Apr 3rd 2018 by vonguard • 14 Questions • 1671 Points
My name is Quang Do and I am the first Asian-American immigrant running for the Alabama State House. I'm also the first public high school educator (I teach 12th Grade AP Gov and Politics) to run in nearly 25 years.
Our platform is simple: Educate, Reform, Empower.
If we want to be genuine about fixing our education system we have to reform what's happening outside the classroom to empower our families to fix what's happening inside of it.
You can take a kid from an inner city school and move him to the suburbs but nothing changes if that single parent still has to work 60-80 hours a week and can't support their kids education, nothing changes if that parent gets sick and the kid has to pick up extra shifts at work to help pay the bills because their jobs don't provide health insurance, nothing changes if the car breaks down and there is not a public transit system to help get the kids to school.
Our primary opponent has received over $300,000 (for a state legislative seat!!!) From corporations and super-pacs. We have made a committment to not accept a dollar from any special interest groups and stand by that committment. But we need your help!
Please feel free to share with anyone who might be interested in our fight to #DoBetterFor55 and Alabama.
Here is an interview with a local political podcast https://youtu.be/KNpQmU7bbxw for a more in depth look of our platform.
You can view our campaign fundraising page at www.crowdpac.com/c/quangdofordistrict55
I look forward to hearing from you and answering your questions!
Edit: some great questions so far! I'm teaching right now but keep asking and I will respond later on in the day. Please consider donating at www.crowdpac.com/c/quangdofordistrict55 to help us fight to #DoBetterFor55 and Alabama.
How do you decide which games deserve preservation? Are there attributes like popularity, game mechanics, innovation, etc that effect your selection process?
If copywrite laws were not an issue, where would you start?
If elected, what will be your first priority for legislation?
Right now, we judge by risk. Habitat was the first, and therefore the oldest MMO, so it was a big, juicy target in grave danger. Second, we judge by feasibility: for Habitat we had the original authors, the original source code, and an original vintage server. If we had been missing even one of these things, I don't think we could have completed the project.
Right now, our next goal is to preserve Neverwinter Nights (1991 version) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverwinter_Nights_(1991_video_game). This is not the 3D game from the 2000's, but rather a Gold Box style AD&D game played on AOL. This would be a desirable target because Habitat was hosted on a similar service, and we're expecting to be able to get ahold of the original authors.
After that, we'll go by risk and possibility, again. It's the games people have forgotten which are the most at risk. The big names like WoW, Everquest, and Terra will be just fine on their own for many years to come. You've seen that Blizzard has set a date to release vanilla WoW, so we don't consider there to be a preservation problem there at all. Blizzard is GREAT at preservation. You can still play Diablo 2 online.
What we're after are the games that have no corporate backer. That weren't very popular to begin with. That risk being forgotten completely.
Ah, yes! Was waiting for this question. Our team has been working and have decided to put bi-partisan bills that we KNOW can be done immediately at the top of our list rather than things that we know can be done after some organizing and coalition building work.
My first priority, and I hope District 55 will hold me accountable to this, will always be our working class families. Whenever the opportunity presents itself for me to pass, vote or fund legislation and policies that will directly benefit our families I will do that above any other priority.
Three specific pieces of bi-partisan legislation:
The introduction of an amendment that guarantees the survival of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for a minimum of 20 years with a requirement of it being assessed for extension every 5 years. Alabama currently provides ZERO state-funding for children's healthcare. All of our funding comes from the federal government. That's just not good enough. The health and lives of our children should not be up to who is in the White House.
Introduce home rule. Municipalities in Alabama are required to go to the State Capitol for approval on local-level bills, amendments and funding. The Birmingham City Council, for example, voted to increase minimum wage from the federal minimum $7.25 to $10.10/hr but was stopped by the Alabama House Legislator which retroactively banned local governments from setting minimum wage.
Creation of a state lottery to help fund public schools/expand pre-k, the CHIP program, and pre-trial diversion programs aimed at ending the school-to-prison pipeline.
- Campaign finance reform. Alabama has one of the most corrupt political systems in the country. I would work to make us the national model for governing without corporate or special interest dollars.
- Creation of a state minimum wage that adjusts with income.
- Ending of "special school districts" that leave poor and marginalized students out to dry.
Are any of the companies who own the old IP's fighting this very much? Like in the hopes that they'll resurrect a dead franchise later for profit?
Where is the most resistance coming from and how can we push against it if we are, say, NOT able to be in LA or DC for those upcoming hearings?
