, representing video game publishers, hopes so. The Video Game Voters Network (VGVN), created by the industry group earlier this year, has so far consisted largely of e-mail campaigns to members of Congress. A new initiative, however, encourages gamers to get out the vote.

Play For Real, called the "first ever video gamer voter registration drive" kicked off yesterday, offering a web page where gamers can easily register.

According to ESA president Doug Lowenstein, who cited low voter turnout in the 18-29 age range during the 2004 election, "We want to help engage gamers by offering this new registration tool, and by spreading the word that it's time for gamers to put down their controllers and play for real by voting in the upcoming elections."

In Wake of 9/11 Anniversary, 1up Looks at "Islamogaming"

In a thought-provoking 1up piece which originally appeared in the September issue of Computer Gaming World magazine, Ed Halter surveys games with radical Islamic political themes.

Halter, author of From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games reports on:

  • the recent war of game design themes between U.S. firm Kuma Reality and Iran's Union of Islamic Student Societies

  • The Stone Throwers (screen shot at left), created by Syrian Mohammad Hamza, in which Palestinian rioters battle with Israeli riot police

  • The Resistance, a game published by Innovative Minds, a U.K.-based Islamic software firm, in which players assume the role of Hezbollah fighters in South Lebanon.
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