Play Where's the Naughty Governor?

July 9, 2009 -

New from Addicting Games is the tongue-in-cheek puzzler Where's the Naughty Governor?

The super-easy Where's Waldo? clone challenges player to find visual clues related to the cases of philandering guvs and ex-guvs like South Carolina's Mark Sanford, New York's Eliot Spitzer and New Jersey's Jim McGreevey. Philandering would-be president John Edwards is tossed in for good measure. Sarah Palin  made the cut too, but for quitting her post rather than for extra-curricular marital activities.

As an added bonus (and this lackluster game needs all the help it can get), the Los Angeles Times has an interesting article on the creative process behind Where's the Naughty Governor?:

The quintet [of game designers] quickly work their way through 15 politicians with slippery zippers before settling on five. Sen. Ensign of Nevada is labeled "kinda boring" and tossed out because he promptly admitted his infidelity; mayors Villaraigosa [of Los Angeles] and Newsom [of San Francisco] don't have big enough national profiles; former Sen. Larry E. Craig of Idaho is set aside because his arrest for allegedly soliciting sex in an airport bathroom by tapping his foot could... deserve its own game.

Those making the cut: Sanford, Spitzer, McGreevey and Edwards [Palin was apparently added later]. Dave Williams, senior VP of Nickelodeon's games group, even reaches into the past for one more addition.

"Could we end on Bill Clinton? He's the big boss!" [a designer] says with a laugh, using the video-game term for a final and most difficult opponent.

11 comments

Gaming's Biggest Political Hypocrite Will Face No Charges, Say Feds

November 6, 2008 -

Federal prosecutors say that former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer will face no criminal charges for patronizing a high-priced, multi-state prostitution ring.

U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia told CNN:

After a thorough investigation, this office has uncovered no evidence of misuse of public or campaign funds.

 

In light of the policy of the Department of Justice with respect to prostitution offenses and the longstanding practice of this office, as well as Mr. Spitzer's acceptance of responsibility for his conduct, we have concluded that the public interest would not be further advanced by filing criminal charges in this matter.

Theoretically, Spitzer could face local charges lodged by Washington D.C authorities (it's illegal to hire a prostitute), but that seems highly unlikely at this point.

As governor, Spitzer pushed hard for legislation designed to regulate video game sales. Ironically, he claimed to be concerned about the cartoon prostitutes in Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series, saying:

Media content has gotten more graphic, more violent and more sex-based… Currently, nothing under New York State law prohibits a fourteen-year old from walking into a video store and buying… a game like ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ which rewards a player for stealing cars and beating people up. Children can even simulate having sex with a prostitute…

In April GamePolitics readers voted Spitzer Gaming's Biggest Political Hypocrite, beating out the likes of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and British MP Keith Vaz.

GP: Pictured are Spitzer, a GTA prostitute and 22-year-old Ashley Dupre. It was the disgraced guv's rendezvous with the would-be singer that led to his downfall in March of this year. On the other hand, if Spitzer had stuck with GTA's virtual hookers he'd still be governor.

Thanks to: GP reader seikyo for the heads-up!

27 comments

GP Readers Choose Spitzer as Gaming's Biggest Political Hypocrite

April 10, 2008 -

When it comes to video games and politicians, disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is, by a wide margin, the biggest hypocrite.

Spitzer was the runaway choice of GamePolitics readers in a poll we ran this week, gathering nearly 46% of the vote.

To be fair, his selection should come as no surprise. After all, Spitzer complained about GTA's cartoon hookers (right) in campaign speeches and then get caught paying big bucks for the real thing (left) as governor.

Here are the numbers:

Spitzer: 45.7%

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: 21.8%

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino: 18.7%

MP Keith Vaz: 9.3%

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius: 4.6%

29 comments

Grand Theft Auto Critic Spitzer Resigns in Disgrace

March 12, 2008 -

Client 9 has become Disgraced ex-Governor 1.

Eliot Spitzer, the moral crusader who, as GamePolitics reported, was so offended by the interactive prostitution in Grand Theft Auto, has vacated his office following revelations by the New York Times that he was a regular patron of high-priced call girls.

Here's what Spitzer, a rising star in the Democratic party, had to say about GTA during his 2006 election campaign:
 

Media content has gotten more graphic, more violent and more sex-based… Currently, nothing under New York State law prohibits a fourteen-year old from walking into a video store and buying… a game like ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ which rewards a player for stealing cars and beating people up. Children can even simulate having sex with a prostitute…


FBI wiretaps captured him singing a different tune to the managers of the Emporers Club VIP service. Spitzer haggled over payment details as he arranged for a petite brunette named Kristen to rendezvous with him at a Washington, D.C. hotel. Later, Kristen and the escort service manager were overhead discussing Spitzer's proclivities:
 

Manager: [Spitzer] would ask you to do things, that, like you might not think were safe. You know - I mean that - very basic things...

