Hearing details

by BostonPostMortem Board on March 17, 2008

in Announcements,Boston game news,Event announcements

The flurry of press today indicates that someone has decided to push this bill hard, and it’s become necessary to ask you all to step up.

There is a hearing Tuesday before the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

The hearing will be held in room A1 of the State House in Boston (Beacon Hill, Park Street stop on the Red Line). The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM.

If all goes as planned, I will be one of several speakers at the hearing, and I will do my best to represent the Massachusetts game industry’s point of view. But I will have only a couple of minutes to make my point.

Our elected representatives listen to the public. I have become convinced that it’s important for game developers to be there as constituents. If there’s any way you can take the afternoon to attend the hearing, please do come. This is a dangerous and counterproductive bill in so many ways, and it could do significant damage to the perception of Massachusetts as one of the best places in America to make games.

To VERY quickly find your State Senator and Rep and their vitals, just enter your address here.

Then click on the names of your Senator and especially your Rep (“in general court”). If your rep is one of those on the committee, please be sure to contact him or her. Even if you can’t do it before the hearing, do it anyway.

Once again, here’s what you should emphasize (please, be as positive and polite as you can):

  • Please oppose House Bill 1423.
  • This bill would violate the First Amendment rights of video game
    developers and the public for whom we make video games. In particular,
    on Monday a federal appeals court confirmed a ban on a similar law in
    Minnesota. The bill is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
  • The video game industry has an effective rating system in place
    to distinguish which games are not appropriate for minors. In particular,
    it’s more effective and provides far more information than the ratings
    system in place for movies.
  • Mention the fact that some of the best and most innovative games
    on the market lately have come from Massachusetts companies. The
    Massachusetts game industry is booming, employs thousands of people
    and provides many hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the
    Massachusetts economy. H. 1423 sends the wrong message, that
    Massachusetts does not welcome the video game development industry.

There appear to be some powerful forces lined up behind this bill. Boston Post Mortem has never asked you for money or dues — but now we’re asking for your support in the form of action. Please contact your state reps. And if at all possible, come to the hearing.

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    Dan Scherlis March 18, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Note, all that the JUDICIARY Committee is looking at this, and had the hearing today on House Bill 1423. The Joint…Technologies gang might be interested, but it’s not their bill.

    Thanks, Kent, for lending your leadership and voice to this.

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