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ESA Pushing for Gamers to Vote

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the just-make-it-a-last-man-standing-fps dept.

115

Grooves writes "The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has announced the first voter registration drive aimed at gamers, called 'Play for Real: Gamer Voter Drive'. The drive is being managed by the ESA's Video Game Voters Network, an attempt at growing a grassroots community around the issue of games legislation. From the article, 'Lowenstein would like to boost these figures by convincing younger voters that their voice will have an influence over issues they care about, particularly efforts to create new laws restricting video games.'"

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115 comments

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I can just see the bumper stickers... (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098043)

I can just see the bumper stickers...

  • I'm a Guild Member and I vote
  • End Violent Game Player Discrimination
  • If I Don't Rule The World With An Iron Fist, Who Will?
  • Virtual People Have Rights, Too
  • Kazola For President
  • "A PS2 in every living room and a rusting bicycle in every garage"
  • Elect Jack Thompson - Then Impeach His Ass
    • Keep Politics Out of Games
    • Keep Games Out of Politics
  • Speak Softly And Carry A Bat'leth
  • My Child Is 60th Level In World Of Warcraft School

720 wisdom (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098393)

Vote or Die

Re:720 wisdom (1)

cliath (978599) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099196)

I think you mean, "Vote or Respawn".

Re:720 wisdom (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099836)

Maybe "Vote, Die, Respawn, Vote again?"

Re:I can just see the bumper stickers... (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099905)

"Keep the Government out of the Livingroom!"

It bears repeating (4, Funny)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098056)

If voting worked, it would be illegal.

Re:It bears repeating (1)

mozumder (178398) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098445)

So true...

Or:
    Democracy - A human and 2 wolves voting on what to eat for dinner.

Re:It bears repeating (2, Funny)

Jesterboy (106813) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099368)

I always liked Winston Churchill's view of Democracy: "Democracy is the worst form of government except from all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1, Interesting)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098057)

I bet ya this will fail miserably just like the Vote or Die campaign aimed at youngsters. The vast majority of this age group just don't care enough to vote.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (4, Insightful)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098104)

Well no wonder. I am 45 and can barely stand to vote for most politicians. Most elections in the last 14 years have been votes for the lesser of evils as I saw it. If I struggle to relate with them on any level, how much success is an 18 year old going to have.They haven't gained a sufficent level of cynicism at that age. Although God knows our society is trying to beat them down until they do.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (2, Interesting)

fmobus (831767) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098179)

there is a solution [wikipedia.org]

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

legoburner (702695) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098241)

Seems people have enough people voting for one person with one box to tick / hole to punch / whatever. Can you imagine the horror of diebold's software with ranked voting?!

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

fmobus (831767) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098385)

Here are my thoughts on voting machines:
  1. their project/design must be free/open source
  2. each machine code must be signed and that signature must be verifiable for any voter (an interesting application for "fritz" chips [wikipedia.org] )
  3. they must generate paper trail, verifiable by voter on spot (ie. voter can't take his vote home, but can check if it was correctly printed)
  4. their security must be based on strong assymetric encryption
  5. interface must be simple. Brazilian voting machines are "type-number-to-vote", which is, IMO, a good solution.
  6. Instant-runoff voting might be complicated to implement but, IMO, is the nicest way to represent people's will
Most of these requisites are matche by current machine voting system, except (1) and (2). Does anyone know of any voting machine system matching requisites (1) and (2)?
More on-topic, as a foreigner living on a country with mandatory voting: how does non-mandatory voting works in USA? I mean, once you register, are you required to vote on all elections or are you allowed to skip elections where you are not interested at all?

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16098654)

Voting standards are not easy to describe in the US since each state has different standards and in many cases counties within a state have different standards. You could have a thousand different cases where some people can vote only by absentee ballots, some people are voting in a standard poll booth, and others where people use Diebold-style machines. Even registration rules vary (the time required to preregister and when a ballot becomes provisional or not). But I have heard of no case where a person is required to vote after registering. The purpose of registering is only so that an elections commission can verify that you are a resident for the area that you are voting and are qualified to vote (age and criminal record). Most counties also use voter registration for jury pools as well (so if you don't register to vote you can't be on a jury). Voter registration in the US is usually a fairly trivial procedure and requires at most 5 minutes of your time and can be done at several different places (DMV, courthouses, by mail, etc.).

Approval > IRV (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098918)

Approval voting [wikipedia.org] is much easier to count and harder to "game" than instant-runoff.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16099404)

It's called Proportional Representation where i come from, though it the system we use is more specifically IRV.

And shockingly it works quite well, it's even changed to course of a presedential election.

Course we use paper ballots, so we dont have dodgy computers trying to do this system.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098462)

Most elections in the last 14 years have been votes for the lesser of evils as I saw it.

Well, yeah.

If you want the candidate that is the perfect mirror image of your own views, the only solution is to run yourself.

Otherwise you go with what you have. You sign the petitions. You vote in the primaries. You join the party, You stuff envelopes and work the phones. You make a real commitment of time and money.

right... (1)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098753)

and this is exactly why there are so few that care about the political system.

between working two jobs, spending time with friends, watching television, playing video games, etc, modern youth can't be bothered to pay attention to what's going on.

beyond that, families don't talk anymore, parents don't engage their children in what's going on... if the parents even know what's going on; from this point we can see that it should be self-evident why generation x, y and (now/soon) z kids don't vote: they don't care, are (as a whole) not very responsible, and have little understanding about how the political system works.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099081)

Well personally I think that both the Libertarian and Pirate parties represent my views fairly well... but most people in that situation are torn between voting for the party they'd really like, knowing full well they have little to no chance of actually getting that party elected... or making a "lesser of two evils" vote to help keep "generic big party scumbag" out of office.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

SandiConoverJones (821221) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099452)

As long as people continue to use their vote on the "lesser of evils" to avoid the "wasted vote" scenario, they really are wasting their vote. A vote for the lesser of evils is still a vote for evil.

The word "lesser" discounts third parties (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098939)

Most elections in the last 14 years have been votes for the lesser of evils as I saw it.

"Less" or "lesser" is used when only two options exist. I prefer to say "vote for the least evil," which leaves it open to third parties such as Libertarian Party.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

Saxerman (253676) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099825)

Well no wonder. I am 45 and can barely stand to vote for most politicians. Most elections in the last 14 years have been votes for the lesser of evils as I saw it. If I struggle to relate with them on any level, how much success is an 18 year old going to have. They haven't gained a sufficent level of cynicism at that age. Although God knows our society is trying to beat them down until they do.

I completely feel the same way. The real problem, IMHO, is that "most politicians" are considered a separate class of people. It's no longer a system By the People, Of the People. No one running actually represents those under 40, and thus most of those under 40 don't see anyone worth casting their vote. A tricky catch-22. Add to this the costs involved in running a typical campaign, and it should be obvious why we don't have a lot of 30-something gamers running for local office.

Getting more gamers to vote would certainly help, but candidates they could actually believe in would help even more.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (3, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098171)

I bet ya this will fail miserably just like the Vote or Die campaign aimed at youngsters.

Or backfire. The typical voting in gaming is whether or not to boot troublesome players out of the game whereas in politics you vote someone into office that (you think) would be better than (typically) the incumbent you want out.

Primetime TV game shows perpetuate this (voting someome off the show).

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098217)

boot troublesome players out of the game whereas in politics you vote someone into office

I think this is a legitmate problem in today's politics. If you ask the majority of voters, I bet you they will tell you that they're voting for Candidate X just because they can't stand Candidate Y. Shouldn't they be only voting for sombody because they agree with them???

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

Xichekolas (908635) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098836)

It is a problem... but frankly it is easier to determine what you don't like than what you like... especially with 20/20 Hindsight at your disposal...

A Kick-Vote system would make politicians subject to every fickle whim of the public (sheparded by the media)... In the current situation, politicians don't have to listen to voters at all, since the voters have no other choice... but with kick-voting, politicians couldn't afford to disagree with anyone... and hence would get nothing done but flip-flopping.

A better solution (albeit not easy to implement by any means) would be to give voters more choices... but good luck doing that... both major parties are more than happy to unite in order to maintain their duopoly against upstarts.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (4, Funny)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098222)

The typical voting in gaming is whether or not to boot troublesome players out of the game
I'd LOVE to see the kick-vote system in politics...

Dick Cheney has initiated a Vote to kick George (Press page-up to Vote Yes, Page Down for No)

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

Kesch (943326) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098586)

Seconded!

Kesch has initiated a vote for a regime change.

(1)Democracy (2)Anarchy (3)Benevolent Dictatorship (4)CS_Dust (5)Remain in current system

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (2, Funny)

FriendOfBagu (770778) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098685)

Except Cheney would already have been kicked for team-killing.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

Mercano (826132) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099086)

Admins can't be kicked.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16098248)

Too late to care when you are drafted to fight in imperialist wars of aggression.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

n00854180t (866096) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098326)

Not to mention the chilling fact of deliberately insecure voting terminals courtesy of Dubya's buddies(Diebold *and* ES&S).

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098361)

I like Frank Zappa's advice to the kids: run for something. School board, city council, etc.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098969)

I don't remember hearing that the vote or die failed. In fact I heard more younger voters voted in 2004 as well as older voters.

This could work if they used it like a lobby group. Keep all gamers up to date on issues and how it will effect them. Then organize some places to protest and see if anyone shows up.

Maybe make a game called "Protester" where your character has to protest in different parts of town. Then if it doesn't work they get in a car, a la GTA, and chase down the politician in a limo and get him/her to listen. Oh yeah, and there's weapons of all sorts including a rocket launcher.

Re:Vote or Die, P-Diddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16099022)

failure = their candidate lost

With Vote or Die, who was p-diddy, eminem, etc. implying you should vote for? certainly wasn't gw

Voting rules (4, Funny)

robpoe (578975) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098075)

Yeah, and the cheat code for the voting booth is

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, VOTE

That way the machine will access it's hidden firmware and convert ALL the votes to the person of your choice..

Re:Voting rules (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098091)

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, VOTE That way the machine will access it's hidden firmware and convert ALL the votes to the person of your choice..

I heard that if you find the right combination, you can get a bonus extra vote.

Re:Voting rules (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098116)

you forgot to mention the easy way of doing it, ie. unscrew it and change the flash card, it would probably be quicker

Re:Voting rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16098335)

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right,
(repeat)

Coincidentally, the same sequenece makes masturbation a lot more fun.

Please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16098354)

Tell me you don't work for Diebold? :-)

almost (0)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098077)

The drive is being managed by the ESA's Video Game Voters Network, an attempt at growing a grassroots community around the issue of games legislation.

There is already a "grassroots community", but I'm thinking it's not the kind of grass you're referring to... if you know what I mean.

Re:almost (1)

n2art2 (945661) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098483)

You don't smoke the root.

Intellectual property? (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098084)

I imagine they are going to shy away from copyright (and even patent) issues. This is the number one problem with respect to laws. Restriction rules pale in comparison.

Re:Intellectual property? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098372)

They are all First Amendment restriction issues. Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on.

KFG

The prize? (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099583)

Well that's the singularity. No questions asked.

Money (2, Insightful)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098125)

The problem I see with this is that the only reason there is any movement for pushing gamers to vote is so the industry doesn't lose out with money. No one involved in this cares about the issue as much as it's threat to their pocketbook.
I am a member of the IGDA, a developer, and I don't want to see free speech be limited any more than the next person. But when the IGDA directors started spamming my inbox last year trying to rally folks to fight against legislation for limiting game sales to minors, it didn't matter if games actually were harmful to the psychology of adolescents, it was just a perceived threat of lower sales that drove them to action.
I can agree with saving our civil rights and our artform, but I can't agree with blindly following these decisions and encouraging others to fight for it solely based on profit.

Re:Money (1)

RM6f9 (825298) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098243)

Virtual mod point!

Re:Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16098646)

Exactly. Nail on the head.

Restricting the sale of certain video games to minors is barely even a first amendment issue. But having those titles not stocked in Wal-Mart is obviously something ESA members care about because it effects their bottom line significantly.

The ESA doesn't represent gamers. It represents game companies. Trying to harness some kind of misguided gamer patriotism to kill laws that impact your sales is flat out manipulative.

