ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

January 29, 2009 -

Game publishers lobbying group the Entertainment Software Association gave generously to elected officials in Georgia during 2007-2008, according to public records uncovered by GamePolitics.

Nearly three dozen politicians of both major parties received $27,200 in campaign contributions from the ESA during that period. Attorney General Thurbert Baker (D) received the largest amount, $3,500.

As GamePolitics has previously reported, Baker appeared in a 2007 public service announcement which promoted the video game industry's ESRB rating system.

The large number of contributions to individual legislators may be explained in part by the Georgia legislature's 2008 passage of a tax incentive program for game development. For its part, the ESA declined to discuss specifics of its political contributions.

UPDATE: We noticed this morning (Feb. 1st) that FollowTheMoney.org, the search site we used in preparing this story, is no longer showing any ESA contributions to Georgia officials. It's unclear why, but we have contacted the site for an explanation.


Comments

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

I'm actually with Jack on this (ugh, how bitter it is to have to say that).  Although I don't share his motives I agree that the ESA is harmful and ought to be stopped.  The ESA spends far too much time touting a ratings system that is self-censorship in sheep's clothing.  The ESRB needs to be dismantled if game developers are ever to enjoy a truly free market.  I wouldn't mind the ESA if it actually promoted and defended games developers, but it does not.  In fact it sacrifices game developer freedom in order to prop up the distributors and cozy up to politicians.

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

*takes deep breath* I'm going to try to be as civil as possible here, because this is a serious hot button for me, and in the past I've gotten into some heated discussions with other posters over this.

"I'm actually with Jack on this (ugh, how bitter it is to have to say that).  Although I don't share his motives I agree that the ESA is harmful and ought to be stopped."

So you think that all that time and money spent striking down unconstitutional video game laws was a waste of time?  If the ESA disappears tomorrow, are you going to come out of pocket for lawyers when the Utah bill hits the courts?

"The ESA spends far too much time touting a ratings system that is self-censorship in sheep's clothing.  The ESRB needs to be dismantled if game developers are ever to enjoy a truly free market."

There's nothing wrong with the rating system.  The retailers and publishers need to grow some balls and start stocking and licensing AO games.  The current situation is not the fault of the ESRB.

I wouldn't mind the ESA if it actually promoted and defended games developers, but it does not.  In fact it sacrifices game developer freedom in order to prop up the distributors and cozy up to politicians.

Why would they?  They were set up to promote and defend the interests of the publishers.  They're not the IGDA.  Also, I would argue that by knocking out all the video game laws, they are indirectly preserving game developer freedom.  I also have no problem with them linking arms with the politicians...if that's what it takes to make these stupid video game laws stop.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

I think someone needs a valium.

Yes, the ESA's work on constitutional law was a waste of time - all of Wacko Jacko's stuff would have eventually been thrown out whether the ESA put its oar in or not.  On the ESRB issue, for those of us not used to living under a Fascist or Bolshevik system there's a heck of a lot wrong with a ratings system that is effectively censorship.  Yes, I realise that the ESA is there to protect publishers, but why should I care?  Publishers don't have my interests at heart, and they often go against my interests.  They fund censorship (i.e. the ESRB) and they are behind the DRM nonsense.  If you like censorship and DRM, go ahead and support the ESA.  But don't expect me to.

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Not as much as you need a reality check, apparently.

First of all, not every video game law was penned by Jack.  Second, I'd like to know how you know that the laws would've been thrown out.  They need to be challenged for that to happen, bills don't just magically go to the judges when they pass through the legislature.  Don't pass off your opinion as fact.

Your reckless hyperbole on fascism aside, I'll ask you the same two questions I ask every other anti-ESRBer who plays the censorship card: How is it the fault of the ESRB that retailers won't carry AO games and publishers won't license them?  This is the situation that creates the de facto ban, after all.  More importantly, how can you tell that it's the ESRB that's broken, and not the attitudes of said retailers/publishers?

And oh yes, let's abolish everything that doesn't cater to your specific interests.  Shame on the ESA for trying to protect their investments.  DRM sucks and is not the best solution, but I understand the reasoning behind it, which is not the same as supporting it.  By the way, your statement on the ESA funding censorship makes it sound like you think they (and the ESRB by extension) deliberately want to censor games.  I sincerely hope not, because only a real idiot would think that.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Jack, give it up. We know it's you.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

What Dennis failed to note, which is EXTREMELY significant, is that AG Thurbert wasn't even up for reelection.  He had no campaign going.  Yet ESA game him money.  He then did PSA's, and the state gave tax incentives to the industry.  Oh, oh, I see an investigation coming....

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Uh, no, moron.

Baker appeared in an ESRB PSA in Sept. 2006, two years and well before the Georgia State Legislature passed legislation granting the tax breaks.

