Posts Tagged ‘Entertainment Software Association’

Trump’s White House video games meeting has a very concerning list of invitees

The list of invitees to US president Donald Trump’s White House video games meeting today has been released. And it’s a sorry sight, including names from notorious right-wing censorship advocacy groups, and not a single qualified expert on the topic. Read the rest of this entry »

Industry and academics unite to oppose World Health Organisation’s “gaming disorder”

A number of academics and games industry associations, including the UK’s Ukie and USA’s Entertainment Software Association, have united to oppose World Health Organisation (WHO) plans to define ‘gaming disorder’ as a health condition. The WHO, an arm of the United Nations, intend to create ‘gaming disorder’ with the next revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), their big book o’ physical and mental conditions found in this so-called world. They define the disorder as–and I paraphrase–pissing your life away playing video games. While the ICD doesn’t dictate policy, it lays foundations and would set a worrying precedent. The industry associations and academics say the classification is rash and could itself be harmful. Read the rest of this entry »

ESRB introducing ‘In-Game Purchases’ label for ratings

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the North American industry body which assigns games age ratings, will expand its labelling on physical boxed games to include warnings of “In-Game Purchases”. This will cover everything that can be bought digitally for real money, from season passes and skins to microtransaction currencies and random loot boxes. They’re only a decade late to noticing all this, then.

Some industry commentators are disappointed that the ESRB don’t take a tougher stance against loot boxes, specifically pointing them out, but it’s no surprise. The ESRB exist to protect big publishers, and recently responded to a US senator’s concerns about loot boxes by calling them “a fun way to acquire virtual items.” Read the rest of this entry »

The ESA rejects proposed DMCA exceptions to allow the non-profit and unofficial revival of dead online games

Battlefield Heroes, previously revived, then un-revived after EA objected.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that games are a legal minefield, and so much of what we take for granted – mods cheekily using repurposed art assets, or fan-games bringing joy to the masses – are often technically illegal, at least under current American copyright law.

Recently, several groups including the Museum Of Art & Digital Entertainment¬†(MADE to their friends), put forward the argument to the US Copyright Office that existing game preservation exceptions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) be widened as part of regularly scheduled legal revisions. This would allow for ‘dead’ online games to be more easily revived by entities other than their rights-holders.

Unsurprisingly, the ESA, representing a great number of major gaming publishers has spoken out against this.

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ESA Oppose DRM Law Change Preserving Online Games

If a publisher shuts down a game’s online bits, current US copyright law says, you’re technically not allowed to modify the game to use different servers or work offline. It’s gone, that’s it, bye-bye. That’s a bummer for players, not to mention folks trying to preserve our short but already fading history. American digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation have been trying to change this, and are currently arguing for an exception for abandoned online games letting folks revive and save them.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, a trade association representing mostly publishers, this would be a bad thing. Oh dear.

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Mod-Me-Do: Dying Light Mod Block & Takedowns Tackled

The zombie represents something and the hand is a mod or look I don't know whatever.

The Dying Light [official site] mod unpleasantness of the past week has been cleared up, and was indeed double whammy of overzealous protection. Developers Techland are doing something about the cheat protection that also blocked legitimate mods, while the Entertainment Software Assocation have nonapologised for copyright takedown notices issued in its name against sites hosting mod downloads. Huzzah! They don’t hate mods, they simply didn’t think things through.

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Better News – ESA Backs Away From SOPA


With the grace of a recently dumped loser shouting, “Well… I never loved you anyway!” as he starts crying, the Entertainment Software Association have announced they’re no longer supporting SOPA. Which is a bit like announcing you no longer support England in the 1994 World Cup.

We contacted the ESA two weeks ago to ask them about their position, and whether they would consider changing it at least until the bills were rewritten. We were ignored. We also contacted every member of the ESA, and were ignored by the vast majority of them. As were Joystiq. Not exactly impressive. But now both bills are on hiatus and looking pretty wounded, at this point, as reported by Giant Bomb, they’ve crept out from behind their upturned table and issued the statement below.

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Firefall Devs Speak And Act Against SOPA

Firefall developers Red 5 are going further than simply expressing their denunciation of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in words. On January 18th, the studio will close the Firefall beta and website for 24 hours in a show of protest. More drastically, the developers are also refusing to show the extremely promising free-to-play multiplayer shooter at E3 this year because of the organiser’s support of SOPA. Commendable. More below.

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Nival Explain They Are “Anti-SOPA”


Nival, the publisher and developers behind the Blitkrieg series and King’s Bounty: Legions, have got in touch with us this evening to let us know that they are “anti-SOPA” – the bill currently going through the US Congress that could irreparably harm the internet. They have given us a statement explaining their position, which is below.

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Where ESA Members Stand On SOPA


Apologies for the initialism-filled title, but for an explanation make sure to read the main post here.

This is to say that we’ve created a permanent page (I’ll link it from the text below the featured boxes at the top) to tell you where each member of the Entertainment Software Association currently stands regarding the censorious and extremely disturbing Stop Online Piracy Act. We’ve contacted all 34 members to find out their position, and will update the page as people get back to us. Please get in touch if you spot any of the companies making comments elsewhere.

You can read it all here.

RPS Asks ESA Members To Denounce SOPA

Protect the internet, folks.

You’ve probably heard of SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, by now. It’s the bill that is currently being considered in the US, that on the surface appears to be an attempt to control piracy, but with only the tiniest scrapes reveals a genuinely terrifying, draconian attempt to introduce government censorship of the internet at the behest of unelected corporations. While it initially had the support of a number of big internet players, that has rapidly ceased to be the case, with massive online corps pulling support or having refused it in the first place. From Facebook to Google, AOL to Yahoo, and so many other big players, the bill is being condemned as a threat to free speech, online business, any “safe harbor” protections that the DMCA had left behind, and being so poorly worded that it pretty much outlaws using the internet at all. So why is it the Entertainment Software Association is in support?

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