Re:Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16099533)

Restricting the sale of certain video games to minors is barely even a first amendment issue.

How is it only "barely" a first amendment issue? Video games can clearly be expressive and often are. Furthermore, it is precisely the expressive qualities that many people want to limit.

Talk to a few people who would like to restrict, e.g. Grand Theft Auto, without telling them what you're looking for and see how long it is before they talk about the game "encouraging people to do X" or "sending a message that Y is okay" or "teaching children to see Z as acceptable". That's all expression.

If you want courts to restrict expressive comment then you've got to come up with something better than just "well I don't like that message" and so far people have failed to do that.

Re:Money (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098914)

Frankly... I'm happier if industry is behind this. People concerned soley with Civil Rights tend to fail, miserably. People are happy with their chains, as long as they are not too heavy. It's when big money gets involved whether from the Evangelism industry or Big Sugar that things get accomplished.

Huh? (2, Interesting)

MojoBox (985651) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098129)

Vote? Based on games? Why? The right would ban GTA because it's violent, the left because it's racist.

Besides, I've allready joined the "Re-elect Nobody" campaign.

Re:Huh? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16098239)

The right would ban GTA because it's violent, the left because it's racist.

An interesting thing to keep in mind about American politics is that the politicians are often closet supporters of that which they are the most vocal against.

Take the Republicans and some Democrats, for instance. They'll speak out very loudly against terrorism (ie. the use of fear and violence for political purposes), but then turn around and have absolutely no problem launching multiple wars against multiple nations (ie. the use of fear and violence for political purposes).

The same goes for protecting American freedom. Those politicians that speak loudest about such subjects are often the same ones voting for PATRIOT Act-style legislation that very effectively limits freedom and liberty.

When it comes to pornography, for instance, it's well known that those who are most outspoken about it are often addicts. Studies from the adult entertainment industry have shown that the region with the greatest consumption of pornography per individual includes Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, parts of Texas, and Tennessee. The traditional Bible Belt areas, if you will. Meanwhile, the same studies have shown that pornography usage per person in New England is among the lowest in America. So while we're seeing and hearing southern politicians and religious leaders condeming pornographic films and video game content, the people from their areas are by far the most significant consumers of such material. One explanation is that they're opponents of it because it helps them cope with the fact that they're addicts.

Those who speak out loudly against video game violence are often the biggest supporters, but offer such support in relative secrecy. These sorts of politicians will deliver a presentation about how terrible GTA: Vice City is, only to turn around and play it for several hours on their own PC, using a copy bought by an aide (since they didn't want to be seen purchasing such games themselves).

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16098276)

LOL. That whole thing is so full of horse manure I don't know where to begin. Grow your own brain and quit repeating what you hear in some biased media outlet.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098313)

The left would ban it for both. See Tipper Gore.

Re:Huh? (1)

capnchicken (664317) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098825)

No, no violence is fine on the right (gun laws). It's all that dirty *shudder* sex stuff.

Paul Thomson used a spellchecker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16098144)

Jon O'Neill, from Rainham in Essex, first appeared on Countdown on 1st April 2005 (no jokes, please) when he was just fifteen years old. His first opponent was one-time winner Steve Smith, who he beat quite convincingly (87-67) before going on to register a further seven wins and five centuries (including a score of 114) and thus become the third octochamp of what was to prove to be Richard Whiteley's last series of Countdown. He returned in the summer as number three seed, knocking out Judith Young in the quarter-finals, before finally coming unstuck against the eventual series winner John Mayhew on a crucial conundrum (which neither player got). Jon then returned for the twelfth Championship of Champions, where he was knocked out in the preliminary stages by Series 52 semi-finalist (and number two seed) Jack Welsby. This is Jon's very amusing account of events, written in his own inimitable style...

If I had known when posting my application form that involving myself in Countdown would change so much of my life, I'm not sure I would have had the bottle to do it. As it happened, the catalyst was a special episode broadcast between two 'starlets' - Austin Shin and Beth Sutton - around that time. I realised that I could beat my peers (albeit from the comfort of bed, with a lax dictionary), and that was a good enough indicator that I should act upon what I had said to my granddad a few months before: "I might apply to go on this in a little while". So I did post the application form, and the next Saturday I had notification of my audition.

That was the week when I finished noting down scores in my little A6 notebook. The early games in it are pretty ridiculous. I started taking notes during Series 52, and I managed to beat most of the contestants (exceptions being along of the lines of John Hunt, John Gray, Steven Moir, Mark Tournoff) with the help of a fair deal of cheating. I was only cheating myself, obviously, when I allowed words like 'aryens' (bastardization of Aryans???), 'reloans' (twice in one game!), 'unplaster' and 'palsey', but I'm sure it felt good at the time.

The audition came around quickly: late summer in a small hotel suite with no windows (the sort of place I feel like I might die in one day) along with six other nerds and a Countdown researcher - Marie Wale I think. It was a fun day, going up to King's Cross and back - missing double History to pursue my dream of national stardom. The audition was up-and-down. I started with a six that I can't remember, missing 'emphatic' for eight. Only one person in the room got it, and it was Jane Hoskyn, who would go on to post the highest losing score of the series against Chris Hunt. Life went on, and a few rounds later me and a few others were declaring 'policeman' for nine. The form continued: I beat the room with 'unroped', and nailed the three numbers games at the end.

I really had no idea how I did. I was confident that I had beaten everyone else in the room but had been reassured that this didn't mean anything, as is logical. I got a bit of an adrenaline rush from this, so when I got home I had a shower and went into school to catch the second half of double History. No idea why I did that.

Anyway, on that journey home I decided I would search the Internet for Countdown. The Hammersmith and City Line leg of the journey was a happy one. I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it before - merging my two favourite things: the Internet and Countdown. The search proved fruitful, and I ended up a member of the now extinct Yahoo! Group, 'gevincountdown'.

Eventually I made my way over to c4countdown, and immersed myself in past and future Countdown legends like Kirk Bevins and Conor Travers. It turns out that Conor auditioned on the same day as me, in the same place! He would later go on to achieve notability of some form, despite being hideously ugly.

