Video Game Voters Network (VGVN)

The Video Game Voters Network is an industry-affiliated advocacy group .  The mission of the Video Game Voters Network (VGVN) is to defend video games as free speech through public participation.  As a proponent of video game rights, the VGVN is supported by the ESA.  Beyond the VGVN site, much information about the VGVN is articulated through the ESA’s website.

The VGVN site includes information about the Brown v. EMA/ESA decision, their argument as to why there should not be censorship laws, and how people can become involved and take action.  In particular, the VGVN argues for the need of a “truth squad,” comprised of a “critical mass” of supportive, game players, whose purpose is to encourage people to write letters to members of congress, send emails to friends/family, and engage in public and online discussion.

A number of social media sites/tools are incorporated into the VGVN’s mission, including Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and Twitter.

"Wall of Protest" on VGVN Facebook Page

The VGVN created a college ambassador program, encouraging voting age students on college campuses to form coalitions to discuss video games, freedom of speech, and other industry issues.  According to the VGVN website, “The Video Game Voters Network (VGVN) is a grassroots coalition, of voting-age computer and video game players, whose purpose is to educate and mobilize the gamer community in political activities and focus on the positive impact that video games have in our society.”

Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, an Australian video game journalist for The Escapist who is known for his edgy Zero Punctuation videos, was commissioned by the VGVN to produce a video featured on the VGVN website.  His video, “Zero Punctuation on Zero Regulation: The Escapist and Video Games Voter Network,” promotes involvement in VGVN and video games as free speech.  *Note to teachers: this video includes explicit language.

*Further reading in the area of industry-affiliated/sponsored advocacy groups: The International Game Developer’s Association is involved in advocating anti-censorship for video games, as well as discussing legal issues.

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