Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino believes that videogames are a vital part of his city's economy, despite having backed a bill to lump mature rated games in with other adult material.
In 2007 Thomas Menino backed a bill, authored with help from the infamous former lawyer and anti-gaming activist Jack Thompson, that would block the sale of games 'harmful to minors' in the state of Massachusetts, a law similar to those that restrict the sale of pornography to children. The bill drew criticism from a variety of sources, and was later deemed unconstitutional.
It seems that this defeat has caused Menino to have a change of heart however, as on Friday he announced two initiatives to boost the industry in the city. The first is an industry networking website called Powering Up Boston and the second is an industry 'steering committee'. This committee will advise the mayor and his staff with the aim of "strengthening the Boston-area game development presence, raising Boston's profile as a global leader in digital media and specifically the game industry."
Boston is the home to a large number of developers, including Rock Band creators Harmonix and Bioshock developers 2K Boston. In total, according to the mayor's office, the Boston games industry contributes over $200 million to the local economy with over 1,500 jobs across 76 companies.
"The creative industries sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in greater Boston, and I'm committed to creating the conditions that will allow this sector to continue to grow and prosper," Menino stated.