I loved the community's atmosphere, got everyone's MSN address and never looked back. The part played by the c4countdown community was paramount. On a simple level, we played plenty of games over the Internet so I got lots of practise and learnt new words - the first games I remember playing were against Conor and a weird character named "Zef", who was later revealed to be Paul Thompson, a scrabbler. We all played eachother, in short versions of the game, and in six letters rounds I didn't managed to score a point. Now I know Conor is a great player, but it's more than likely that "Zef" was using some kind of online cheating device, as he exhibited great skill for someone who hasn't appeared on the show. Also, I was given a source of motivation when I heard about the greats - Julian Fell, Harvey Freeman, Scott Mearns - I wanted to be one of these; to achieve notoriety amongst people who shared my own passion. And even more than that, I got help from Soo Reams who wrote a few programs for me to practise with in return for sexual favours.

It was discussion with these people that led me to learn the methodology laid out by Jerry Humphreys on picking "four from the top" in the numbers game. The basic theory is that you can use particular rules and techniques for the four large numbers which your opponent will likely not know so as to press home the numerical advantage. The methods are ridiculously daunting for a newcomer like I was, but I persevered with my ultimate ambition of becoming the next Julian Fell, and I set up a practise spreadsheet with random small numbers and target. I would go into the library of a school morning, print out a hundred problems on ten or so pages, then do them before registration. After school I would go and print another wad and do them at home. Soo Reams doesn't believe me, but I reckon I managed to do about 10,000 problems in total over a five or six month period, and it would go on to pay off in one of my heats; more of which later.

Anyway, recordings. I got my recording date and it was late January, but I was the very last game in a block of recording - if I won I would have to return in March. So I went up to Leeds on my own (it's my own adventure, p**s off Mum), and spent some of the most boring nights of my life there. Seriously, aspiring contestants, take something to do. Take money and buy some porn from the hotel TV, because if you don't you might end up spending three nights showering for entertainment. Yes, some of the most boring nights of my life, and some of the cleanest.

When I went to the studio I heard about Tanmay Dixit, a very young boy who won a couple of games the day before. He got plenty of press attention for it, as well. There were a lot of people in the YTV reception and they seemed a bit bemused that I was there on my own. Anyway, some nice people ushered us all through to the green room (now red) and briefed us on all the mandatory Health and Safety stuff. After this I hung up my shirts in the dressing room and the wardrobe lady came and disallowed a mental Hawaiian shirt that I took as an afterthought. I later wore it in the "hot seat", a now defunct feature that only really exists to intimidate the next day's contestant. A few hours later, I was there muttering some stupid words to Whiteley in my first ten seconds of fame. After that it was time for food in the cafeteria, which as it happens is really nice; nicer than my school one at least. I ate alone; most of the other contestants were 40+ and I was a mere fifteen. They didn't care about the Power Rangers and I didn't care about weak bladders, so we shared no common ground.

Soon enough though it was time for me to change shirts and get the show on the road. At this point I was not just shaking with nerves, but convulsing. Once I stepped into the studio though, it was like everyone who worked for YTV was there solely to calm me down. I was ushered into my seat alongside a nice guy called Steve Smith, and we were miked up. Whiteley and Vorderman came in and warmed up the crowd, while Susie Dent (the star of the show in my eyes) made her customary understated entrance to the studio. A few more angst-ridden minutes later and the theme music was running, applause, and then we were on. I can't remember what happened until the first round, where I got the eight 'watering', but Steve missed it. I blanked in round two, missing 'cattle', but won round three with 'triplane' and round four with 'toxins', though missing 'oxidants'. I ended up the first half in the lead 32-16, and all the nerves were as good as gone. In fact, I relaxed, and didn't play particularly well at all for the rest of the game. Still, I ended up winning by twenty points despite fluffing the easiest conundrum ever, failing to transpose one letter of the scramble 'tinclemen'.

And that was it, I was Countdown champion. I don't remember feeling particularly elated at all, but that could have been because I had another crap night (three more showers) and a six-hour journey the next day to look forward to. A week later, I attended the very first congregation of the online Countdown community - an event named COLIN (COuntdown in LINcoln) organised and hosted by Ben Wilson. It was here where I met the people I aspired to be: Tom Hargreaves, Stewart Holden, Chris Wills, Kirk Bevins. I ended up playing averagely and coming about twelfth, but I got a teapot for finishing highest of people who had not yet appeared on the show (I was a marginal member of this group).

The second batch of recordings rolled around pretty soon and I made the familiar journey up to Leeds. I got there the night before and had a customarily high number of showers and a Pot Noodle. Next morning I went up to the studios - the same routine as before, and before I knew it I was sitting in the champion's chair next to Nicholas Owen and Susie Dent, ready to face Peter Wallis. I had another strong start, winning the first round with 'enactor' and, despite a couple of slip-ups, managed to pull away with 'astroids' and 'fairest'. I was unassailable by the conundrum, but I got 'radiation' in four seconds anyway.

Next up was a quiet Scottish chap called William Moore, and despite not seeing 'loricas' in round one, he managed to get a lead through 'enables' and 'juniors' in rounds two and three. This would be the only time I was trailing in the heats, and I managed to stay focused and hit straight back with a nine, 'tampering'. It was a great feeling, which was equalled a round later when I managed to go up to 9,100 and back down to 364 in a four large numbers game. A few rounds later I was celebrating again with 'redacting', which William didn't get. I got a bit carried away and tried 'entrailed' in round twelve, but it was disallowed by Susie (it's valid in Scrabble, and is also in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary of English - pfft). Still, I had won quite comfortably even before I managed to unshuffle the conundrum, 'colliding', in one second.

My favourite opponent of the heats was Ola Odutola, a broadband support worker or something, who I still play Scrabble with from time to time. He was probably one of the better opponents as well, though the 102-46 scoreline didn't reflect his quality. At the end of the first half I was winning 39-7, with a little help from the aforementioned defining Countdown moment for me. In round five I picked the trademark four from the top, and two small numbers - they were 25, 50, 75, 100, 1 and 10. The target was 813. Quite quickly I managed 811 by ( 75 + ( 100 + 50 / 25 ) ) x 10 + 1, and as an afterthought I tried one of Jerry's techniques, and the least useful: the rule of 937.5. The rule itself is simple enough: ( 75 x 25 ) / ( 100 / 50 ) = 937.5; its application in this case was rather more difficult. Nevertheless I saw it, declared 813 (I could tell Carol didn't have it) and did (Carol's comments paraphrased in brackets):

75 - 10 = 65. ( " Yeeees... " ) 65 x 25 = 1625. ("Hahaha... what next?") 1625 + 1 = 1626. ("What!!!") 1626 x 50 = 81,300. ("LOLOL" - she was in hysterics by this point) 81,300 / 100 = 813.

