The industry is young, and 2011 was a mark of success throughout when the Court System ruled that video games indeed are a form of art, and therefore, protected by the first amendment. That strengthened the industry as a whole, giving reinforcement to everyone that video games are indeed as practical a source of entertainment as movies, comics or books are.
However, just as our year of a great victory came to an end, two blocks of legislation came to the industry’s attention that threaten all we have gained in respect and strength in the years past: SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and its sister bill, PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act).
Many companies and websites have banded together to combat the dangerous measures the U.S. government is investigating to combat the cyberworld in the name of “piracy protection”. While, yes, piracy is bad (and we do not support it at Lore Hound), these recent proposed acts have far more reaching effects than just piracy prevention.
Red 5 Studios, makers of the upcoming FireFall made an official announcement this morning, declaring itself as an endorser of a new legislative movement group on behalf of the gaming industry: League For Gamers, properly acronymed as LFG.
Laguna Hills, CA – January 17, 2012 – Red 5 Studios™ today announced the League For Gamers (LFG), an organization with the lifelong mission of promoting games in a positive way, spreading the passion of gaming and protecting gaming interests in politics. Red 5 will shut down Firefall and its website on January 18th in a 24 hour show of solidarity, encouraging gamers, developers and all industry supporters to join LFG and stand together against misguided and overbearing legislative initiatives such as SOPA, (Stop Online Privacy Act), and PIPA, (Protect IP), in order to perpetuate and continue industry growth.
The League For Gamers was founded on January 14, 2012 by Red 5 Studios and its CEO, Mark Kern, through a $50,000 pledge. It was established as a true alternative to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and its subsidiary organization, the Video Game Voter’s Network (VGVN).
“The VGVN and the ESA claim to represent gamers and developers, but they have turned their backs on them by supporting and funding legislation such as SOPA and PIPA,” said Mark Kern. “Developers such as Red 5 Studios and other game makers no longer have an organization to represent their true position on this kind of destructive legislation. LFG’s first action will be to petition the ESA to withdraw their support from PIPA, which still looms large in the Senate.”
While it was announced on Monday that SOPA has been “shelved” – for the time being – its sister bill PIPA is still an immediate threat to the gaming industry and online freedom. The Senate is scheduled to vote on PIPA January 24th, leaving one week for gamers and developers to add their support and get the attention of representatives. Interested parties can join LFG and its ESA petition at the following link: http://www.leagueforgamers.org/2012/01/17/help-lfg-join-now/
More people across the internet, including web actress and phenomenon, Felicia Day, are participating and advocating for participation in the Web “Blackout” tomorrow in protest of SOPA & PIPA.
Lore Hound supports this movement, and we urge you all to do something to bring attention to how dangerous, severe, and overeaching these issues are to your Congressmen (and Women!) and your State Representatives.