Gamers Unite Today: Join the VGVN

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No doubt, most gamers are aware that this fall the United States Supreme Court will be taking up the legal challenge to California’s law that would limit the sale of computer and video games and chill the creative freedoms of our industry’s artists.


The issue at hand is whether a state can limit access to video game based on their content. If the California succeeds at the Supreme Court, then states across America could begin limiting access to video games and stores could stop selling games because they won’t know what titles fall under a particular state’s laws and which don’t. How does that affect you? Imagine walking into your local game retailer and finding out they don’t sell games you want because they’re worried about government intervention. This isn’t hyperbole; it’s a very real scenario that could happen if California succeeds.

This month, the industry achieved a milestone in fighting for video games. The ESA filed with the U.S. Supreme Court a legal brief that strongly defends the rights of gamers, video games, and the artists who work so hard to create those games.

Others recognize the seriousness of this situation and have stepped up to defend video games, the First Amendment and promote education about parental controls and the video game industry’s rating system. No less than renowned comic book creator, Stan Lee, who brought to life such iconic figures as Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Hulk, has encouraged gamers to organize and take action. Stan highlighted the video game industry’s great work in helping parents by providing a leading rating system and parental controls—which, when taken together, help ensure that the games kids enjoy are parent-approved. His open letter encouraged everyone to join the Video Game Voters Network, which is the grassroots coalition of voting-aged gamers who want to be kept updated on legislative threats to computer and video games.

Following Stan’s lead, I’m writing today to encourage you to join the VGVN. Politicians will listen when their constituents weigh in on issues and we need gather an army to fight for games. Please consider joining the VGVN to aid in the defense of video games. And, tell three of your friends to do the same! Joining is free and easy to do. Go to and sign up!

We’ll keep doing our part in the Supreme Court, but we need you to do your part, too.

Thanks for joining!

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7 Author Replies


  • Parents need to be responsible for their children. This is not an issue for the government to decide. The industry must strictly follow its rating system as well.

  • thats a load of bs, why should the government tell us what to video games play or what not, its our choice

  • ow … alot of pacifists posting comments , i signed the petition awhile back and read what’s going on regularly through the ECA newsletter , recently though i have become interested in the topic of consumer rights concerning digital content , and quite astoundingly have found that consumers of digital content have little if any rights at all . That fact is displayed openly by PSN’s own policy concerning videos that when your ps3 breaks , backups of videos wont work on a another ps3 and essentially all video content lost forever , and they wont allow redownloads . Dont get me wrong i’am for measures that combat piracy in fair ways , but I do not support policies , that that effectively rips offf honest paying customers . also … does anybody here realise that if SCEA wanted to they could completly shutdown their download service , including servers which contain your already purchased content , and their is NOTHING the consumer can do about it .

    I dont like to sound like im picking on SCEA , and i most certainly enjoy their service … but as a honest paying customer . i think we need more legal protection for the content we purchase .

  • oops… stupid predictive text insertion … of course i know the difference between their , and there .

  • Please don’t come to Lobby at the Playstation Blog. You have a fallacious point and are fear mongering. Games likes Postal SHOULD NOT be directly sold to minors. There are many countries in the world where this is the law and that hasnt hurt the development teams in those countries or the sales numbers. See UK law for details!

  • wow psps are rip offs with the price. i would defend the ipod games and xbox 360 but not ps stuff

  • So many morons on here. Its this simple, stop buyin mature rated games for your kids, stop lettin your kids buy whatever they want, do your job as a parent, for those that work at retailers-do your job, cause its your job duh. If this country is to dumb to look at the esrb, make the little white box bigger. Everything is already in place to help with prevention of sellin mature games to minors, but for those who too lazy, those are the ones to blame. If kids wanna shoot up schools because the parents let them play some violent game, then the parents and everybody else should be the ones to suffer. If people would just do their job, it wouldn’t happen. Also, the games industry shouldn’t have to go through any of this, cause of stupid judgments based on all of those that don’t care about the issue. Take some responsibility, and no one will have to complain. Except the kids. But yah little itches shouldn’t playin these games anyway. Stay off psn, go do your homework.

  • @fuzzyclutter~correct me if I’m wrong…you are saying that if someone downloads a movie or a tv show to either a PS3 or PSP, and the machine breaks (then that person replaces it with a brand new machine) or it gets fixed through Sony, those downloads are gone and will not be replaced by Sony?? THAT IS JUST BAD BUSINESS AND WRONG!! good thing I only purchase classic games through PSN. but seriously though, let’s all just purchase those items on discs…maybe then Sony will change their mind on that situation!! all digital content is not happening anytime soon. how are they getting away with this?? my 2 cents for the day!!

  • @number 57 stop being jealous cause a lot of good games you can’t play on your ps3 are coming out on the psp.