So nothing illegal was going on.

If a pro-censorship group like the Parent Trash Cult was giving campaign contributions to pro-censorship legislators or had legislators as members of their group(U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman and Sam Brownback were members of their so-called "celebrity advisory panel"), will you be calling for an investigation?

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Might be significant to your paranoia, but the the rest of the world? Nope.

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

You do? With whom I might ask? I don't see any illegal activity going on :) Just a crackpot going off their handle again.

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Where is it written that an elected official must be up for re-election to be allowed to receive future campaign funds?

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

If any of the recipients of these ESA dollars took a policy position or voted a certain way or did any favor whatsoever for ESA or the industry as a result of these gifts, then this payment of monies is a quid pro quo and what the law considers a BRIBE.

This is called pay to play in Illinois.

This is all very interesting.  Any other ESA dollars going to any others states' Attorneys General?  Any of them do any ESRB PSAs?

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

All politicians receive contributions from special interest groups, that doesn't automatically make them bribes.  You want to string every single one of them AND their respective officials up?  I'm so sure your buddies at the Eagle Forum have NEVER done anything so improper, right?  Stop acting like the ESA has done something wrong, you holier-than-thou hypocrite.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Actually, my man, it is Dennis McCauley who has raised this improper influence issue, not I.  He works for a rival lobbying group, the ECA.  You can't figure out what' s going on here?

And what's Eagle Forum?

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Actually, I've raised no such issue.

Nor have I implied bribery, as you state in ridiculous letters circulated to the ESA and the Gov. of Georgia.

I have simply reported on the ESA's campaign contributions (as I've done in the past for ESA Congressional contributions) and tried to guess as to why they decided to support the officials that they did.

Stories like this, which explore the nexus of video games and politics are pretty much what GP has always been about.

Your assertion that Hal Halpin or the ECA had anything to do with this story is simply a lie.

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Forget it Jack, you're just making yourself look silly (or rather, even sillier).

 

One minute you're talking about legislation that has been suggested at the Eagle Forum get-together, and isn't even in the Senate yet, so the only way you could have heard about it was by reading about the Eagle Forum meeting (or, in your case, by being there), the next minute you're asking who they are?

Come on, be serious, we aren't all as gullible as you.

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

The charade is over John Bruce.  You are really becoming a sad human shaped lump.  No one here is buying this new persona of yours.  But you have finally become what you have always stated you loathed, an anonymous coward.

EDIT:

Some pointers if you ever wish this to work in the future:

Don't insult Strauss Zelnick.  This is a pretty obvious indicator given your fantatical, creepy fixation with the man.

Don't say that John Bruce(you) or any endavor he is engaged in has a snowball's chance in hell of being successful.  You see anyone outside of your ego-delusional-fairy-tale-land can very easily see the mountains of failures you have chalked up with nearly zero victories.

Don't try to throw around obscenity laws that have NOTHING to do with M rated game or R rated movies as though they are in any way relevant.  Only in John Bruce's(your) dementia-addled mind does R movies or M games fall under pornography laws.  Anyone not delusional as yourself can easily see that there is no examples of a theater being fined for letting a minor into an R rated movie, nor Walmart for selling an R rated movie to a minor.  It doesn't happen.

So if you follow these simple rules you may be able to extend the life of your next sad attempt.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

no examples of a theater being fined for letting a minor into an R rated movie, nor Walmart for selling an R rated movie to a minor.  It doesn't happen.

on a side note, 17-year-olds are still classified as minors, but your point still stands

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Nowhere in the article did Dennis write anything that implied he thought something improper was going on, I believe you made that little leap yourself.  And I understand perfectly what's going on with the contributions, I'm just okay with it.  It's one of the dynamics of the political world, for better or for worse.

If you were implying that Dennis is trying to subvert the ESA, well...I'd say that fits right in with your conspiracy theories about ESA bribery.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Hey your back. You could just as easily as any of us look that information up if you want.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Hey YOU'RE back, I think it is.  No, you go ahead and look it up. It will be fun!

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Why thank you for correcting my grammar. I can't seem to find the time to proof read my quick comments during my short breaks at work.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Proofread is one word, also.  Glad to help.  Mary Kay ponzi scheme is four words.  Do you have pink game controllers, Zach?

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Checkmate, Thompson.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

"Ponzi" should be capitalized.  You know, being a proper name and all.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

Again. Thank you. What would I ever do without you?

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: ESA Has Georgia on its Mind (and in its checkbook)

"Any other ESA dollars going to any others states' Attorneys General?  Any of them do any ESRB PSAs?  ...go ahead and look it up. It will be fun!"

Hey, that was fun!  And it took me less then 15 seconds to find the answer to your questions.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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