ECA boss Hal Halpin says that the politicians who question him flat-out admit that they know their bills are unconstitutional and will never pass - and yet waste taxpayer money with them anyway.
Until the Supreme Court agreed to review "Schwarzenegger vs. EMA," all types of anti-game legislation had one thing in common: They had all been struck down by courts as unconstitutional.
And yet, ECA president Hal Halpin told The Escapist, politicians keep bringing them up. While early bills might have been motivated from a genuine desire to help, the recent ones are for nothing more than political posturing - and Halpin said he's been flat-out told as much when he goes in to testify to committees.
A fair amount of those people, in the beginning, were doing so because they were in the right place and motivated from heartfelt feelings. But after the same bills keep getting rejected over and over and overturned over and over, it came to the point where I was testifying and the committees would say in advance that they knew what they were doing was perfectly not constitutional, that it wasn't going to pass muster, but that they had some questions for me anyway.
The committee members would refer to him as the "paid lobbyist from New York" to let their public know that he was from the "'evil' part of the country," said Halpin (who is from Connecticut). Instead of wasting taxpayer money on bills that they know will never pass, Halpin argued that they should spend that money to do "truly objective, longitudinal studies that are encompassing everything in entertainment."
"Let's see how media is impacting not just children, but adolescents and adults and everybody ... [the] whole last 70 percent of all of those bills were motivated from the wrong place. How do you counter that? How do you say 'stop wasting our money and our time and instead spend that money on research'? Fund your own state colleges and state universities to be able to do these studies instead of wasting all of our time and money on this."
"That message gets lost pretty quickly when there's cameras and it's re-election time."
To read more, check out our full interview with the ECA's Hal Halpin.