ESA launches misdirected Wall of Protest

by: Chuck -
The Video Game Voters network (the ESA's semi-knock off of Moveon.org) has created a virtual "Wall of Protest" where gamers can post their objection to video game legislation.  It's a nice thought and sentiment but as I've said before the ESA needs to focus on educating parents and the general population on their rating systems and how it works.  Right now the ESA is attacking the result of a problem rather than the problem itself. 

The problem as I see it is two fold.  The first is that most people think that video games are something only for children.  That video games are just collections of large blocky pixels that beep and boop as they move across a screen.  A lot of people don't realize how far games have evolved and how much more realistic the games have become and that  games are now dealing with much more mature themes than in the past.

The second part of the problem is that people still seem blissfully unaware of the ESRB's rating system and how good it really is.  I think the ESRB has a fantastic rating system that does a great job of describing what's in each game but a lot of people don't know how to read the ratings on the box and I place the blame for that squarely on the ESA for not having any kind of nationwide ad campaign to educate people on the ratings system.

The culmination of these two problems is that you have an unaware populace who respond very negatively to change and are shocked when they find out that video games are so much more graphic than they used to be.  These people contact their local politicians and local news (who are always looking for something sentationalistic) and you have the crap video game legislation that the ESA is trying to fight. 
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