Government Affairs

ESA engages policymakers at the national, state and local level on a range of legislative and public policy issues impacting the video game industry, including copyright and intellectual property laws, First Amendment protections for industry artists, privacy and trade.

Content regulation

At both the federal and state levels, ESA works to ensure that video games and industry artists receive the same First Amendment protections as books, movies, music and TV programs, and opposes efforts to regulate entertainment media based on its content. ESA partners with the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to educate policymakers about the ESRB’s video game rating system, which provides consumers with age-based ratings and game content descriptors to help them make informed choices for their families.

The ESRB is praised by family advocates, elected officials and government agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, which credited the video game industry for effectively complying with industry guidelines that restrict the target marketing of Mature-rated products to children, clearly and prominently disclosing rating information, and preventing children’s access to Mature-rated products at retail.

Federal issues

One of ESA’s top priorities at the federal level is maintaining strong intellectual property protections and enforcement of copyright laws, which are critical to allowing computer and video game companies to protect their creative works. ESA was an active participant in the public policy debate that culminated in enactment of the historic Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and remains involved in any debate surrounding the Copyright Act, potential revisions to the DMCA and related policies.

ESA leads industry efforts so that U.S. game developers have fair access to markets around the world and advocates for the inclusion of strong intellectual property protection and enforcement measures in free trade agreements. The Federal Government Affairs team works with lawmakers on issues related to marketing regulations, maintaining a competitive workforce, privacy and data security.

Read ESA’s recent letters to the House and Senate regarding the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act.

State issues

In the states, ESA works with legislators, governors and state attorneys general to cultivate welcoming operating environments for computer and video game companies. ESA helps foster innovation, stimulate job creation and add value to state economies. The State Government Affairs team engages lawmakers on issues related to privacy, taxation and e-commerce.