Posts Tagged: ‘ECA’

April Fools And All That

April 1, 2013 Posted by zachary

Today, if you had not noticed or don’t follow me on Facebook, I have been busy posting a whole lot of posts befitting the holiday. All my posts to Facebook, with the exception of one post, have been carefully constructed to contradict my normal political and idealogical positions. I will now document them here:

First up, my first post of the day regarding what games I purchase and play:

I have decided that I will no longer buy games unless they were published by Ubisoft or EA exclusively for Windows. There is nothing better than those combos. Except maybe always Online. Who needs offline play anyway?

For those who don’t follow me closely, I despise a number of positions, mostly due to DRM, that both EA and Ubisoft take. The Online-only requirement of many of their games being a big part of it. Additionally, as a Linux user, I try to avoid any game, with some exceptions, that do not have a Linux version.

Next, a little support for No-fly lists managed in secret by our government:

Reason is just so wrong on this issue. No Fly Lists are the best things the government has ever done. They keep us safe by keeping crazy people off flights. If anything, the list needs to be bigger. Just think about all the crazy people who would be sitting next to you if we didn’t have these lists. As for finding out why you are on it, you know what you did. If you didn’t do anything wrong, you wouldn’t be on the list. Simple as that.

Of course I think any violation of our 6th Amendment rights to be a very bad thing. Any process that allows the government to make decisions and dole out punishment without proper due process is a horrible practice. I would never support something like this and campaign continuously to undue all the damage done after 9/11.

I have also had a change of heart as to my political affiliation:

I have also decided to give up in my endeavor to see ballot access reform in Oklahoma. I have decided to instead join the Republican party. This means that I will be working with them to make Oklahoma a one party state in which the only options available to voters will be Republicans.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That’s my new motto.

I have been an Independent/Libertarian all my life and don’t plan on being anything else. The Republican controlled Oklahoma government has been a source of many frustrations as efforts to open elections have been thwarted at every turn. About the only thing the REpublican party can do regarding ballot access is to make it worse by doubling candidate filing fees this year.

Following that, I have also been converted to better economic principals:

I have also been converted to the idea of Keynesian Economics in which government spending drives a healthy economy. If that sounds like it contradicts my previous change of Joining the Republican Party, it doesn’t. Republicans believe firmly, if not openly, in Keynesian economics as displayed in its acts of granting special privileges and tax incentives for special interest companies. How better to drive growth in the private sector than to open up the trough of taxpayer money.

There is nothing “Free Market” about the US’s current economy or market. The government dips its dirty little fingers into every aspect of commerce. If we need anything, it is less government. It doesn’t matter if it is Republicans or Democrats who run the government, the truth is that our hard earned tax money gets taken from us and given to special interests who did not earn it. That needs to end.

Next, I have changed who represents me in the video game arena:

I have decided to leave the Entertainment Consumer Association and instead join the Video Game Voter Network, run by the Entertainment Software Association. I have learned that consumer rights can never grow and blossom without the careful oversight of a benevolent and loving corporate parent. After all, corporations, especially multi-national and publicly traded corporations, know what is best for their consumers. That loving guidance is just not something that can come from an independent organization such as the ECA.

The lack of autonomy of the VGVN was no clearer than it was during the protests of the Stop Online Piracy Act. In that protest, the ESA was busy trying to push the legislation through while the ECA was busy protesting and trying to put a stop to that infringement of our free speech rights. Silent throughout the whole protest was the VGVN. That proved once and for all that it would never be a source of real protection for video gamers.

Interestingly enough, I did have one post that was not an April Fool’s joke. It was my first post of the day and was made prior to me remembering what today was. This was in regard to a picture a friend of mine posted that seriously misconstrued the arguments against a minimum wage hike.

Who is against Minimum Wage Hikes?This is what I hate about the debate over minimum wage. Those in support of increasing minimum wage try to make it out as CEOs of big multi-billion dollar corporations are against it. They are not. They actually love minimum wage increases because it causes competition to drop out.