Kristen: I have a way of dealing with that. I'd be like, 'listen, dude, do you really want the sex?"


And, apparently, Spitzer did. We wonder whether he'll be picking up a copy of GTA IV now that he will have plenty of time on his hands...

UPDATE: The NY Times has identified Kristen as 22-year-old Ashley Alexandra Dupre (left), a struggling, would-be singer. You can check out her MySpace page. We're willing to bet that this will be a boost to her career. Expect to see her on Larry King within a few days.

The next revelation will likely be the release of the audio tapes of the Guv's, uh, dickering about the arrangements.

124 comments

BREAKING: Video Game Critic Spitzer Involved in Prostitution Ring

March 10, 2008 -

He may be opposed to violent video games like Hitman: Codename 47, but an FBI document alleges that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) was known as Client 9 to an upscale, international prostitution ring.

Spitzer is seen at left with Silda, his wife of 21 years.

The New York Times is reporting a breaking story that Spitzer will make some type of announcement this afternoon about the case. (UPDATE: Spitzer briefly apologized, but didn't 'fess up to anything specific...)

Federal prosecutors apparently caught Spitzer on a wiretap arranging for a prostitute to travel from New York to Washington, D.C., where he was visiting on business. It is a federal offense to transport someone across state lines for the purpose of engaging in prostitution.

During his 2006 gubernatorial campaign, Spitzer pledged to regulate video game content and called for a universal rating system. Video game legislation approved by the New York Assembly during his first year in office seemed fast-tracked for passage, but eventually stalled due to a bitter political feud between Spitzer and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R). The video game bill was expected to be revived in 2008, but that is certainly questionable now, as is Spitzer's future.

During the 2006 campaign Spitzer called out the video game industry for excessive violence and, ironically, sexual content in its products:
 

Like all parents, I know it is increasingly difficult to protect our children from negative influences... we have learned that when self-regulation fails, government must step in... we must do more to protect our children from excessive sex and violence in the media...


 

Media content has gotten more graphic, more violent and more sex-based... Currently, nothing under New York State law prohibits a fourteen-year old from walking into a video store and buying... a game like 'Grand Theft Auto,' which rewards a player for stealing cars and beating people up. Children can even simulate having sex with a prostitute...


GP: The hypocrisy meter is just about off the scale... Check out page 36 of this FBI document for some of the dirty details of Client 9's hotel encounter with a hooker named "Kristen."

UPDATE: Spitzer is a superdelegate for another frequent video game critic, Sen. Hillary Clinton.

RANDOM THOUGHT: Can a homemade Client 9 game be far behind?

 

Following GP Story, NY Officials Remove Hoax Info from Presentation

December 20, 2007 -

GamePolitics revealed yesterday that a New York Division of Criminal Justice Services (DJCS) presentation on video game issues listed a well-known hoax site as a parental resource.

That news has apparently caused a bit of a stir among political types in Albany.

The Staten Island Advance, citing the GP article, reports that state officials will remove the hoax site Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence (mavav.org) from a listing of parental resources which appears at the end of the 24-minute presentation:
 

One story on the hoax site, "Video Game Violence Makes Teens Aggressive," shows a phony brain scan, with the outline of a tiny machine gun superimposed on the image of a brain...


 

John M. Caher, a spokesman for DJCS, said officials are in the process of editing the video to yank the hoax Web site reference...

"We firmly stand by the core, overriding message of the presentation: Parents and guardians need to know the types of games that are available, and use their own good judgment to decide if something is right for their child," Caher said.


Gov. Spitzer's office referred media questions back to DCJS, which prepared the video. Prior to the GP story, however, Spitzer was squarely behind the presentation, saying:
 

I commend the staff of the DCJS...This presentation gives parents and educators the information they need to make smart decisions about the games their children play. 


A representative for State Senator Andrew Lanza, who heads a New York legislative task force on violent games, told the Advance that Lanza had no role in the preparation of the video.

GP: We note that some of our readers mentioned the GamePolitics story in comments to the original Staten Island Advance coverage. That surely helped get the attention of New York state bureaucrats and is an example of grassroots gamer action at its finest - well done!

36 comments

New York Guv's Game Scare Presentation Cites Hoax Site as "Resource"

December 19, 2007 -

In New York, efforts to legislate video game sales have bogged down in the wake of bitter political infighting between Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) and State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R).

