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Video Game Research:
Scientific American: The games proven to have the most beneficial neurological effects are the violent first person shooters.
Latest News: The IGDA Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee's annual open meeting is March 8, 2012 at GDC, North Hall 112 at 4-5pm PST. The meeting us open to anyone in the game development community interested in censorship issues and advocacy on behalf of the rights of game makers.
SPEAKER/S: Daniel Greenberg (Media Rez)
DAY / TIME / LOCATION: Thursday 4:00- 5:00 Room 112, North Hall
TRACK / DURATION / FORMAT / AUDIENCE LEVEL: Advocacy / 60-Minute / Roundtable / All
GDC VAULT RECORDING: No Vault Recording
The IGDA Anti-Censorship and Social Issues committee is open to everyone interested in ratings systems, anti-game laws, developer advocacy and networking around the free speech rights and responsibilities of game developers. This session is seeking input for our Global Ratings System Project, which is cataloging the world's game ratings systems by content categories so developers can learn early in the process how their content will affect their ratings in multiple world markets. Developers with experience in any nation's rating system are invited to contribute to the knowledge base. The meeting will also coordinate volunteers interested in volunteering to advocate against anti-game laws pending in many states. We also will discuss the overreach of anti-game "research" along with updates on the state of anti-game laws in 2012. Participants are welcome to ask questions, discuss their experiences, propose new initiatives, and volunteer.
TAKEAWAY: Participants can bring their issues with censorship, network around advocacy, and arm themselves with facts and skills for protecting developer rights. Learn about hot button issues like the current and pending anti-video game laws, including the U.S. Supreme Court's hints about the kinds of anti-game laws that they could actually uphold. Developers can learn how to effectively lobby their local representatives about locally pending anti-video game legislation. We have found that even one person putting a human face on local game development can help to keep anti-game legislation from becoming law. Attendees will see the first version of the Global Ratings System Project, give feedback, and can make suggestions for its expansion.
INTENDED AUDIENCE: This roundtable is open to everyone in the developer community interested in protecting our rights as creative professionals, learning more about censorship issues and formulating strategies for furthering developer rights and responsibilities.
ELIGIBLE PASSES: All Access Pass, Main Conference Pass, Expo Pass (All Conference Passes)
No New Anti-Game Taxes
February 24, 2012
The IGDA Anti-Censorship and Social Issues committee salutes everyone who worked tirelessly to defeat Oklahoma's punitive taxation of violent video games. A coalition of gamers, game developers, and organizations like the Entertainment Software Association deserve praise for lobbying to debunk many anti-game falsehoods and defeat this unfair and unconstitutional law. Great job!
Video game censorship in Australia may finally end in 2012
January 24, 2012
The IGDA Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee congratulates all our friends in Australia for finally getting the R18+ bill before parliament. Australia still has real censorship of many M-rated video games, forcing game companies to make censored versions or not sell in Australia. Federal Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare just revealed today that he intends to introduce the bill next month. Passage is not certain, so it's time for all Australian IGDA members to contact their MPs and insist that the government not prevent adults from buying games. Good luck!
Saluting the ESA
January 21, 2012
The IGDA Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee salutes the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) for its statement ending its support for SOPA and PIPA and for acknowledging the widespread concern about unintended consequences of those bills. We also salute the ESA’s call that any new legislation be created by all the stakeholders and find a balance between competing interests. We especially appreciate the ESA’s renewed commitment to working with all parties.
As the largest organization of video game creators, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) looks forward to working with all the other stakeholders to ensure that any new legislation not only protects our work from harms, but avoids the unintended consequence of harming others- especially those people who are our customers and most active fans!
SOPA Shot Down
January 20, 2012
The IGDA Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee salutes the House and Senate leadership for announcing today that they will delay consideration of SOPA and PIPA after President Obama announced his opposition to the bills. We also wish to thank former supporters, like PIPA co-sponsor Senator Rubio, for reversing their earlier support.
Video game creators are personally harmed by piracy. We have a major stake in protecting our creations from theft so we can continue to do our work. We respect the work of media companies to protect copyrights. But SOPA and PIPA represent a dangerous overreach in the fight against piracy. After reading the text we believe they are censorship bills that would harm our customers-- including the customers who are often our most eager fans and promoters. We believe the video game industry can protect itself from harm without harming others.
The IGDA opposes any effort that would treat digital games differently from other forms of art and creative expression. Digital games are an expressive medium worthy of the same respect, and protections, as movies, literature and other forms of art and entertainment.
The IGDA fully stands behind voluntary, industry driven, content ratings that allow consumers to make informed purchasing/playing decisions for themselves and their families. Games are part of our cultural fabric and are enjoyed by diverse audiences.
Please refer to the "Key Points" section for more elaborated information.
The IGDA advocates for the rights of game developers by lobbying govermental bodies who try to censor or regulate our creative endeavors. The IGDA opposes any effort that would treat video games differently from other forms of media.
Review the our lobbying status updates to stay abreast of the IGDA's efforts.
Ten "key points" have been devised to remind game developers of the importance and impact of their creative endeavors. Some of the points may seem overly obvious to most developers, but chances are that those not part of the industry are much less informed on the facts... These "key points" inform us all in the debate over censorship, regulation and the concerns over violence in games and other social issues.
The Committee has assembled a list of additional references related to anti-censorship, violence and social issues. Those interested in this topic are advised to read up.
The IGDA hosts two monthly columns and a bog that are relevant to the anti-censorship and violence debate:
- Culture Clash: The art and culture of games
- Reality Panic: Musings on industry issues
- The Ivory Tower: Academic insight from game researchers
The IGDA also publishes articles on a myriad of topics. Here are some relevant articles pertaining to anti-censorship, violence and social issues:
- Regulation Is Everyone's Business
- Amicus Brief - IDSA vs. St. Louis County (pdf)
- Panel on Game Addiction
- There Are No Words (Yet): The Desperately Incomplete Language of Gaming
- Playing a "Good" Game: A Philosophical Approach to Understanding the Morality of Games
- The Cultural Study of Games: More Than Just Games
- When Federal Trade Commissioners Attack
Sexuality Mailing List
The issue of sexuality in games is becoming more and more prevalent. To discuss these issues and topics, the IGDA is hosting the Sexuality and Games Mailing List.
Dive into the Violence & Social Issues Discussion Forum. The IGDA hosts online discussion forums to facilitate peer-to-peer communication and the sharing of knowledge.
The purpose of the Anti-Censorship & Social Issues Advisory Committee is to provide advice on anti-censorship and social advocacy efforts and consult with task forces doing projects in this area.
- John Feil - independent developer
- Matthew Ford - Auran
- Daniel Greenberg (chair) - independent developer
- Gerard Jones - author
- Christy Marx - freelance game writer
- Matthew Southern - Evolution Studios
- David Thomas - University of Colorado at Denver / Denver Post
- Damon Watson - Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.
- Dmitri Williams - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign