Trendsetting state New York has, over the past 48 hours, leapt to the top of the GamePolitics radar, thanks to a proposed bill to make sale of certain materials to minors a felony. This might not sound particularly innovative in the realm of tried-and-failed game legislation, but hang on to that word ‘felony’ for a bit. Game retailers have responded to the bill, calling it "impermissably vague," as well as pointing out that whoever drafted the bill has no standing knowledge of current parental control technologies. Read up at GamePolitics for a great case study in how legislators go about Things in the Wrong Way.
Over at GamaSutra, Independent Games Festival chairman Simon Carless has an opinion piece about why indie games are unlikely to thrive in an increasingly console-centric games market. It’s a good consideration of the distribution challenges facing independent developers, whose console options are deeply segregated. Big-budget titles may be losing exclusivity left and right, but when it comes to the smaller titles the platforms are pretty well locked. Carless is interested in encouraging the independent developer, whose audience would potentially be increased by the ability to launch cross-platform, at the expense of corporate control. The only problem I can see with the intent is that many console owners own multiple consoles, meaning that the potential percentage increase for losing exclusivity isn’t easily calculated as simple thirds.
There’s not much else happening, unless you really care about hardware obsolescence, so let’s play a bit more in the realm of indie games. I hope you have played the incredible Cave Story; if you haven’t, it’s well worth your time. It may look like a cutesy side-scroller, but it possesses a surprising amount of depth, both in character and in gameplay. There’s a project underway to display its story in comic form, which looks pretty awesome. There’s just a prologue up, so far, but I’ll be following the effort.
Have a good weekend. I think I’m going to buy a house.