Which constitution are you referring to? Because our state constitution is an absolute fucking disaster.
Currently, our greatest opposition comes from the ESA, with the RIAA and MPAA writing letters of support. The ESA feels that we are enabling people to pirate WoW, and sadly seems to have absolutely no concept of the actual technology involved in bringing back a dead MMO.
Our real concern isn't with the companies that still exist today, however. We need this exemption for games that no longer have a corporation behind them: maybe the developer went bankrupt, or the publisher was bought by a company that was bought by a company that was bought by a company, etc.
We don't like the idea of not preserving something simply because the IP rights associated with it are murky and unknown. There will be other comments in here explaining how you can write us a letter of support, so keep your eyes open.
Yes. I will work my butt off to fight for the rights of working and middle class families in America. I couldn't care less about what corporate or private lobbying groups want.
Can you be more specific about the Constitution?
First off: thank you all for taking this on. I am a doctoral student in digital studies at a US research university and have watched this problem develop from the margins. Many of us in higher ed are frustrated that this endeavor has received so little attention and we ourselves are relatively limited in what we can accomplish. Without interest from our administration and no resources to invest in procuring and curating physical artifacts, we've taken to live-streaming games to preserve the experience. What obstacles and considerations are there in this? What else can be accomplished through universities to contribute? Are there grants available to fund archiving projects?
With regard to MMOs, I'm personally intrigued by the Star Wars Galaxies project and the collaborative reverse engineering that's being conducted to reconstruct the initial SWG experience. Is this a viable model or are they on borrowed time?
Thanks so much for your work to preserve this cultural institution!
What are your stances/potential solutions regarding illegal immigration?
Hey, sorry, they're not ignoring the question, just figuring out the best response. You get 3 lawyers together to answer one question, it takes time.
I think it's important for us to be very intentional in educating ourselves on both documented and undocumented immigration.
I'll be honest in saying that I do not believe that undocumented and/or illegal immigration is as much of a "crisis" as some might say. I do not believe in completely open borders but I do believe that a large majority of undocumented immigrants are here for the same reason all of us are - to chase the American Dream.
Undocumented immigration has decreased by 2 million since President Obamas tenure. Undocumented immigrants give more to our economy than they take "away". Undocumented immigrants move to America for economic reasons more than any other. The American economy would collapse without the undocumented workforce.
I don't think we need to do anything differently than we have been. If you're undocumented and commit a heinous crime, we need to get you out of here. If you are a drug trafficker, we need to get you out of here. But if you are a productive member of society, if you have kids here, if you are doing everything you can to do the right thing for your family, we should treat you with respect and compassion.
As a teacher, I have too many brilliant young men and women who live their daily lives in fear of either them or their parents being deported. We must protect our families and kids whether they are documented, undocumented or American citizens.
I saw that you mentioned NWN from AOL, that really takes me back, long live Lord Nasher! But the game that concerns me isn't a forgotten game, it's a game held hostage: City of Heroes. I know you said that you're not as concerned with existing companies, but also that I am not alone in my love for that game. For those who don't know of its history: NCSoft, the company behind the game, decided to pull it because it was only popular in certain markets. They have, thus far, resisted all means for others to resurrect the game, much to the consternation of its legion of fans. Is there any chance this game will ever see the light of day again?
How can Alabama make progress in school desegregation?
We hear a lot about City of Heroes. I really think they should just relaunch the game. It's probably the one we hear most asked for. I can go down and bother them sometime this year and see what the deal is. Who knows, maybe they'd let us bring it back internally, but I doubt it. The issue is that it's a modern-style game, so the IP associated with it is somewhat enticing, and would possibly draw players from other games. That's generally a deal killer for these companies. If we did get our exemption, it'd only allow us to bring the game back online inside our four walls, but that would be better than losing it entirely. I feel like this same dichotomy existed in tabletop RPG's in the 80's: AD&D was popular, but the super hero tabletops, like Champions, popped up, vanished, and remained quiet cult favorites for years because the books could be resold. A shame that can't happen here.
Still, who knows, some day we could be able to save this one. It's definitely on the wish list, but not necessarily on the possible list.
I think the first step is for Alabama, as a whole, to admit that we still have a major issue with school segregation. We still have some open wounds from slavery, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement but we prefer to wrap it up and hide it rather than performing the surgery needed to really move forward and heal from our past.
