The video game industry trade body the Entertainment Software Association has announced that it has helped to facilitate the launch of the Video Game Voters Network, a new "grassroots political network for gamers", whose website was officially launched
According to the ESA, the website was created as a means for American adults who play computer and video games to organize and take action on important policy issues affecting the computer and video game industry. The site opposes efforts to regulate the content of entertainment media, including proposals to criminalize the sale of certain games to minors, or regulate video games differently than movies, music, books, and other media.
The release from the ESA announcing the Network included commentary from Sim City
, The Sims
creator Will Wright, Chief Designer at Maxis, as he suggested: "It is vitally important that we protect and nurture this new art form so that it can reach its full potential. Like most new forms of artistic expression that have come before (music, novels, movies), the primary critics of video games are the people that do not play them."
The Video Game Voters site enables gamers to stay updated about these and other game industry-related issues, to register to vote, and to take action by contacting federal, state, and local officials to express their views. Gamers over 18 years old can join the Network and/or send a letter to policymakers via the site.
"With over seventy bills to restrict game sales to minors already pending in state legislatures across the country this year, it's time for gamers to make their voices heard loudly and clearly, to let politicians know that they will no longer stand by and let games be the scapegoat for larger social problems," said ESA president Doug Lowenstein. "Gamers can join together through the Video Game Voters Network to send a strong message to politicians to let them know that gamers care, that they vote, and that they will no longer tolerate these unconstitutional, unnecessary, and uninformed attacks on this important form of entertainment."