The people against minimum wage increases are those mom and pop shops that pro-labor people love to idolize. Those mom and pop shops are the ones actually hurt by increases in minimum wage. Those shops are already barely breaking even and adding unnecessary and costly increases to their expenses will hurt them more than anything.

By supporting minimum wage, you support big multi-national corporations and hate locally owned mom and pop shops.

So it has been an interesting day for me and anyone who follows me. I know I got my wife there for a while when it came to the switch to the Republican party. Many others were pretty quick on the draw and enjoyed the fun. We’ll have to see what I can think of next year.

The ECA Hits The Streets Of DC

April 12, 2012 Posted by zachary

Jenn, Me And Hal

From Left to Right: Jenn Mercurio, Me, Hal Halpin

Reposted from Game Politics.

In the last week of March, the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) took to Capital Hill to meet with members of Congress about SOPA, PIPA and other issues that effect gamers and game developers. The trip was spearheaded by ECA President, Hal Halpin, VP, Jennifer Mercurio and Advocacy Manager, Brett Schenker.  I had the opportunity to come, along with James Portnow of Extra Credits and Trevor and Josh Hughes of Add A Tudez Entertainment. Coming out of it, I think the event was very much a success.

While SOPA was one of the primary focuses of our various discussions, we did have some time to talk about other issues that effect gamers and game developers. So rather than just file down through everything that happened, what I would like to do is share a few things that really stuck with me after the event.

On the topic of SOPA, we had some very good discussions with the offices of key members of the SOPA opposition. These was a staff member from Zoe Lofgren‘s office, Representative Jared Polis, and a staff member of Jason Chaffetz‘s office. The discussions we had about SOPA were very encouraging. Each person we talked to expressed their desire to continue the fight against SOPA like legislation. They all expected it to come back in some form or another, so they want us all to be aware and keep watch. They know that it was the efforts of the wider internet community that made the difference back in January.

On to the subject of PIPA, the Senate’s version of SOPA, the only player from this side of the debate that I had the opportunity to visit with was a staff member of Senator Tom Coburn‘s office. If you recall, Senator Coburn was one of the supporters of PIPA prior to the January protests. Right around the time of the protest, he pulled his support for the bill. This was a major blow against the bill, as Coburn sits on the Technology Subcommittee. Based on the discussion we had, it would seem that Coburn pulled his support because he did not fully appreciate what was in the bill. The conversation was primarily a fact finding mission from his office. They wanted to know more about piracy and how it affects game consumers and game developers big and small. In the future, I think we could probably count on Senator Coburn to be a voice of reason in the debate.

Now onto some other points of interest.

Back in Representative Lofgren’s office, one of the topics that came up was a general reform of copyright, particularly revolving around the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). We were asked what we would want to see happen with the DMCA and copyright to bring it back into balance with the public. One of the key points was reform of the DMCA takedown process. Right now, this process is very much weighted against fair use and free speech. There is also very little in the way of discouraging abuse of the process. Based on the conversation we had, I would hope to see some reforms being introduced in the near future. Of course, like any reform of copyright that is not 100% in favor of large entertainment companies, this type of reform will be fought hard by the MPAA and the RIAA. So when we do see it introduced, we need to show our support for it in much the same way we showed our opposition to SOPA.

The next really interesting bit of discussion came while visiting with Representative Chaffetz’s office. While we were talking about SOPA and other issues, Chaffetz’s staffer told us a story that recently happened on Capital Hill. Nintendo was there, presumably about the recent DMCA anti-circumvention exceptions approval process. As you may recall, one of the exceptions asked for this year is the ability to jailbreak a game console to allow for extra functionality to run on it. Nintendo was there showing off how DS carts like the R4 work and trying to explain how evil they are. While they were showing it off, Chaffetz’s staffer was looking at it and thought it was a pretty neat device. He then asked Nintendo’s reps if they have similar functionality available legitimately for the handheld. When asked that, Nintendo’s reps looked at him as if he asked them something completely insane. Our conversation with the Staffer then went on about how jailbreaking and things like the R4 allow for so much more than just piracy. Things like homebrew software, other operating systems, importing games and format shifting legally owned games are all possible. This really interested the staffer. So while we still don’t know if we will get an exception for jailbreaking game consoles, we now know just how much effort console companies are putting in to put a stop to it.

