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Games Industry Gains Lobbyist 46

Posted by Zonk
from the talking-us-up dept.
Gamasutra is reporting on a first: a paid lobbyist for the games industry. The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association has hired Stuart Spencer to represent the industry's interests in Washington. From the article: "Spencer's experience as a lobbyist comes from his founding role in the Stanton Park Group, where he also served as principal and general counsel. While at Stanton Park, Spencer represented several technology and health care clients. Prior to that, Spencer was a staffer for Rep. Louise Slaughter from 1996 to 2003, where he eventually became the House member's chief of staff."
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Games Industry Gains Lobbyist

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  • The general consumer needs a lobbyist. We, as a people, need our rights protected from the big businesses. We are defenseless against the industries.
    • by Cheapy (809643)
      Nah, as long as torches, pitchforks, and alcohol are still legal, we aren't defenseless.

      We (and by 'we' I mean consumers) are just too lazy to do anything about it. Sure, you'll have your rare occasions where someone tries to do something, but that is the exception, rather than the rule.
      • I fear that's a bit simplistic. We live in a much different socio-political era than we did in 1776. Some ways of changing the system are no longer valid.

        Also, I would suggest that it's more that systemic disempowerment makes americans lazy rather than the other way around. You may disagree with me- I'm not sure by your comment- but they're certainly part of a positive feedback loop.
    • Yeah, apparently they're called "representatives"
  • Is this guy going to be an anti-Jack Thompson with just as much of a crackpot sensationalist view... or is he going to actually relay his point in a sane manner?
  • It's both heartening and depressing to hear this. While this will be good for the games industry, it's sad that they have to buy into the system of corruption to avoid being the target of legislation. After all, there aren't any laws restricting children from seeing R-rated movies, yet politicians seem eager to jump on the anti-games bandwagon. Of course, the MPAA doesn't just lobby, they br^H^Hcontribute to campaigns.
  • by B5_geek (638928) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:18PM (#14777582)
    I find it somewhat ironic that Capitalism is the cancer of Democracy.

    Of the people, by the people, for the people.*

    *replace people for money
    or
    *only for people with money

    All forms of government fail because they all forget to factor in 1 key element. Human Nature.

    Communism doesn't work because some people will realize that they don't have to work hard and still get the same benefits.
    Democracy doesn't work because of greed.
    Socalist governments don't work for the combined reasons of above.
    Monarcy doesn't work because you are the victim to the whims of 1 person.

    It seems like it's a lot like the prison system,

    It's broken, it doesn't work, we need something better.
    It's the best we have.
    • "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."
      -- Winston Churchill
    • How about a constitutional republic (hey, that's actually what this country was founded aa). Unfortunately, we have sunk into a democracy (which James Madison called the most vile form of government.)

      Under a CR, money wouldn't buy special favors, because Congress would be strictly constrained by Article I, Section 8 [cornell.edu]. So they couldn't make laws banning games, publishing copy protection workarounds, DMCA, etc.
      • Madisons definition of democracy is no longer relevant - modern political science has many, many definitions of democracy. In its most wide sense it simply means that the ruling body's power is derived from its citizens, something which clearly includes the US. There is, however, something called 'constitutional rule' which is meant to limit government power. Furthermore, most western countries are referred to as liberal democracies, i.e. countries where the ruling body's power is derived from its citizens
    • I find it somewhat ironic that Capitalism is the cancer of Democracy.

      Do you think so? I think that capitalism is how democracy works.

      You have a choice about where you spend your money, and so does everyone else. This "free market" provides the essence of freedom, because economic power is not centralised - it is shared by you, and everyone else with money.

      If you remove the money from democracy, you must replace it with another mechanism for decentralising economic power, or the result will be dictatorshi

    • I find it somewhat ironic that Capitalism is the cancer of Democracy. ...
      All forms of government fail because they all forget to factor in 1 key element. Human Nature.


      Actually capitalism works simply because of human nature. Humans in a capitalist system realize that the potential to make a greater amount of money or collect a greater amount of resources than their fellow humans exists, and this motivates them to work harder and produce more. How does this not work?

      Are you complaining about all the luxu
      • All forms of government fail because they all forget to factor in 1 key element. Human Nature. [...] Actually capitalism works simply because of human nature. Capitalism, believe it or not, isn't a form of government. It's an economic system. Economic systems, believe it or not, aren't forms of government. They just take over governments.
        • Capitalism, believe it or not, isn't a form of government. It's an economic system. Economic systems, believe it or not, aren't forms of government. They just take over governments.

