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Opinion: How Will Obama Administration Affect Game Legislation?

With the election of Democrat Barack Obama as U.S. President, where now for game legislation? Researcher Neils Clark and GamePolitics.com editor Dennis McCauley give their opinions on the many decisions facing Obama that will influence the games industry
With the election of Democrat Barack Obama, both gamers and the industry have speculated as to the future of games regulation under his administration. In a new Gamasutra feature posted today and written by researcher Neils Clark, he looks at what he and other commentators believe may change under the new Presidency for the game business. The researcher firstly cites President Obama's comments, in late 2007, on games and new media in general: "We need to make sure that all of our children have access to these technologies and we must teach our children how to harness the huge potential of this technology. I want to make sure my children are protected from the dangers of the new media world, but I also want to make sure they reap the benefits of it." Clark continues: "But what, if anything, does that mean for us? Many of the decisions facing Obama will influence the games industry. With California's overturned ban of video game sales to minors very likely heading to the Supreme Court, his appointments are not insignificant in terms of gaming legislation." GamePolitics.com editor Dennis McCauley is also quoted on Obama and game-related issues, suggesting: "To be honest, I think that when politicians get around to legislating video games that will mean that they're feeling comfortable with some of the more important issues. Right now there's so much on President Obama's table: the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I can't see his administration prioritizing video game content legislation." Clark's conclusion on the matter? "And while we very well might not see much legislation over content, maybe it is time to pay more deliberate and informed attention to video games. With a sinking economy, maybe we can find clues in countries like Korea -- not just in how government can work to promote a strong gaming sector and gaming culture internationally, but perhaps also in how a country can come together to better understand, balance and make use of the media all around them." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, including lots more on the state of legislation on addiction, IP rights, and censorship of games.

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