With some notable websites having decided to "go dark" today to protest the possible passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA)--such as Reddit and Wikipedia--Firefall developer Red 5 Studios and its CEO, Mark Kern, have decided to take things a step further. They've formed a new entity called the "League For Gamers," a non-profit entity meant to stand up in opposition to potentially damaging initiatives like SOPA and PIPA.
Red 5's Kern has kicked things off with a generous $50,000 donation, a move that he hopes will help grow the League For Gamers into a viable alternative to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and its subsidiary, the Video Game Voters Network (VGVN). An alternative organization does seem necessary, given that both the ESA (and by extension, the VGVN) have come out in support of SOPA and PIPA. This runs contrary to the wishes of many of the gamers and developers for whom the ESA is supposed to be an advocate.
"The VGVN and the ESA claim to represent gamers and developers, but they have turned their backs on them by supporting and funding legislation such as SOPA and PIPA," stated Kern. "Developers such as Red 5 Studios and other game makers no longer have an organization to represent their true position on this kind of destructive legislation."
Though as of Monday, SOPA legislation has "been shelved" for now, the Protect IP Act is still cause for immediate concern. The League For Gamers first initiative has been to petition the ESA to withdraw its support of PIPA, which still "looms large" in the United States Senate. The Senate is scheduled to vote on PIPA on January 24th.
Those attempting to visit the Red 5 Studios website will find it blacked-out in protest for today; however, the new League For Gamers website is up and running, for those who'd like to register and get involved.