While the legislative effort remains stalled, the New York Department of Criminal Justice (!) has produced a 20-minute slide show which, in addition to offering some good advice to parents, dredges up a number of sensationalized stories, presents at least one outright fallacy, and cites a well-known Internet hoax site as a parental resource. 

As reported by the Staten Island Advance, Gov. Spitzer unveiled Video Games and Children: Virtual Playground vs. Danger Zone yesterday, accompanied by representatives from the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Said Spitzer of the 20-minute presentation:
 

Protecting our children from violent video games that contain adult themes is a key priority for my administration. I commend the staff of the DCJS and Commissioner Denise O'Donnell for taking a leadership role in this effort by reaching out to parents and educators to engage them in this important dialogue. This presentation gives parents and educators the information they need to make smart decisions about the games their children play.


While the presentation offers some wothwhile - if standard - advice about ratings and other parental issues, it quickly devolves into sensationalism. V-Tech Rampage, for example, gets prominent mention early in the presentation. For those who may not recall that sorry episode, V-Tech Rampage was a crude, non-commercial game created and posted online by an apparently troubled young man from Australia who gained his 15 minutes of fame by exploiting the Virginia Tech massacre. What does it have to do with parents making video game choices for their children?

The presentation also includes clips from a well-known Australian TV video of a supposed teenage World of Warcraft addict. There is also an ominous mention of an unnamed 13-year-old Chinese lad who is said to have thrown himself from the roof of a building in an effort to join his video game heroes.

We were also troubled by the somewhat random selection of games presented as bad examples. For instance, the video makes much of Soldier of Fortune's realistic body damage model. SoF, however, was released seven years ago. Relevance, please?

The presentation also mentions that Virginia Tech killer Seung Hui Cho was reportedly a player of Counter-strike. However, the Virginia Tech Review Panel's report clearly states that no such evidence was found. The only game mentioned by the blue ribbon panel in relation to Cho is Sonic the Hedgehog.

First-person shooters are referred to as "killographic" games. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is misstated as "Grand Theft San Andreas." How does one botch what is probably - thanks to Hot Coffee - the most infamous game title of all time?

And, as the presentation ends, a resource page lists Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence as one of several places where parents can go for additional information. 

Oops!

MAVAV is a well-documented hoax site, created, ironically, by a student from a New York City design school.

In the end, poor research makes Gov. Spitzer's well-intentioned video look amateurish and out of touch.

UPDATE: Albany's WNYT-13 has a report on the release of the New York video.

NY Pols Reach Agreement on Game Bill; Passage Delayed Until July

June 22, 2007 -

Details are few at this point as New York State legislators worked late last night to wrap up the current session.

As expected, the Senate and Assembly reached agreement on video game legislation. However, time ran out before the measure could be passed in both houses. Legislators expect to formally pass the bill when they return in July. At that point the video game bill will go to Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D), who is expected to sign it into law.

WXXA-DT/TV (Albany) reports:
 

Republican Senator Andrew Lanza (left) who represents Staten Island describes the type of video games his legislation is trying to label for parents:  "Games that, for instance, reward you for shooting and murdering New York City police officers."

[Senate Minority Leader James] Tedisco says, "Nobody walks up to me on the streets and says, 'Because there's violent video games, I'm leaving the state of New York.'  They say, 'I'm leaving the state of New York because I can't afford to live here.'"


Meanwhile, Lower Hudson Online has this:
 

Two agreements were announced yesterday.

One would place limits on who can see violent video games. It would make it a felony to sell violent and obscene video games to minors. In addition, manufacturers would have to equip game consoles with parental-control devices, retailers would have to label games that are violent and obscene, and the state would establish a committee to study the problem.

"We were all always on the same page in protecting children. We just had to come up with ways to compromise," said Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, D-Brooklyn, co-chairman of the joint conference committee.


GP: Based on an inaccurate news account, we originally listed this bill as passed. In checking with Sen. Lanza's office, we learned that it has been agreed upon but not yet officially passed.

64 comments

NY Legislation Gains Momentum: Guv to Detail Video Game Proposal to Al Sharpton Group Today

April 20, 2007 -

Suddenly, video game legislation is a very hot topic in New York state.

As reported earlier this week by GamePolitics, first-year New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D) will fulfill a 2006 campaign promise by pressing ahead with efforts to legislate violent and sexually-explicit video games. Spitzer hopes to pass a law restricting sales of such games to underage buyers.

According to the New York Daily News, Spitzer will detail his video game proposal today in a breakfast speech before Rev. Al Sharpton's organization, the National Action Network.