So those are the most interesting things that I got to participate in. There was another set of visits that I didn’t get to attend that probably have their own cool things discussed, as there were two teams holding meetings. Perhaps James, Josh or Trevor will have something to share from their points of view. I think the trip was fun and very much worth it. When the ECA plans another one, I hope to be able to attend that one as well.

Check out Josh Hughes’ write up about our trip to DC.

Why Should You Support the ECA’s Supreme Court Petition?

July 8, 2010 Posted by zachary

Sign the ECA's Gamer Petition

Support the ECA's Gamer Petition

Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States took up a case from California. This Case involves a law that was passed in 2005 that would regulate the sale of violent video games to minors. The video game industry, represented by the ESA, has challenged this law in federal court. Twice it has been ruled unconstitutional. It is now up to the Supreme Court to decide once and for all.

The Entertainment Consumers Association has issued a petition that they want all people who play games to sign. This petition puts to voice of the people behind the defense of the game industry from this law. I have already put my name on it and I think you should as well.

Here are my thoughts on why. (more…)

Zachary Knight to Run for State Representative of District 46

June 12, 2010 Posted by zachary

Zachary holding two of his daughtersZachary Knight has filed to run for State Representative serving District 46, which includes Newcastle, Noble and Norman.

Throughout his life, Zachary has learned that to be a true leader, one must put his own interests aside and focus on the needs of those he is serving. This lesson has been one taught to him through many acts of service through leadership. This is the type of leader that this state needs.

During his high school years, Zachary worked with the Boy Scouts of America as a lead instructor for new scouts at both Slippery Falls Scout Ranch in Tishomingo, Oklahoma and Camp Cherokee on the Grand Lake of the Cherokees.

After graduating high school, Zachary served as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Manchester, England area. While on this mission he served as a district leader and led the efforts of the missionaries in Liverpool, England. During his time as a missionary, he learned the value of service for others and love of God and his children.

Zachary attended Collins College in Tempe, Arizona where he not only learned the skills needed to design and develop, he also helped his classmates reach their potential as well. In July 2006, Zachary graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design.

Zachary and his family now live in Newcastle, Oklahoma. He serves in his community as a youth leader for the local branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He serves as an Assistant Scout Master for the Boy Scouts of America and has helped three boys achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

He has also started a local chapter of the Entertainment Consumers Association in which he serves as Chapter President. In this role, he has worked with video game consumers in Oklahoma in pressuring state and federal representatives in passing legislation that provides better choices of broadband internet and protecting the rights of media consumers.

In 2006, Zachary registered to vote in Oklahoma as an Independent. While at the county court house, he inquired about the regulations on creating a new political party in this state. It was here that he learned of the unfair rules that prevent new parties from gaining access to the ballot. Here, he made the commitment to return those regulations back to the way they were prior to 1974.

He has since followed the decisions of our state legislature and the effects those choices have had on the rights of the citizens of Oklahoma.

This year, he decided enough was enough.

This year, the legislative session ended with no real progress on fixing our state’s budget shortfall. They failed for a second time to pass ballot access reform. They passed legislation that makes it more difficult for small businesses to operate. These are not the fruits of an effective government.

Zachary seeks to bring real reform to this state’s legislative branch. Real reform which requires representatives who are willing to serve the people and grant them a voice. Real reform which requires representatives who are willing to strengthen the people they serve and the economy in which they live.