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April 9th, 2004 #1
Attn Californian Video Game Players
Dear IGDA member,
** Action required before April 13th **
I am writing to alert you to legislation (AB 1792 and AB 1793) that would harm the video game industry in the state of California and
have potential negative repercussions across the entire industry. Your help is needed to stop this legislation, which will be considered
in General Assembly very shortly.
These bills treat video games differently from other forms of media. AB 1792 prohibits the sale or rental of video games to minors that
contain violent material by reclassifying games as "harmful substances" such as alcohol and tobaco. AB 1793 mandates unwieldy segregation
rules for retailers to display games based on ratings issued by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). These bills are a
misdirected attempt at placing the government, instead of parents, in charge of what games they buy for their families.
Full details on AB 1792 and AB 1793 can be found at the California State Legislature website:
These bills would frustrate new major efforts undertaken by our industry and retailers to voluntarily increase awareness of the game
rating system and prevent the sale of M (Mature) rated games to kids under 17. And, the bills do not reflect the fact that over 80% of
all game are purchased by adults, and that the average age of game players is 25+ years.
Furthermore, some retailers have stated that they would feel they do not have any other choice but to stop carrying all video games rated
M or AO rather than risk non-compliance with government regulations before they have even had a chance to fully implement the industry's
The IGDA firmly believes that games are a medium of expression that should receive the same level of respect, and protection, as other
forms of art and entertainment. These bill are one more step on the slippery slope of government regulation, oversight and control over
our creative endeavors.
Here is how you can help stop this legislation. The Arts and Entertainment Committee will be considering these bills on April 13th and
the Public Safety Committee will be considering them soon after. If you reside in the district of one of these Committees' members, it is
imperative that you email or fax him/her as soon as possible to urge a vote against this legislation.
A draft letter that you can modify and send is available at the IGDA site:
As well as a list of the members of both Committees:
If you do not know who your reps are, you can cross check online first:
Please grab the letter, tweak it as you see fit and send it off to the appropriate Committee member (ie, the one from the district you
are in). Please copy me on your email or letter.
These bills are unnecessary and unworkable and would unfairly single out video games. Lawmakers should refrain from damaging an industry
that is so critical to the Californian economy and discourage our positive voluntary efforts to address the issues that policymakers have
been demanding. Thanks for your consideration of this request. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Some additional background info links:
Reference: Anti-Censorship Key Points
Letter: IGDA opposition letter to Leland Yee
Article: Regulation Is Everyone's Business
Article: Violent video games under fire in Assembly
Article: Video games spark debate, legislation
Interview: Leland Y. Yee Interview at HomeLan