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Joshua Hong continues pursuit of Governor's seat

Rubi Bayer, @@rubi_

We heard some interesting news from GamersFirst CEO Joshua Hong at the beginning of the month, when he announced his plan to run for Governor of California under the "Free2Play" flag. The timing of his announcement combined with his stated intent to bring Free2Play to all Californians led many to think it was some elaborate April Fool's prank. Of course, we know now that Hong was serious about his bid for office.

He remains serious in this pursuit now, having released "The 3 Tent Poles of Free2Play." While at first glance, the concept sounds a bit like "free MMOs for everyone," it's simply a platform based on the ideal concepts and goals behind free-to-play gaming: "The basis of the Free2Play model is to put gamers first. My premise for Free2Play in California is to put Californians first!"

Hong expands on the goals of his campaign and promises more details to come, but he was kind enough to elaborate on the three cornerstones of them for us right away. Follow along after the jump for a detailed look at what Free2Play is all about.

3 Tent poles of Free2Play


· Putting Californians First – Free2Play puts the needs of the voter first. Listening and integrating voter information is a basic premise for the Free2Play platform. This means putting Californians first in every decision that is made and assessing how it will affect all social groups within the state. This includes issues of education, employment, economy, etc.

· Education - The video games industry brings the experience of virtual learning to the education circuit. There are many education benefits in online gaming, especially massively multiplayer games (MMO's), where you can interact with a global audience. Education in MMO's is inherent; you have to learn how to work in groups, be a leader or part of a community, manage money and much more. Essentially, online gaming can teach a budding entrepreneur the nature of business. The Free2Play position will be that of promoting technology in education to make classroom learning more technologically advanced, but also capable of virtual learning tools as well. By integrating virtual tools, new 3D technology and educational software; schools can cut costs for field trips or guest speakers and create a diverse and interactive education environment right in the classroom. With the abundance of technology companies from Northern to Southern California; Joshua will use his background from the global video game business to introduce new and advanced forms into the California education system.

· Infrastructure – With the 7th largest economy, California still does not have an advanced technology infrastructure in place. Joshua is devoted to invest in Telecom and build out California's infrastructure to reflect our position in the global economy. Joshua would like to see free Wi-Fi access to the Internet in all the major cities and towns of California before his term as Governor is complete.


· Accountability – Unfortunately, California has a long history of managing issues in hindsight. Our past Governments have forgotten to act proactively. Who is responsible for the glitches? This campaign will promote accountability and regular reporting for every level of the California state government. Information on processes, our state budget, the deficit; should be available and known for all to increase accountability and in result improve performance from our officials; including the position of Governor. California needs a Governor and not a Governator!!

· Metrics-driven – All government processes should be driven by metrics. In the Free2Play business model; we closely follow metrics to be able to make adjustment wherever and whenever needed. This allows us to direct and manage the budget, income, and performance of each game. This same concept can be applied towards California's state processes.

· Transparency – There should be a common level of transparency in our California system. Californians need to be paranoid about transparency in their elected Government. The Free2Play movement gives its full support to free information and preserving the first amendment rights across all platforms. Joshua will implement an open information policy similar to that of "Forums" in virtual worlds; where information will be shared and criticisms and suggestions will be received. This will make it easier to create a diplomatic decision-making process.

Plurality (not Plutocracy)

· Giving power back to the people - Instead of having the power distributed in the hands of a few, the Free2Play platform will distribute the power of decision amongst all. Information is a birthright of all citizens and should not be a privilege in the hands of the top 5% of California's plutocracy.

· Reversing the Triangle – rather creating a top down approach to leadership, Joshua Hong will be promoting a bottom up platform that will allow all Californian's to be the decision makers and government officials to be the workers to carry out the requests. We need to take some direction from the people that are directly affected by our processes and incorporate their feedback, input and concerns to carry out the appropriate actions.

· Equality – Every Californian should have an equal voice and an equally loud "speakerphone" to get their voice heard. At GamersFirst whether you pay for a premium membership or have a Free2Play account, every customer gets the same level of customer service. We should conduct California the same way to really rally the goodwill of the general population.

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