June 25, 1998

Gaming News in Washington, D.C.

Our friend Mark Shander sent me this Email this morning about a political happening in Washington that has importance to us. Check it out. Thanks to Mark Shander for Emailing this to me...



Atlanta, GA - June 26th, 1998 - GamePAC (Political Action Confederation) is an organization which intends to represent the interests of the computer and videogame industry in Washington and at the state and local level.

The group officially launched during a trade industry organization meeting at the E3 Expo in Atlanta last month.

GamePAC (Political Action Confederation) was formed by rank and file members of the computer game industry, and is a grass-roots lobbying effort. The group intends to develop a political action confederation made up of people who develop, promote and publish computer games, as well as consumers.

At his 1998 Computer Game Developers Conference presentation, 'Playing Games with Washington: Government Report '98', Daniel Greenberg said, "The bigger and more profitable our industry becomes, the more we'll attract government attention. We can no longer rely on our obscurity to avoid regulation. In the past, computer game developers were caught off guard by the government's scrutiny of our games and vital new technologies. In the future, we can continue to sit out the fight and hope for the best, or we can have a place at the table."

GamePAC was created to assure our place at the table, and that our voice is heard.

Members of GamePAC believe our industry is under siege. In a successful campaign waged by the IDSA, a bill that would have banned violent videogames was defeated in the state of Florida. An even tougher fight is expected next year, and the coordinated efforts of our developers and publishers together with others in our industry is key to maintain our liberties.

It is time that our voices be heard. As an industry, we have more political power than we can even imagine. Except for a few voices -- such as the IDSA, an industry trade association representing software publishers -- our industry is not heard in Washington and state capitals. However, the voices of lawmakers who want to blame our industry for violence in our society - who want to mandate a ratings system - who pass Internet censorship laws - ARE heard, while WE remain silent. As Thomas Paine pointed out, it is up to each generation to guard its liberties.

When Congress convenes, our liberties are in jeopardy. GamePAC is here to help facilitate and focus the political voice of the gaming industry, to investigate and inform game developers about government intrusion, and to help the game industry represent itself better in the halls of Washington and state capitals.

The GamePAC Web site, currently in development, will provide a conduit for support from game developers and publishers, enabling it to protect their industry's right to exercise creativity and imagination. To produce truly entertaining games for their audience, developers must have a strong voice in the outcome of laws that affect their ability to create. This freedom of expression is at the heart of the expansive growth of our industry. We need donations, contributions and your support NOW, to begin the real work of protecting our mutual rights. Protect your freedom to produce the games YOU want to produce.

For more information, please contact:

Verin Lewis - CKO MRI/CyberROM MINDS Alliance 541/488-0595, [email protected]

Michael Bendner, Former Editor, PC Multimedia & Entertainment Magazine 604/728-6443, [email protected]

Special thanks to the following people for their early support of GamePAC:

Vince Desiderio, CEO, Running With Scissors
Gail Markels, General Counsel, IDSA
Derek Smart, Ph.D - Designer/Lead Developer, Battlecruiser: 3000AD
Bobby Seale - Founder & Former Chairman of the Black Panther Party, head of production for R.E.A.C.H. Cinema Productions, Inc.
Mark Shander - President Club Gameholio, Director or Marketing, IcePick Games
Daniel Greenberg - President of Paradigm Productions and Washington
Correspondent, Computer Game Developers Association (for his inspiration)

...and to all of the other game developers who have helped us get here.

More on this developing situation later...

Posted by Joe Siegler on June 25, 1998 at 1:00 PM | Permalink
News Categories: Misc