Video Game Voters Network Claims 150,000 Members

The Entertainment Software Association, the trade group which represents the interests of US video game publishers, issued a press release today claiming that enrollment in its Video Game Voters Network has reached 150,000.

ESA president Michael Gallagher is quoted in the release:

VGVN members should be proud of their robust activity in support of computer and video games. These dedicated activists are crucial in efforts to fight back state government attempts to regulate computer and video games. With each political challenge, gamers stepped up and made their voices heard by elected officials. We know that from California to New York and state capitols in between, members of the VGVN directly contacted their representatives and expressed their opinions.


But, we can’t and won’t let up. As Americans go to the polls this fall, the gaming community is paying attention and will actively engage in the political process.


Politicians who think easy political points can be scored at the First Amendment’s expense need to know that such efforts will be aggressively opposed by the gamer community. VGVN members believe that parental education, not government regulation, is the way to ensure our children only have access to age-appropriate games.


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  1. 0
    Brett Schenker says:

    GamePolitics and the ECA provides you with a handy widget that allows you to register to vote right here.  There’s a graphic on the right hand side and if you click that it’ll take you to a form that’ll take you through the process.

    Brett Schenker

    Online Advocacy Manager

    the ECA

  2. 0
    Manuel deBettencourt ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    As the elections come up, we have to make our voices heard, not just as the people but as gamers. We must show that we care about this country as much as the next fellow countrymen next to us. We can’t let our vote go towards the wrong hands. That is why I joined the VGVN. Sorry I had to make a dramtic post. Hehe.

  3. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    I agree, EZK. The problems could come when the consumers’ interests conflict with the manufacturers’ interests. If the ESA were ever to use the VGVN to try to get voters to promote anti-consumer initiatives, such as stricter copyright protections or mod chip raids, then I would think they’d overstepped their bounds. At that point, the VGVN would certainly become my "enemy" as well.

    Same as Papa Midnight, I signed up for VGVN when it first came out. At that time, I was signing up for pretty much anything that promised to give me more information about unconstitutional anti-game laws. Since then, I don’t think I ever received any news alerts from VGVN emailings that I hadn’t already read about earlier and better from other sources, but for my own purposes, so far, at least the VGVN has never been anything worse than "useless."

  4. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    The ESA does not represent the "gaming community." It represents game publishers. In that role, it already has publicly opposed politicians against gaming, diligently and repeatedly. In my state, for example, it openly warned politicians that their proposed anti-gaming legislation was unconstitutional, and then took the state to court to overturn those laws after they were passed anyway.

    You also say you are looking for a public announcement from the ESA to teach parents about ratings. You are not looking hard enough. The ESRB (which is underwritten by the ESA) has run public awareness campaigns since it was instituted almost 15 years ago. The most recent public awareness campaign that comes to mind is being promoted jointly with the National Parent-Teacher Association. ( )

    To me, your comments seem to represent a recent trend I’ve noticed among some GamePolitics readers to hate the ESA blindly, for no reason. It is healthy for buyers to be wary of sellers and vice versa, since they have opposing interests in their transactions with one another, but both buyers and sellers have a common interest in keeping overbearing government regulation out of those transactions. That is what the VGVN was supposed to be about — nothing more. If you believe that the VGVN has acted beyond those bounds, maybe you are right — but you should explain how and why.

    That is, if you are compelled to hate the ESA, I think you should do some more research and hate it for a proper reason. Hate it for its promotion of stricter copyright limitations on consumers, or for it’s efforts to shut down gray-market modders. But don’t act as if the organization owes you anything as a gamer, or is supposed to have your best interests as a consumer in mind. It doesn’t, it never did, and it never was supposed to.

  5. 0
    Rocky ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Congrats, and Thanks to all the members of the VGVN, that have brought the Video Game issues to their state representatives.

    "Politicians who think easy political points can be scored at the First Amendment’s expense need to know that such efforts will be aggressively opposed by the gamer community."

    Thats great, but I wonder what would happen if a big organization, oh say like the ESA, got behind the gaming community and publicly opposed politicians against gaming?

    "VGVN members believe that parental education, not government regulation, is the way to ensure our children only have access to age-appropriate games."

    This is also great, but I’m looking for a public announcment from the ESA to teach parents on video game ratings and the age-appropriate content.

    While this news is good to hear, It still doesn’t change the fact that the ESA does nothing, to combat the politicians, Thompson, PTC, and everyone else who beleives that video games are the cause of psychologically unstable peoples actions.

  6. 0
    Vake Xeacons ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It would seem like a great idea, gamers uniting in the vote, if it weren’t for the ESA, who doesn’t seem to care anymore.

    They turn the other cheek when anti-gamers are attacking, and now they’re having some blasphemy speaker at E3? It’s like they’re trying to destroy both games and religion from the inside.

  7. 0
    Oldmankeebler says:

    I am/was a member. I joined a long time ago when they seemed to have similar interests with me. But after that mod chip crap I don’t support them nearly as much. Trouble is there is no way to quit.

  8. 0
    TJLK says:

    VGVN has earned a very bad name with me.  I had to send at least half a dozen e-mails before I was removed from the member list and stopped receiving e-mails.  Their automated membership cancelation service does not work and it took me a while to get help from an actual person.  I give them a thumbs down but wish them well.

  9. 0

    The funny thing about the "educate parents" line is that most parents actually do have a decent grasp on the ESRB ratings, but choose to either allow their children to indulge in such games (it is their choice after all, that’s sorta the point of the ratings, to inform, not to take place of personal decisions), or bitch about the existence of games with mature content and try to censor them. These words fall on deaf ears.


    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

  10. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    I don’t like being tricked into a lifetime "membership" either, but despite its ESA sponsorship, I am not yet so hateful as to vilify an organization whose outward efforts so far have been solely to inform people about anti-game legislation and encourage them to vote against it. The enemy of my enemy is not my enemy.

  11. 0
    Jabrwock says:

     Let’s not ignore the fact that you can’t quit the VGVN so these numbers will be inflated from that. 

    Is that not the case with most no-membership-fee organizations?

    I think it’s good that they were able to sign up that many people, period. The proof in the pudding, though, will be how well that 150K responds to requests to put pressure on the politicians. If the ESA pisses enough people off by treating customers as sheep, then they’ll find themselves lacking support when their back really IS up against the wall…

    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  12. 0
    Anonymous says:

     VGVN is a crock, it’s run by the ESA an organization that represents big cooperations and doesn’t have the interest of the consumers at heart.  Let’s not ignore the fact that you can’t quit the VGVN so these numbers will be inflated from that.  

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