Took her a while to check it, but it's right. Another one-second conundrum later I was on four wins, and in cruise control with back-to-back centuries.

That afternoon I extended my record to six wins, and four consecutive centuries. They had students in the audience, and a few of them seemed to like me from what I could gauge afterwards, though I think I was a bit of a twat. Perhaps it was because of my age. Everyone loves to see a youngster winning, as in the case of Tanmay Dixit and since, Conor Travers; I don't think it was as pronounced in my case though, because even though I'm only a year older than Conor, I'm three feet taller, not to mention eighteen times sexier. Speaking of which, come finals time, Whiteley mentioned that I had "had a lot of fan mail". For the curious, "a lot" consists of a fourteen-year-old bisexual girl and some other girl who I've spoken to once since. And not to mention, some bloke on the 365 bus who asked me, "How did you feel when Richard Whiteley died?" How do you think I felt, you bloody idiot? So yeah, who said Countdown isn't glamorous?

The next day I managed to get 114 points before retiring on a sub-century score of 94 against the charming Gary McEnaney, who pipped me to the conundrum 'centipede', which is tough, so well done to him. In spite of that, I was an octochamp and would be returning for the series finals as a high seed (eventually three). This was where the elation set in. In the shower that evening I thought, "I'm an octochamp" so I had a little dance (no music), and decided that I would bring a guest to the finals so I would have someone to dance with.

In school the week when my shows were aired I got a frank chat from the head teacher, Mr. Smith (who would later be a part of the cash-for-peerages scandal), which was nice. I also got my picture in the local paper (adjacent to another article, headlined 'GOAT ALIBI IN COURT') and even the Daily Express, who contacted me through the school - the article was full of fabrication, of course. To my delight they mentioned the above numbers game but claimed that I "sat back after three seconds and watched the clock tick by" which just isn't true. I guess worse lies could've been printed; I should be grateful they didn't dig up the details of my affair with Carol Vorderman.

For the finals I took Gary Male, a Series 51 semi-finalist and general good guy who now owns the c4countdown group. I fell asleep in the hotel room when I was supposed to be meeting him but he didn't mind, and we played lots of Scrabble. He won most of them. I think we saw a few other finalists in the hotel lobby that evening but I'm not too sure.

One place I definitely saw them was the green room the next morning. I was up third, and after a couple of close games it was me and Judith Young, the only female octochamp since like, ever. The game was pretty unspectacular - I went ahead with 'poxiest' and 'mikados' but was pegged back by 'fannies'. I extended my lead with 'encodes' and a numbers game where I got up to 5075. Missed 'searched' and the conundrum, but it didn't matter: I was through to the semi-final with a 90-74 win.

My opponent would be John Mayhew, a Scrabbler who had produced some good performances in his heats despite not being particularly well-received on the forum, or within my family ("he's cocksure", insisted my nanna). Still, I didn't mind him, but I didn't fancy my chances in a game of Countdown. I won the coin-toss for the advantage of two numbers games, and the next morning we were going at it. Five draws later it was the end of the first half and the score was 36-36; I was happy with this, because I had a potential 20 points to come with the numbers games. I didn't risk 'profaned' in round six which would've bagged me an eight point lead, so I decided to go for it in round nine with 'likable', which after some initial negativity Susie allowed. An impossible numbers game saw me extend my lead with seven more points. I was fourteen ahead with five rounds to play, and after that I can't really remember anything happening, but I know what did - I missed 'inshore' and 'theorems' and suddenly I was a point behind with two rounds to go.

At this point I guess everyone expected me to pick four from the top and get back into the lead, but I didn't. In practice I was susceptible to missing the odd easy four from the top game, and in the situation, the only way I would not be on a crucial conundrum was if I lost the round by ten. So I stuck with one from the top. I didn't consider that the conundrum might go unsolved, as it eventually did, after we drew the easy one from the top game.

So I was out. I had a genuine feeling that the staff and crowd were going for me, and I had let them down. I was pretty angry with myself for losing my concentration in the third half, and squandering a great lead. I was a bit light-headed for a while after; I couldn't really believe I'd messed it up, but my spirits were lifted after the grand final (Mayhew went on to win: losing to the eventual winner is no consolation) when Damian promised I would be back for a Champion of Champions tournament.

Of course everything didn't run smoothly; the opposite. To everyone's surprise Richard Whiteley died during the airing of the finals. I can only reflect the sentiments of everyone else in saying how excellent a presenter Whiteley was, and what a privilege it was to work with the great man. He is missed.

When things were back to normal, though, with Des Lynam as the presenter, Damian fulfilled his promise and I was invited back to participate in what would prove to be the greatest exhibition of Countdown skill ever. I was due to play Jack Welsby, a semi-finalist in Series 52, a series of far higher quality than my own. This time Gary Male was participating, so the space of guest was free. I decided to take my two best friends, Katie and Liam, and we shared a double bed between the three of us all week. This was far more entertaining than showering, and indeed Scrabble with Gary. Sorry Gary.

The whole Champion of Champions experience was brilliant for me. From the moment I walked into the reception of YTV to the moment Paul Gallen solved 'pepperoni' to lift the cup I was having a brilliant time. Meeting the legends from before I started watching that I had heard so much about (Chris Cummins, John Davies), and those that I had admired from home (Mark Tournoff, Paul Gallen) was a really exciting experience, even without the added interest of some potential games of Countdown. The defining moment of CoC for me (and probably some others) was before recordings one morning when the bunch of us were sitting around the green room TV with nothing to watch but Pingu. I don't want to get sidetracked by its intricate plot, but this is basically what happened: Pingu gets pooped on by a pigeon, and he says "NOOT NOOT" because he is angry; then he gets pooped on by the same pigeon, so he says "NOOT NOOT" because he is angry; then some mental lobster tries killing the pigeon, but Pingu is all "NOOT" and saves the pigeon's life; then the pigeon poops on Pingu again, and Pingu says "NOOT NOOT". Perhaps it was the comic relief of a high level of tension that caused us all to laugh so hard, but I think it's probably just how funny the script was, and how funny it was that the crème de le crème of Countdown ability agreed.

