Mommy's Best Games Says ESA SOPA Support Should End

from the mommy-knows-best dept

Over all the brouhaha regarding SOPA, a number of industries have come out either for or against SOPA. We have seen comments from the tech, film, music, publishing industries and many consumer organizations. However, one industry that would benefit from SOPA has remained relatively quiet on this front, the video games industry. There have been no actual public comments from any video game company or organization representing video game companies expressing anything in regard to SOPA. Yet, it shouldn't come as a surprise to note that the ESA, the chief lobbying organization of video game publishers, has quietly supported SOPA. This quiet support from the ESA doesn't sit well with at least one game developer, Mommy's Best Games, the developers of Serious Sam Double D.

In a combined call to action for both game developers and gamers, Mommy's Best wants these individuals to contact member companies in an effort to get two reactions: 1) a public statement from the company on its position regarding SOPA. 2) pressure the ESA to pull its support of SOPA.
Fellow gamers developers,
If you work for any of the companies that are ESA members, please talk to your higher ups about contacting the ESA to have them withdraw SOPA support. In effect, your company is supporting the SOPA bill. There are over 30 really great companies that have made amazing games that are effectively supporting the SOPA bill.

Fellow gamers,
If you love those companies, get on your favorite company's forums and complain that they are letting the ESA support SOPA by proxy! And consider writing the actual ESA as well.
While the internet world made a big stink about several companies no longer supporting SOPA, which we pointed out never actually happened, this is a move toward making that dream a reality. If the companies represented by the ESA were to come out against SOPA, the ESA would have only one option, to drop support of SOPA. We have already seen this happen when the BSA dropped support for SOPA after fans of its member companies expressed anger over the implied support for SOPA by those companies. Mommy's Best is hoping for a similar response from the ESA.

Additionally, Mommy's Best points out that over the past few years, the ESA has done some tremendous good for the games industry specifically in its victory over the California law that sought to restrict the sale of violent games and that supporting SOPA is a direct contrast to that legacy.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has done a lot of good for the video games industry, including facilitating the landmark Supreme Court ruling that games should be protected by the First Amendment like books and movies, and promoting STEM to further games and learning.

Unfortunately the ESA is still shown on the SOPA support list. The "Stop Online Piracy Act" bill will be voted on some time this year (probably soon). The proposed bill will likely stifle innovation and self-expression on the internet, and grant corporations plenty of power to abuse, given the broad manner in which the bill is written. If you're wondering what the fuss is all about, here's a detailed explanation as to why constitutional scholars believe the bill infringes on the First Amendment, and a general overview of what the bill is about.
This does call into question the intentions of the ESA. The company claims to support the free speech rights of game developers but supports legislation that would threaten the free speech rights of gamers. Why would this organization not see the disconnect here? Is it that it is still riding on the collective good will of its victory in the Supreme Court and is trying to remain quiet over SOPA in order to maintain that good will? If that is the case, why allow itself to continue to be associated as a supporter of the bill? One would think that supporting SOPA would be a sure fire way to kill any good will an organization has with its customers.

In the end, Mommy's Best provides a number of useful tips for contacting the ESA and its member companies. It also provides a nice template letter on which to base your own letters. I agree with Mommy's Best. It is no longer viable to remain quiet on this issue. It is time for the ESA to come clean with its support.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    A Guy (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 8:09am

    "However, one industry that would benefit from SOPA has remained relatively quiet on this front"

    I don't think the video game industry would actually benefit from SOPA. I know many believe SOPA will benefit their industries, but I see no evidence outside some made up figures and suspect methodologies that their beliefs have any basis in reality.

     

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

      Re:

      The primary benefit of SOPA for any industry is the ability to kill off potential competition. That is the only really benefit I can see though.

       

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        A Guy (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:57pm

        Re: Re:

        Will it kill off its competition though, or will the competition simply find new ways to work around it? Again, I highly doubt anyone but lawyers and politicians will gain anything from SOPA.

         

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    spiderwebby (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 8:25am

     

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

      Re:

      That is pretty cool and totally within character of Notch and Mojang. Good for them. I hope more developers join with them and Mommy's Best Games and, awkward to say, Zynga.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 8:35am

    While I applaud the efforts of member companies to get their umbrella organizations under control, they need to go further than what Mommy's Best is doing. These companies need to pull a Kaspersky and remove themselves, and their dues, from the umbrella organization. That is the only way the umbrellas will get the message. Anything short of that is implicit support of SOPA. The companies that cried foul of the letter that the USCoC circulated as false evidence of their support for SOPA are still supporting SOPA by continuing to pay their dues to such a slimy organization. Google and all the other tech companies fighting SOPA are just as complicit. Except for Kaspersky. And maybe Yahoo, but they didn't even have the balls to say why they dropped the USCoC.

     

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

      Re:

      I would love to see a mass exodus from the ESA over this issue, but it would seem that far too many of these companies are complacent in the ESA's support of SOPA.

       

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    gorehound (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 10:15am

    Do not support Censorship in the USA.
    Passing SOPA/PIPA = WAR.

     

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