To the Editor: Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading The Escapist. I consider myself someone who takes gaming very seriously. As a recent college graduate, I feel surrounded by adolescent idiots when it comes to this topic. Your magazine is a breath of fresh air in this regard and it's nice to see that there are, in fact, people out there who wouldn't think I'm a big dweeb for keeping up with the entire gaming industry as I do. Keep up the good work!

-Scott Hamilton

To the Editor: You know, if I don't work or play or do anything totally else, I want to read. But those are the moments where I don't want to sit in front of a computer monitor. Could you print your sweet magazine? I'd subscribe.

Thanks for reading,
-Leon Grapenthin

To the Editor: I've been subscribing to The Escapist for a while now, got caught on issue #17 by the article "OMG Girlz Don't Exist on the Intarweb!!!", and I've been enjoying it, but there is still one thing. Is it meant to be read only by Americans and only by videogame- gamers? Because that's the feeling I get, and I'm kind of starting to think I should go and read somewhere else, or that I got it all wrong from the start. It just seems to me that these two attributes are very dominant in the articles. What about other games, what about other nationalities, other countries and their legislature?

Regards,
-tota

From the Blog: [Re: "A Huge Disconnect" by Shannon Drake] "We ran a poll on GamePolitics; 45% who responded said they would decide their vote based solely on a candidate's views on videogame legislation. With issues like Iraq, Iran, globalization, energy policy and abortion on the table, that's actually a little scary."

Think about it this way.

Any politician devoting time on such an important issue as video game censorship during the time when there're much more pressing issues to concentrate on is not fit to represent us.

Furthermore, a large percentage of these bills are based on such shoddy, incomplete or downright dishonest research that anyone basing legislative efforts on them should be kicked out of office immediately. Just imagine what sort of other laws they're drafting based on equally bad research.

Not only that, but many of these bills are known to be unconstitutional even before they're formally introduced. Some of the people sponsoring them have even admitted to it while still pressing on. These legislators are wasting my money introducing bills that they know are going to get shut down by an expensive legal process. Why should I ever vote for these people? In fact, I should be suing them to recoup some of the tax payers' money wasted by them.

Finally, as Dennis even mentioned, some of the bills are so clearly motivated by baby-kissing type of election campaigning that there's no question as to where that person's priorities are: getting re-elected no matter what. These sort of people should not get a single vote either.

So in essence, I don't think it's such a bad idea to base your decisions on who to (not) vote on the candidates' views on video game legislation.

-Pixelante Anonymous

From the Blog: [Re: "Local Goldmines" by Dana Massey] You hit the nail on the head. Conventional wisdom suggests that the tremendous bloat of video game budgets makes it impossible to develop a competitive game that cannot sell half a million copies. Now, the indie gaming scene provides at least one counterexample, but who plays (or even knows about) indie games except people who have video games in their blood like a nicotine patch?

Unfortunately, before art-house games become really viable and common, the mainstream must be expanded. In addition, games need to find new ways of expressing themselves. People talk about games as art, but games more profound than an action flick are extraordinarily rare, and those few that say more aren't entirely clear on what they're saying. What's more, the few politically themed games there are floating around either base it around a painfully heavy-handed partisan message, or are so afraid of getting bad press from one side of the aisle or the other that they very carefully refrain from saying anything at all. Granted, a part of that comes from the hyperpolarized political climate that exists worldwide... and political games are still pretty heavily US-centric....

It's a very tricky puzzle indeed, and I think in the long run no amount of concentrated effort from developers will be half as significant as the market forces that are making Flash game portals and MMOGs into a huge market.

-Mark

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