By most accounts, the video-game conference nonpareil, E3, has been a wash this year. Resident Evil 5, Gears of War 2, etc., etc. all met expectations, although I would have enjoyed them just as much during my usual clicks around IGN.com.
So, why bother wasting your precious blog-reading time? Because in case you didn't feel the shift in the Dark Side of the Force toward the west, Rick Perry was in LA for E3 to remind everybody that Texas is handing out money to gaming firms who are willing to brave the unrelenting heat. Heat that is clearly getting to Perry's head as he uttered groaners like, "I congratulate this growing industry on its success, and invite further expansion in Texas where the barbecue is hot and the video gaming is even hotter." Ugh!
That's not to say that shameless promotion isn't the order of the day at this thing; it's just that when Sony does it, they do it with a kick-ass digital explosion or malformed zombie on a big screen behind them.
He may be an embarrassment, but at least he's there and at least Texas offers incentives to video game developers – one of roughly 10 states that does. The film incentives package, approved just over a year ago, was long overdue, but the inclusion of digital arts in the handout was forward thinking. Actually, "Forward thinking" might be pushing it; "recent-past thinking," maybe. It's not like the gaming industry landed in Texas a year ago. Maybe Perry finally decided to start getting Wii Fit or more likely began anonymously trolling virtual worlds in search of a warmer political environment.
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