Meanwhile, State Sen. Andrew Lanza has been appointed to head a legislative task force on the video game issue. The Staten Island Advance reports that Lanza made reference to Monday's Virginia Tech rampage in discussing the issue of video game legislation. Lanza's senate web page contains the following quote:
 

The Virginia Tech massacre is a painful reminder of the culture of violence which has severe and tragic consequences on our youth and for our society... It is imperative that we find a way to prevent these virtual realities from continuing to fuel and to teach the violent behavior which is corrupting or youth.


With bi-partisan support for the issue and the end of the assembly session drawing near, expect New York's video game legislation situation to heat up quickly.

55 comments

NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer Readies Violent Video Game Legislation

April 18, 2007 -

A campaign promise made by almost a year ago by New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has resurfaced.

Last April GamePolitics reported on candidate Spitzer's plan to legislate sales of violent video games. The former State Attorney General also called for a universal rating system for games, movies and music. At the time, Spitzer said:
 

Self-regulation doesn't always work... when self-regulation fails, government must step in... New York State must take matters into its own hands. We should follow the lead of states like California, Illinois and Michigan and pass 'Safe Games' legislation...


 

The (ESRB) does have a rating system... but it's often ignored. Laws protecting underage kids from harmful products are nothing new... But currently, nothing under New York State law prohibits a fourteen-year old from walking into a video store and buying a game labeled 'Adult Only' - a game like 'Grand Theft Auto...'

Democrats and Republicans both have bills that would address these problems, but they have gone nowhere. It is time to make this a priority.


Now, Spitzer is apparently making good on his promise. As reported by Business Week:

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Andrew EisenOoo, this one came down to the wire! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/749082525/nefarious09/19/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenI don't doubt that many are truly interested in journalistic integrity. The problem I'm often seeing is they seem to have no idea how or where to talk about it.09/18/2014 - 11:46pm
Andrew EisenDidn't word that well. Busy at work. I've seen people claim that GamerGate is solely about ethics and transparency in games journalism and then go on to show that what they're really after is silencing those who talk about gender issues in games.09/18/2014 - 11:45pm
Kronodebate. Becaus apparently people who only post on Reddit are supposed to police twitter before they're allowed to question anything about the people involved.09/18/2014 - 10:40pm
KronoI highly doubt many, if any are using journalistic integrity as a cover for harassment. The people harassing are essentially trolls. They aren't interested in subtle. More often it's othe other way around. People use "but X is being harassed" to shut down09/18/2014 - 10:38pm
Andrew EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others (though I've seen no examples of that).09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoLines like "like a partial compromise with the howling trolls who’ve latched onto ‘ethics’ as the latest flag in their onslaught against evolution and inclusion." are taring everyone questioning the ethics as a harasser.09/18/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Except, none of the articles were talking about gamers complaining about journalist ethics, let alone called them white male misogynists. They were talking about the gamers who were harassing others.09/18/2014 - 8:36pm
Kronomakes plenty of sense. It's rather hard to dismiss someone as a white guy running a sock puppet when they've posted proof they're a woman, or black, or another minority.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat any critics of journalists were white guys that hated women, and could be dismissed as such. It seems to have helped some. It's kind of difficult to maintain the white guy narrative in the face of a bunch of women and non-white guys. So the tag09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat, someone vented on a #gamergate 4chan thread about being dismissed like that. The suggestion they got in return was to organize their own hashtag in response, with #NotYourShield being suggested. Thus the tag came into use to combat the undercurrent09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronomuch more general problem. And while several of the articles were fairly tame, they spured a bunch of people to dismiss any critics of the journalism involved as misogynistic men. Usually with insults aimed at the geek stereotype. After about a week of09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Not sure what that has to do with anything but yeah, the gender percentages differ depending on how the study defines what a gamer is.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
KronoThe rhetoric pushed by the spearheading articles that the "gamers" complaining about journalist ethics were just angry white male misogynists, insulted a lot of people that were previously fairly neutral. It made it go from a Kotaku problem, to a09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Krono@Andrew I'm not surprised overlap exists. I expect much of it is a rush to jump on the bandwagon, either by reporting on the original articles, or rushing out their own. The point is that was a major flashpoint, much bigger than the reddit mass deletion.09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Sleaker@AE - well the gamer trend was described with stats on Factual Femenist. Only 1 in 7 males plays games 20+ hrs going into college vs 1 in 40 females. So gaming is definitely still male dominated despite fake stats trying to say otherwise.09/18/2014 - 8:30pm
Craig R.Do conspiracies ever make sense? The fact that people are now having to defend themselves against nutjob websites like Breitbart.com shows how far down into the rabbit hole we've all been forcibly dragged.09/18/2014 - 7:05pm
 

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