What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

The Federal Communications Commission is holding a series of public workshops this month regarding the development of a National Broadband Plan.

Steve Augustino, a Washington, D.C. attorney who specializes in communications issues relating to video games, believes that the game biz needs to make its voice heard at these events. He offers advice to various game industry segments in his latest column for Gamasutra:

For mobile game developers, Augustino suggests:

I would tell the FCC the explosion of the Apple iPhone shows that quality devices can and will drive adoption and use of mobile broadband services.  I would add that six of the top paid iPhone applications for 2008 were games… I would tell them that mobile games also are popular on "feature phones," although the "walled garden" effect hinders their growth…

 

There is a need to improve the consumer experience in finding, downloading and buying mobile games.  Users should have the right and ability to access mobile games from the provider of their choice…

For PC game developers, Augustino’s focus is a bit different:

I would [remind the FCC] that PC gaming has played a significant part in both the advancement of computing capabilities and in adoption of broadband by consumers…  Gaming is the ultimate social experience, whether one plays Texas Hold ‘Em, Farmville, Diner Dash or World of Warcraft…

We expect to see more of in-game voice, video and other communications technologies as broadband capabilities increase…

For game industry organizations, venture capital firms or major game publishers, Augustino suggests:

The [FCC] should consider the potential effects of broadband in expanding the market for interactive entertainment, venture backing of content creators and the game development job markets in this country… more broadband is good for the entertainment industry…

I would discuss the rise of "serious" games and describe the many ways in which game technology is used by businesses, hospitals, government and others for these purposes.  I also would discuss the efforts of non-profit groups to increase the use of interactive media to educate children.  Games offer a new frontier of possibilities in these fields…

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