ESA: Grassroots Movements Will Help Game Industry At 'Critical' Juncture

The ESA tells Gamasutra that the gaming industry is at a "critical" juncture in moving towards mass-market acceptance, and grassroots movements are key to positive chan
Even though the debate over the video game industry's First Amendment rights has died down since the court reviewed California's violent video game law late last year, grassroots movements in support of gaming are still important to the advancement of the the industry. That's according to Richard Taylor, an SVP at U.S.-based industry trade group the Entertainment Software Association. "For a long time attacking video games was a low-risk high-reward proposition," he said in a new Gamasutra feature. "It's very easy to say kids are off track because of video games, or this person did a horrible thing because he played games, but we've changed that greatly in the past few years, partly through organizing on a grassroots level and stepping in and countering those accusations," said Taylor. The publishing of Taylor's comments comes after a new study out of Iowa State University linked excessive gaming to depression and anxiety in children. The ESA preempted the release of the study calling it "flawed." The games industry in the U.S. has the grassroots organization, the Video Game Voters Network, which rallies gamers from around the country to stand up for the rights of those who create, sell, and consume video games. Taylor said, "The video game industry is relatively young, [and] it's particularly critical at this time to make sure it's being treated fairly, equally, that it's being appreciated as an art form, and is appreciated for the innovation it brings." For more insight on different grassroots games politics efforts, why gamers take on the challenge and how effective their efforts actually are, read the full Gamasutra feature, available now.

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