So it was me and Jack Welsby squaring off in the first round of the Champion of Champions. I had a brilliant start, spotting 'seaboard' straight away and relaxing for 25 seconds before realising that there is no 'd' in the selection. So what do I do? Yeah, I offer a word with a 'd' in that is shorter than Jack's 'amoebas' anyway. Things went from bad to worse in round 9, after seven equal rounds, when I missed 'senarii', a word which I knew. Still, in round 10 I pulled myself back into it with a four from the top numbers game, missing the target but being closer than Jack. Carol showed the way, and I was beginning to regret not practising enough - it was the first time Carol had beaten me on a four from the top numbers game. In round eleven I missed 'tautened' and 'talented' - I kicked myself under the table and uttered some swear words under my breath, which Des heard and was much amused by.

The moment I regret most occurred in the following round. We both missed the relatively easy nine 'prospered', both opting for 'reposed'. But I had 'preposed' written down, bottling out at the last minute - turns out it is valid. The more I think about it now, the more I think I can remember having seen it somewhere, though that could be just a trick of the mind. Nevertheless it cost me, because I was unable to take advantage of my last numbers game (Carol beat me again, grrr), and despite seeing 'profanity' in a second, lost by five points.

And that was it for me and televised Countdown. I'm glad I lost to Jack, though, because I would've been furious to lose against someone who wasn't better than me, and I didn't play terribly in that game. Still, if you lose, it's not the winning that counts. Anyway, it's not over: I still play a lot of Countdown online and in unofficial tournaments.

If you haven't applied yet, then I would advise you to wait until you feel you are good enough to reach the finals before you do so. Ratings are up since Lynam took over, so Countdown is going nowhere: you have all the time in the world to become good at Countdown, so make the most of it, and you will ultimately make the most of your Countdown experience.
Jon O'Neill

Re:Paul Thomson used a spellchecker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16098384)

That looked interesting, but I read the first few lines and got bored. What's the gist of it? Have you had a breakdown?

Simple way to get gamers to vote (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098153)

Port Halo to the Diebold voting machines.

When geeks vote? (1)

HatchedEggs (1002127) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098154)

Uh oh Washington... when the geeks get out and start voting, you had better watch out.

Er, so who are you guys going to vote for?

Re:When geeks vote? (1)

Brothernone (928252) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098425)

I will vote for Krillgore the Overlord. Twice.

Re:When geeks vote? (1)

capnchicken (664317) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098863)

I'm going to vote for Kodos, I just don't trust that Kang fellow and I'm certainly not going to throw my vote away on some third party.

Who would they vote for? (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098157)

Both major parties are anti-video gamer. The Democrats are actually even worse here on "morality" than the Republicans, but the bottom line is that neither party is a good vote on this issue.

If you want them to make a difference, have them en masse vote Libertarian at the local level. That's where most of the "decency" legislation is really passed and enforced.

Re:Who would they vote for? (2, Informative)

NineNine (235196) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098216)

If you want them to make a difference, have them en masse vote Libertarian at the local level.

You're right. Unfortunately, my state (NC) has decided that it's illegal [lpnc.org] to either be a registered Libertarian or to put Libertarian candidates on the ballot.

Unfortunately, this country is so completely corrupt, and the government is so powerful, that it's really too late for voting to be any more than an empty gesture.

Re:Who would they vote for? (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098982)

What. The. ??. I'm in NC. The state didn't decide it was "illegal" to put Libertarian candidates on the ballot, the state has ballot access requirements that apply to all parties. We're not being singled out because we're libertarian, we're singled out because we can't get 2 percent of the voters to agree that we're a party worth voting for. If we're less than 2 percent, then why the hell should we be on the ballot?

(Note: this is only my opinion as applied in the insanely stupid current election method of plurality "vote for one of these" which is among the worst possible systems. If NC had Condorcet or approval voting then hell make the bar 0.5 percent and bring on the 6-candidate races. Otherwise we *will* end up with more Perots, Buchanans, and Naders, and thus election results that do not match the people's true choice.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoiler_effect [wikipedia.org]

In short: even parties with 5, 10, even 15 percent support can have only a negative effect on the outcome of a general single-winner election where there are multiple clear favorites -- negative because of the candidates that might win, the 5-10 percent "noise" is likely to have the effect only of negatively affecting the voice of the people in actually picking the person who will actually hold office.

I am a registered NC "Independent" and have voted Libertarian in several election races. We need to get rid of plurality voting, and/or provide a run-off election with 2 choices for all races with more than 2 candidates, and then my support of the "ballot blocking" policies of NC will disappear like a fart in the wind. Until then it is, to me, a necessary barrier to duct-tape the FUBAR nature of our voting system.

Re:Who would they vote for? (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098334)

If you want them to make a difference, have them en masse vote Libertarian at the local level.

Mod the parent up. I was going to say the same thing. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats support pro-gamer issues. I wonder if the ESA realizes that. I'm going to send them an email about it, but the only major political party that is pro-gamer is the Libertarian party.

Re:Who would they vote for? (1)

zulater (635326) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098367)

+1 for Libertarians Neither of them (R or D) care about what middle america wants. They want to appease the people that got them in office. Pass do nothing legislation that stifles creativity in the name of morality. While I am a Christian I realize that we are not a theocracy. Legislation morality is not a thing to do.

Re:Who would they vote for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16098968)

No kidding, libertarians are the only politicians that I have ever heard say that they don't want to pass laws governing the consenting actions of people within their own homes (videogames, sodomy, smoking dope, guns, etc.).

Republicans love wiretaps and other intrusive measures. They like to define civil rights to exclude search and seizure and speech against national security.

Democrats love to squash groups like at Waco and Ruby Ridge as well as defining civil rights to exclude gun ownership and hate speech.

