Politicians are always under pressure to garner support from their constituents and address issues that are viewed as pressing and salient in their communities. One issue upon which many political figures sooner or later fall back on is that of videogame regulation. Every so often, a media outlet or public figure will attribute a troubled youth’s violent acts to the gaming content which he or she has recently been exposed. Such an act is often followed by public outcry against violence in videogames and a call for regulation of the development and sales of games.
In the past year, state efforts at passing such regulation has significantly increased. Whenever such legislation is introduced, The Entertainment Software Association works diligently at mobilizing a vocal opposition. Recently, The ESA has been successful in helping defeating the passage of negative gaming laws – last year in the US, 43 bills intended to regulate content or limit access to games were introduced, but none were passed. (A particularly interesting piece of legislation came out of Hawaii – the Honolulu City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting videogame playing while driving. Since this is apparently an often occurrence there, if you’re in Honolulu, look both ways before you cross the street!)
While the ESA is doing well in monitoring gaming laws, you can help out as well. Just head over to the Video Game Voters Network, where you can register to vote, sign up for email alerts pertaining to new videogame laws, and partake in letter writing campaigns to Congressional representatives.