Today members of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) are heading to Washington, D.C. to talk to lawmakers about a recent spate of bills that call for new research, add government mandated labels to video games, and add fines for selling mature games. If you feel a sense of déjà vu, it is because these kinds of bills have been proposed before and they have always managed to fail to be passed or enforced because they are unconstitutional or trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.
Yesterday Vice-President Joe Biden said that we should not be afraid of the facts. We agree and that is why the ECA will present facts about video games to lawmakers in Washington. While the ECA is on Capitol Hill, they need your help – below is a letter from the ECA's Online Advocacy Manager Brett Schenker urging gamers to let your voice be heard on these new laws:
Today, we head to Capitol Hill to meet with some of legislative staff involved in the flurry of proposed legislation to regulate or study video games. There are talks again of 1) funding studies to see if video games cause violence, 2) government mandated labels, 3) ratings on all games, and 4) fines for those selling mature games.
Here are the facts:
•While video game sales have more than doubled in the last decade, violent crime has decreased.
•Countries who consume more video games than the United States don’t see the same level of gun violence.
•The FTC has recognized the current video game labeling system as the best enforced out of all those in entertainment.
•The Supreme Court has defended video games as First Amendment protected media.
There’ll be more to the discussion than just those nuggets. We’ll be presenting the facts and setting the record straight.
We need you to do something though. As we head to the Hill, we need you to speak out too. We need you to take action, because your voice will make a difference. We’re just one organization, but we’re millions of gamers.
When you’re done with that, write to your Representative to tell them we don’t need government mandated warning labels and fines. If you’ve already done both, thank you. You can still help out. Go to those pages and share them with your friends and family. Help get the word out and stand up for your rights.
We’ll let you know how it goes.
Keep on gaming,
Online Advocacy Manager
Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA)
[Full disclosure: GamePolitics is an ECA publication.]