          I know this, although grandparent poster doesn't seem to. Notice how I called it a "system", not a government. Capitalism is the economic system that the US is based on.
      • There's better places to look for comparisons between collectivism and capitalism. Ayn Rand was at best a propagandist and a writer of schlock.

        I always giggle a bit when I see Ayn Rand cited as a source for the failure of communism and/or the support of capitalism. She wrote fiction. And not particularly good fiction either; one dimensional morality tales that at heart were relatively boring.

      • There's no real incentive in a communist country to invent anything because you can't make any money off of it. Why should someone invent a personal computer to better all humanity when they won't make a single penny of the sale of it. Capitalism exists to motivate us to work, simply through human nature.

        You will be surprised what education (read brain washing) could make you do. Try look up on communism in china especially ones in rural area.
    • All forms of government fail because they all forget to factor in 1 key element. Human Nature.

      Actually lots of people understood the untrustworthiness of human nature, like this guy:

      "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary." -James Madison (from Federalist No. 51)
    • "Democracy doesn't work because of greed."

      replace Democracy with Capitalism, noob.

      Democracy has nothing to do with greed.

      Democracy fails because of one thing: "None of us is as dumb as all of us."
      every single democratic decision is DOOMED to fail.

      it always develops into a two-party system because people quickly figure out that they can form an Oligopoly of political power just by agreeing to focus their efforts on a few key issues at a time. And then the entire other 50% HAS no choice but to directly oppos
    • Communism doesn't work because some people will realize that they don't have to work hard and still get the same benefits.

      Democracy doesn't work because of greed.

      Socalist governments don't work for the combined reasons of above.

      Monarcy doesn't work because you are the victim to the whims of 1 person.


      So what do we do? Start from the basic concept of communism, add some of the best things from capitalism etc. The big problem always seems to be that societies are not trying to evolve and improve. What
  • Oh, goody! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:21PM (#14777609)
    Today he wines and dines some senators, tommorrow it's illegal to sell used videogames or run emulators.

    -Eric

    • Today he wines and dines some senators, tommorrow it's illegal to sell used videogames or run emulators.

      Not to let facts get in the way of a good joke, BUT the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association and Video Software Dealers Association are trade groups for retail software vendors.

      Their objective is to make sure bills don't get passed that limit software resale. In fact, they recently blocked a California law seeking to do just that.

         
    • We are such pesimists because being negative is right more than half the time.

      This is a bad thing for users of games.
  • If you can't beat 'em, you might as well join 'em. I think I just puked in my mouth a little.
  • It should be noted that the "games industry" doesn't always have interest that coincides with gamers. More particularly, the industry's interests don't coincide well with industry employees.

    While it might be nice to see the anti-gaming crusaders put in their place a bit, the possibility of employees taking a hit and more attacks against those who make anti-CD cracks (or more promotion of Starforce or other such evils) doesn't necessarily make this a good thing.
  • Which Games Industry is he representing? If he's representing the Id Softwares of the US then this could be good. I highly doubt this, however. My guess is he's lobbying for Vivendi, EA, or Take2. If this is the case, we can look forward to seeing emulation labeled a terrorist activity in the near future.
  • Finally someone can threaten the politians in a way that can scare them. With voters.

    The youth vote jumped 11% in 2004 to reach 47% turnout in 18-24 age voters. The feared Elderly Voting Bloc has a whopping 66% voter turn out. We are gaining ground.

    If the numbers we attained forthe 2004 election hold, or perish the thought, we gain ground, we could actually see social security legislation that, you know, DOESN'T SUCK. Private accounts indeed.

    The "Gamer" lobby could reach over into health care re
    • The "Gamer" lobby could reach over into industry oversight reform (you're dumping WHAT into the lake? I fish there!).

      Haha, when was the last time you saw a gamer outside, let alone FISHING!

  • The good news is, the politicians will no longer be screaming to ban video games any more...

    The bad news is, now the government will pay subsidies to video game makers not to make video games (like they give to farmers to not to grow things). :)
  • I see this as a double edged sword. On one hand the industry will be using the lobbyist to better protect them from their own employees ( http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/10/06/1 231236 [slashdot.org]). On the other, they can gain some protection for their games and their creators from Jack Thompson types and the popular media in general.

    So in the future, you will be able to rape cats in GTA12 if you feel like it, but the game will be developed by abused Taiwanese children in exchange for small morsels of bread
  • He's a Democrat with Democrat connections. DC is a Republican City. The regulator agencies, both houses of congress and all of it's committees are Republican run. There is not much of a chance of this changing until 2012.

    And, as the game industry is in the business of making money, they should choose a lobbyist whose legislative history isn't in destroying businesses and having contempt for any money earned from a source other than the gov'ment.

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