Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

August 7, 2009 -

While other American cities and states have been courting the video game industry with incentives and tax breaks in recent years, Philadelphia has largely stood on the sidelines.

But, as Philadelphia City Paper reports, a small team is hoping to change that equation by convincing government officials that encouraging video game development would prevent brain drain and bring jobs and tax dollars to the local economy.

The Videogame Growth Initiative Philadelphia recently pitched its case to state government officials at a meeting in the City of Brotherly Love. From the City Paper's coverage:

The group has two hours to convince representatives of state government that it's worth creating new incentives to lure video game companies to Philly... 

 

Philly might be an ideal city to take advantage of this opportunity. Currently, many video game studios are based out of Silicon Valley, Boston or New York. Philly's comparably low cost of living is attractive. What's more... Philly has... [at] the University of Pennsylvania... the only Ivy League game development program in the country, and graduates are routinely poached by large West Coast-based gaming companies...

There are, however, significant obstacles. The Pennsylvania legislature hasn't been able to reach agreement on a budget which should have been in place by July 1st. The city of Philadelphia itself is habitually in dire financial straits; earlier this week Mayor Michael Nutter warned that he may have to lay off more than a thousand cops and fire fighters.

While state officials suggested that the group try to push already-existing business incentives to entice video game firms, VGI member Hardik Bhatt, himself a developer, was skeptical:

That's still not enough, it's not like other cities don't have these kinds of incentives. I'm hoping it doesn't take a [video game] studio to look into the city and decide to go somewhere else for them to change their minds.

GP: As a Philly native, I pondered the same issue in a November, 2006 column for Joystiq...


Comments

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

Philadelphia still has a lot of taxes even if they gave game designing companies a break people would still have to move and live there. And the city is like all in the Rust Belt. It’s old you’ll be surrounding by a ghetto not to mention schools which are not that are and your pretty much sending your kid in with a bunch of hooligans who act like they are in a County Prison.
 

Texas is a good choice but recently they have had a lot of carpet bagger Democrats move there and sadly they are starting to elect the same people who set policies and laws that ruined there own state there. 

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

I could see Montreal or Vancouver becoming the gaming Mecca. Philly, not so much. But really, I don't think we are going to have the gaming Hollywood.

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

A gaming Mecca would be a place that gamers from all over the world would want to travel to once in their life. And that place is E3... well it was up until 2007.

What this group hopes to create is more of a gaming Vatican or a gaming Salt Lake City.

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

Guess that means I should pray east then... 

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

"Mayor Michael Nutter warned that he may have to lay off more than a thousand cops and fire fighters."

Thank God he is getting rid of those unneccessary positions instead of just laying down a pay cut to political positions or anything like that. It isn't like people commit crimes or fires occur in Philly afterall.

"

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

Thats title is ironic because Philadelphia has alot of muslims.

 

Stupidity has made us laugh since forever

Never underestimate the power of idiots in large amounts.

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

I wish those gamers plenty of luck getting those incentives.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

Philly does need _something_ done.  Recruiting and retention are a nightmare.

Right now if you want game developers you need to hire them from out of state.  When people quit local game companies they tend to leave the region.  There is almost no social networking between companies and few developers here even know what other companies are local!  This is esp frustrating given how many cool things are being done in this area, esp in the realm of seroius or military games.

The local IGDA has helped quite a bit, but few companies have members that particpate in it.

Unfortunatly the local tech culture is highly oriented to banking and biomedical.

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

Will people just make games I don't care what city in the U.S. the game is made. The only obvious difference I'll be able to point out is the country like western games made in NA/CA and eastern games made in JP I'm not gonna open a game and say "Oh is this game was made a philly"

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

As a consumer you have no reason to care, but developers and industry people care quite a bit.

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

Yes, having another option for game developers to work at is of great important. Woe are the aspiring game developers who live in the South. Their best bet for a high profile job is to move to Texas.

GameSnooper

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

It used to be a *retro*-gaming Mecca... Remember PhillyClassic?

 
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Andrew EisenNow, having said that, what sites are you reading that are claiming that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem" or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"? Or was that hyperbole too?09/21/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenFirst of all, ONE person in the Shout box suggested an obligation to call harassers out on their harassing but only after YOU brought it up. Plus, Techno said "when you see it happening." If you don't see it, you're not under any obligation.09/21/2014 - 1:02am
Sleaker@Craig R. - at this point I don't even know what the hashtags are suppsed to be in support of. what does GamerGate actually signify.09/21/2014 - 12:21am
Sleaker@AE - Hyperbole for the first 2, but it seems like some of the comments in the shout are attempting to place blame on fellow gamers because they aren't actively telling people to stop harassing even though they don't necessarily know anyone that has.09/21/2014 - 12:16am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Who the heck are you reading that is claiming "all gamers are bad," we "need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers," that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem," or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"?09/20/2014 - 9:44pm
erthwjimhe swatted more than just krebs, I think he swatted 30 people http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/teen-arrested-for-30-swattings-bomb-threats/09/20/2014 - 9:31pm
Craig R.Btw, the guy who swatted security expert Brian Krebs? He got picked up recently. It can be done.09/20/2014 - 8:55pm
Craig R.Such things are not done in a vacuum... hence why the 4chan and other logs show what fools you've all been, tricked into doing the trolls' work09/20/2014 - 8:49pm
Sleaker@Technogeek - How do you call someone out that anonymously calls in a SWAT team, or sends threats to people?09/20/2014 - 7:04pm
Technogeek"It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so." I'd say you're certainly obligated to call them out when you see it happening.09/20/2014 - 5:17pm
SleakerNow if you disagree with anything in my last 2 posts then we obviously have a difference in world view, and wont come to any sort of agreement. I'm fine with that, maybe some people aren't?09/20/2014 - 5:09pm
SleakerIt also doesn't mean that just because a news outlet says that Gamers are the problem and you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem. It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so.09/20/2014 - 4:59pm
SleakerJust to re-iterate: People getting harassed is wrong. Just because someone is harassed by so called 'gamers' doesn't mean that all gamers are bad. nor does it mean that you need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers.09/20/2014 - 4:56pm
SleakerAnd furthermore just because someone doesn't 'crusade against the evil' that doesn't make them the problem. You can have discussion with those around you. There's a thing called sphere of influence.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
Sleaker@Conster - one person getting harassed is a 'problem' only so far as the harassee's are doing it. Just because a select few people choose to act like this doesn't make it widespread. Nor does it immediately make everyone responsible to put an end to it.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
james_fudgeno worries09/20/2014 - 4:15pm
TechnogeekI misread james' comment as "we can't have a debate without threatening" there at first. Actually wound up posting a shout about death threats and "kill yourself" not technically being the same thing before I realized.09/20/2014 - 3:59pm
james_fudgeDon't hit me *cowers behind Andrew*09/20/2014 - 3:20pm
ConsterYou take that back right now, james, or else. *shakes fist menacingly*09/20/2014 - 3:00pm
james_fudgeOur community is awesome. We can have a debate without threatening to kill each other.09/20/2014 - 2:50pm
 

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