The sad truth of the matter is that we in the US wouldn't have the freedoms we currently have if both parties weren't always so deadlocked. A Democrat or Republican supermajority would be a very scary thing. The best that we can hope for is for some Democrats and Republicans to secretly convert to libertarians (philosophically, not to the official LP) while running under their old party's ticket.

Re:Who would they vote for? (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098803)

This is the fundamental reason why I haven't voted since Bush, Sr.: lesser of two evils.

Whoever gets elected, regardless of party affiliation, they will be corrupt, owned by the big dollar lobbyists (petroleum, pharmaceuticals) and basically just a puppet for the congressmen.

Now voting on the congressional level CAN make a difference, but so many of them are only there to push their own agendas and approve their own pay increases that it's pointless.

Re:Who would they vote for? (1)

illspirit (957034) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099089)

That's not entirely true. The industry has lobbied the crap out of a number of Republicans. Jeb Bush [livejournal.com] is in a video game. George Allen and Rick Santorum [livejournal.com] have partnered with the ESRB to promote education instead of legislation. The conservative Progress and Freedom Foundation [pff.org] is against the censorship of games and have testified before Congress in support of the industry. Even Dubya, in all his theocratic zealotry, has said that government shouldn't be involved in what parents let their kids play (can't find the source there). And then of course there's the fact the fundamentalists are making their own [leftbehindgames.com] violent games now. There's plenty more examples where these came from.

Now, this isn't to say they're all on "our side" (or that anyone should myopically vote for them on this one issue), but statistically speaking, this issue belongs to the Democrats. Nearly every piece of anti-game legislation in the last two years at the state level has been penned by Democrats; and Clinton, Lieberman, and (to a lesser degree) Bayh are leading the charge at the Federal level. For what it's worth, this is actually one area where most Republicans are still true to their claimed desire for less government. 'Tis probably too little, too late, but, err, yea.

Re:Who would they vote for? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099276)

"..have them en masse vote Libertarian at the local level."

great way to waste a vote.

Libertarianism is anti-society.

Everyone knows... (2, Funny)

aliendisaster (1001260) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098195)

Voting doesn't work anyway. The Illuminati makes all the decisions about who's in charge. And if they votes are different than what they want, they create "voting errors".

One step further (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098203)

What would be a great addition to this would be to publish a list of politicians (senators, house members, district members, judges, goveners, etc...) that are on one side or the other of this debate.

-Rick

voting (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16098206)

votekick bush

if that fails, we might be forced to:
votemap canada

Re:voting (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098850)

Awesome! Wish I had modpoints.

Get those polls to the gamers! (3, Funny)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098257)

Now if you could vote from your game!!! now that would work!

Quest Giver...

!

Vote
Election magistrate wants you to collect information on 6 candidates and return them to him!

Candidate Information 0/6


Rewards:
Voter registration Card

Re:Get those polls to the gamers! (1)

AhtirTano (638534) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098662)

Sometimes I feel like getting the truth about a candidate/issue is like some kind of covert ops mission. And sometimes while I'm searching for any shred of honesty, I get irritable and just want to shoot someone working on the campaigns--just like in a game when you can't find the secret door, so you start shooting the innocent civilians to vent.

Play For Real (3, Insightful)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098286)

I tried playing that game a couple of time before. I keep dying a few levels in.

There are two unlocked characters to play from the start, but they're virtually identical. There are other characters, but I've yet to be able to unlock any of them. And there is no way to switch characters between levels, which would've been nice.

The controls are sluggish; it seems to take forever to get anything done in the game. There appears to be a controller glitch because the characters often do not go in the direction you are pressing. The Jump and Fire buttons work sporadically, and sometimes switch for some reason. It seems the only thing you're really meant to do is turn the game on; the controls are that bad.

The graphics are really flashy, but the story-line is pretty shallow and cliched. It's not much fun at all.

My rating: 2/10

When common sense has a voice more will vote (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098421)

Unfortunately for folks in middle the money seems to lie on the far left and right ends of the spectrum and money gets votes. The middle where I truly believe most people's beliefs lie are largely ignored. I still vote, mostly libertarian but usuall just the person I feel is best for the job but even I know that im basically pissing away my ballot.

What we really need is a "grassroots" party without the crazy people.

Wasted votes. (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098465)

Thats the problem with getting people to vote, first they need some education on who/what to vote for.

And with the republican/democrate duocracy, you always vote for someone evil. Both want to ban your rights, but for different reasons. Its a shame, we need more independants and other parties to start winning...

And top it off, all the bi-partisan politics, no progress ever gets made.

Tis a sad state of affairs.

It could work (2, Insightful)

whoisearth (1002000) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098476)

Here's to the effort put into getting this age group to vote. It's been tried numerous times though. Rock the vote was the most recent. Voter turnouts continue to plummet and obviously something is not being done to change this.

Getting gamers to put their voice in their vote isn't guaranteed to work. There is a disconnect between youth and voting and the underlying issues aren't being addressed.

Vote or Die! Oh wait! (1)

Intangible Fact (1001781) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098478)

So now they are using video games to ge through to non-voters? Whats next? Oh I know, they will move on to music and movies. So in between tracks 6 & 7 and 11 & 12 will have subliminal messages about political candidates. Before election *I love games* After election *Screw games*

Majority Not Eligible To Vote (1)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098481)

12 year olds can't vote in the US.

Give it up already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16098497)

Play for Real? It's unfortunate that their slogan is so brutally honest (more so than they know). I think the biggest problem here is that everyone already knows it's a game. It's just not very compelling to 'play' it.

Maybe I'm not getting this all correctly... (1)

ajenteks (943860) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098502)

Isn't most of the "anti-gaming legislation" being passed in regards to keeping "violent" games out of the hands of the precious children? People who can't already be bothered to vote aren't likely to start doing so in the interests of others, and quite frankly I don't think most 18-29 yr. olds give a shit as nobody is passing laws saying they can't buy games. I vote, and I understand that being quiet can end up getting me burned in the long run, but not everyone sees it that way. This move just seems like a bad carrot on a stick in front a well-fed horse that sees no reason to act.