  • I’m in Canada but I’m still a little worried. I hate you Jerry Brown for filing that report. DIE!!!

  • If this law was only going to end up making it required to show ID for games based on rating, then I wouldnt care much, as another poster has already stated in Canada u have to how I’d for m-rated games anyway, if the retailer questions ur age. However, I don’t think this will be the end result, even if it’s all that is intended, game developers will start to aim for specific ratings, as filmakers/studios do. This may cause games that would otherwise be m-rated to be toned down to fit the requirements of a T-rating, just so more people will purchase the game. The problem with minors playing mature content games isn’t lack of regulation, its lack of responsibilty by parents who let their kid play watever they want because it keeps them put of their hair.

  • I would agree that ultimately this is more about sinking pockets than any sort of Free Speech rights.. We’ve had a similar issue in this country, as we all know about; no one wins. Not the ‘createur’ or the ‘customer’. Musicians still weren’t being paid in the 90s. Sabotage still exists.

    This is even more ironic that this issue appears here seeing as not too long ago there was an issue with consumer’s rights: what rights does any of this amount to?!?! Can a company just remove functionality that was paid for? What about shovelware? What protections does the consumer have? Why should we really care, still?

    This still sounds strange, even after reading…. Don’t trust it.

  • For one thing: the government already tells us what we can watch, print, or say. For another, I feel many U.S. citizens will be cynical about this issue, myself included, because of the current polices of those rep.’n Free Speech in this case.. I mean should we be worried about the U.S. movie industry?? Have you been to the theater lately?!?! What’s worth saving. Good directors aren’t allowed to work in this country. They have little rights and have to give up everything to some corporation to get anything finished; no final cut.

  • I feel very strongly about the freedoms we as Americans deserve. Freedom of expression, speech, press and more are all being put up to be ran over here with this whole supreme court deal. For those of you on here saying “what’s the worst that could happen?” did you not read the post? If one state wins more will come forth trying to push the same thing. To restrict the sale of certain games in certain states is not only unconstitutional but plain wrong. It is like taking our rights that our fore-fathers have fought to obtain and continue to have and saying thanks but no thanks. This absolute insanity by the USC to even hear this and consider anything other than saying no to the state of CA. As far as kids playing violent games thatshould be parent regulated not government regulated. You can count me in. Now I have a question, if this were to result in a law and certain states banned games from retailers would we be able to still purchase them online?

  • Personally I didn’t really care all that much about these laws, as it didn’t really seem to change much, but if it’s got Playstation Blog up in arms, then there’s obviously more to the story than what meets the eye!


    This trash is so laughable it makes Radio Havana look good.

  • I thought most people here would see what makes the law unconstitutional. You know what’s law that requires an ID? Porn, alcohol, cigarettes and other controlled substances. So you really want video games, a legit artistic medium, to be regarded as equal to these things and denied first amendment protection?

    A part of this IS about money. But what the heck do you think it takes for the industry to grow? Money. If the industry isn’t making money because retailers aren’t stocking any game that falls under “mature” then the games will stop being made. And the law defines “violent game” as “assaulting an image of a human being.” That’s like saying you as Nathan Drake can’t shoot and kill the people that are trying to kill you. And this being PlayStation and all, you all know the critical acclaim Uncharted 2 got last year.

    Grievances about not enough rights for content purchased, yeah I have issues with that too. But THAT particular issue is NOT what the topic is here. Period.

    This isn’t going to stop the screaming kids into the mic because the PARENTS bought them these things in the first place. Seriously, the ESRB is great enough and it’s the PARENTS JOB not the government’s to regulate what kids play.

  • Also I must reiterate-no I do not feel a minor should be able to purchase M-rated games. But if there’s a law passed about that, then pass a law forbidding R-rated, parental advisory rated, and “filthy” movies, music, and books to children as well. Then look at these laws, and realize that these laws are the epitome of censorship.

  • @Spacerac some retailers do make a pretense of following ESRB ratings but its only a pretense at best. Nearly every time I walk into Blockbuster, Future shop, Best buy, EBgames / Gamestop I see the same thing. That is a child who is well underage trying to buy an M rated game and more often than not they get it simply cause their parent(s) are there paying for it. Try the same thing at the movies, that is taking an underage child into an R rated movie, they wont get in no matter how many adults are with them.

  • @68 Spacerac: “Grievances about not enough rights for content purchased, yeah I have issues with that too. But THAT particular issue is NOT what the topic is here. Period.”

    True. — But, lets not lose the irony. What are ‘rights’ when they’re only partial rights?

    (Rights for the producer to 90% mediocre products and bad management. For the buyer/investor/PS3-fan this is a bad relationship. The trust in quality of catalog is gone. Good content is a ‘right’. Not the protection from government to release/takeaway whatever they want, and sell to whomever. But, we bought at our own risk..)

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