I once drove a young man on my soccer team home from practice - he lived nearly 35 minutes from the school. When I pulled up to his apartment complex I saw there was a "special district" school literally BEHIND his apartment complex. He could have walked to the other school (one of the top schools in our state in terms of graduation rate, test scores and average parental income) but instead had to ride the bus to a school thirty minutes away because his apartment complex had a literal line cutting them out from the "special school district"
I'm going to copy and paste a more pragmatic answer from someone else who asked a similar question:
I think we need to raise the standards and make it much more difficult for cities trying to create their own "special districts" that essentially cut out black, poor and marginalized students and remove tax revenue from their cities. The current required number of households for a school to create a special tax zone and school district is 5,000. I would push that number to 25,000 to ensure that poor communities are not being exploited.
A county school recently tried to separate from the county system and create their own "city" school system but the DOJ came down and denied their request (even though our state and county said yes) because they would have disenfranchised black families and was quite simply, racist. It was a school that was 60% black and the new district would have made it less than 10% black. All tax revenue in the new school district would have gone to the new "upper class" school which means the taxes (sales and real estate) would be taken from the old school and placed with the new one. The fact that this would have come into fruition without the DOJ stepping in is ABSOLUTELY disgusting.
A great thing about the exemption is that it applies not just to the MADE, but to any library, museum, or archive. We hope that other museums will join the MADE so that more games are preserved and more people in more places can see them.
Are you for or against my freedom of religion?
Yeah, everyone should start a video game museum. They should be in every city!
I will preface this with saying that I am a strong believer in the fact that the first amendment that protects me, as a Christian, from persecution also applies to the freedom of Buddhists, Muslims and any other spiritual/religious groups as well as those who are secular and atheist from persecution and oppression.
I am a firm believer in the freedom of religion. I am a devout Catholic and a proud member of the local Vietnamese-Catholic church here in Birmingham.
Many of my family members were murdered and killed in Communist Vietnam for their religious beliefs so I certainly know what can happen when we don't actively work to protect our right to believe in what we would like to believe.
Have you put any thought into something like preserving an earlier build of an MMO that can no longer be played?
Specifically I'm interested in Final Fantasy XIV. For those that don't know, the original game launched in 2010, and was a complete disaster, but was a unique and interesting game. Square Enix updated the game, but also developed a 2.0 version behind the scenes called "a realm reborn". When ARR launched (in 2014?) it totally replaced the original, which is no longer playable in any form.
What are the greatest challenges to having IDEA and ADA compliant schools and how can Alabama overcome those challenges?
That's not on our agenda. Someone else asked this below. It's something to be considered, but since there are so many other MMOs that need to be saved, we'd like to get to them first... and we'll never get to all of them...
I am in full support of strict enforcement of IDEA and ADA rules and regulations. This is what equal opportunity is all about.
I think the main challenge that we face in regards to being IDEA and ADA compliant is funding.
Major sections of IDEA and ADA, while important, are unfunded mandates.
You're expecting teachers, administrators and school communities with already tight budgets to do more (we should always be pushing and challenging our education system to be and do better) but not give them the funds, staffing or facilities they need to meet those goals appropriately?
And THEN you're going to give them a bad score on a state-wide "school report card" that impacts how much funding they get in the future, which then results in the loss of further teachers and resources... which then makes it even harder for them to meet those standards next year? How does that make sense?
Alabama has got to stop waiting for the federal government to bail us out and take ownership over the problems that we have.
The Democrats in Congress have tried for a long time to fully fund IDEA but we can't wait for the federal government to save us anymore. It's time for us to take ownership over the problems we have and work on no-nonsense, bi-partisan solutions that will help our working and middle class families.
An easy solution would be to create a state lottery that will help fund IDEA and ADA compliance for our public schools as well as our post-secondary education institutions.
Thanks! There are hundreds of MMOs out there that need saving.
For games that were specialty created, where do you plan on obtaining the source files for hosting the game? Are you going to visit the devs and find a backup? How does this kind of thing work?
Exactly. We try to work with the original rights holders and developers. One of the reasons we want to preserve these games is to preserve the stories behind them, and the work done by countless thousands of people. These games do not exist in a vacuum, people created them, and their stories are a part of these things.
This exemption only includes locally hosted games inside the museum, but inside our doors, yes. We already pay for Habitat's servers.
A lot of people want this one.
Love this idea, curious about “Kids” MMOs such as the recently closed Club Penguin. I know a lot of people who have grown up on games like them and were impacted emotionally when they heard of their closers. Are you after storing them as well?
We'd love to save Club Penguin, but it was a big property... Maybe some day.