A better way (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098522)

I have been involved in grass-roots efforts for many years. I can tell you it is hard to get real change through voting. Doesn't seem to matter if the Republicans are in control or if the Democrats are in control, the country still moves in the same direction (same direction...just at different speeds depending on which one has control at the time). A thrid party in control might actually get something good done, but the chances of that are about none.

A better method would be to form a lobby group and buy off a few key politicians. If just a tiny fraction of the over 1 billion dollars made from PC game sales alone went to buy off, errr lobby, the politicians, it would be an enormous amount of money (and that is just the money from PC games, not console sales and/or console games see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game [wikipedia.org] ).

Transporter_ii

Re:A better way (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099098)

a better method would be to form a lobby group and buy off a few key politicians

The key politicians, the committee chairman, the party leaders, the presidential hopefuls, have bigger fish to fry.

Quickly, now:

Show me a conressional district in which the video game industry is important. as an employer. as a taxpayer. a cultural icon. a magnet for business.

Now show me a district where the anti-GTA vote is not strong. No evangelical churches, No soccer moms. No ethnic or racial inner-city minorities. No place where gang violence, teen violence, is not a concern.

A district that ranks somewhat higher on the fever charts than Nowhere, Nebraska.

Re:A better way (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099262)

I think you made my point, it isn't going to happen by voting, it is going to happen with money, and lots of it, changing hands. Sadly, it has become the American way. Do you think there are actually politicians that care about adding a broadcast flag to consumer recording devices? No. The reason stuff like that gets passed is because the RIAA lobbied/paid for it. Congressmen are supposed to represent their home district, but how many people do you know that would want their congressman to vote in a broadcast flag that stops something that have done for a decade or more with no restrictions? So it is painfully clear the lobbying and bribery works, we just need to be doing something concrete by offering more money...not dreaming about getting enough votes to make...well, actually no difference even if we got said vote.

Transporter_ii

Re:A better way (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099861)

I can think of a few places that might qualify. Redmond/Seattle WA, for instance, or Austin, TX. But... yeah, generally you're spot-on.

No Matter (1)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098700)

It doesn't matter...politicians like to grab ahold of your passion (Golfing, Gaming, Autos, Soccer Mom, Mortgage Mom, religion, environment) and pull your strings to get your vote in their direction. When they get in, they go back to their own agendas...or until the lobbyists pay them to have a different agenda.

Just read your candidates records (they are all public) don't listen to their opponents,and make the educated guess and vote for the candidate you feel represents your views.

Your feelings shouldn't play in the voting process, your character does. Don't let these moron politicians play your drums.

IF YOU VOTE IN THE GAME... (1)

dmcooper (899820) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098755)

YOU VOTE FOR REAL.

From the makers of 'Stay Alive' comes 'Stay Political'

yes: but who to vote for (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098770)

The Democrats, who want to place restrictions on games for various "social issues" reasons, or the Republicans, who want to place restrictions on games for religious reasons? I guess you go with the Democrats, because you can at least reason with them...?

Interesting theory. (1)

gettingbraver (987276) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098876)

But, their votes will just be Diebolded.

Personally, I am in the dissillusioned category like most people today. I vote, but am not sure that it means anything. From what I have read and researched, the software needs to be open-source. Or better yet, go back to paper ballots.

Voting is a good thing (1)

IamWhoIam (998642) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098878)

Granted to many voting is a useless act. They use the excuse why bother nothing will change. This is exactly what those that are in power count on to hold power. The fewer people that vote insure that these corrupt bastards stay in power. The solution you ask??? Simple, run for office yourself on any level and get all of your unregistered friends to register and vote for you. This will encourage others to do the same thing, this is the first step to true reform. It will not happen over night, nothing really does, but if we keep at it things will slowly change. The second solution is to become Gates rich and just buy the corrupt bastards then tell them which laws you want passed or not.

Only time I've seen this work... (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 8 years ago | (#16098926)

In the late 80's or early 90's, Nacogdoches, TX was a dry town. It's also the home of Stephen F. Austin University. Students living there, on campus or just in the town, are able to vote if they register in that county. The student population is about the same as the residential population.
The city had an election of whether or not the city/county should remain dry (no alcohol sold outside of private clubs) or become wet (beer, liquor, stores, restaurants, etc.)

Almost all of the SFA students registered and voted. Nacogdoches became and has remained wet ever since.

This promotion could work if it's done properly and gamers/geeks see there could be some benefit if they took action. I haven't voted since 1988, but if I thought it'd make a difference, I would.

I wish they'd get online voting secure and unhackable.

Don't blame me... (1)

Mercano (826132) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099127)

Don't blame me, I voted for dod_colmar.

Which ESA? (1)

Nuffsaid (855987) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099260)

I don't get it. Does the European Space Agency allow gamers to drive its huge Ariane rockets with joypads?

Technical solution to a social problem (1)

PurifyYourMind (776223) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099549)

While I think the gaming/geek crowd could be a vocal threat to dumb legislation (just look at the response any time DRM, RIAA, etc. stuff is posted here), but I just don't trust voting and think maybe there's a much simpler solution.

If there are concerns about sex, violence, or language in games being sold, maybe publishers could release a santized version to stores that could be unlocked (with some kind of low-hassle age verification, like a $1 credit card charge) online later. I know, it wouldn't work well for consoles that aren't as network friendly as PCs and probably for other reasons I'm missing... but it's a thought.

Register for Real! (1)

TLouden (677335) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099792)

I just tried to register in Colorado (I haven't registered yet and live in Colorado, so this makes sense) but came across a slight problem or two:
a) last four of SSN is selected as the prefered option but the colorado form indicates that you must use drivers license if you have one
b) you can not use drivers license because the form won't accept a license of the proper length
c) there is no contact informatino for the maintainers of the site (not easily accessable at least) to inform them of such issues.

What's worse? Registering by web in colorado doesn't use SSL. Last time I tried, downloading the paper form wasn't possible (bad link).

I want to register, really, I do.

Problem with voting (1)

n0w0rries (832057) | more than 8 years ago | (#16099929)

The reason more people vote for american idol then local government is because on american idol at least some of the candidates are worth voting for!

If you want more people to vote, they need to focus on getting quality candidates instead of all the crooks!
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