Independent developer Laurion Studio is working to raise voter awareness among gamers by giving away free copies of its latest game.
Running through November until Election Day, Laurion will be doing its part to promote the potential importance of the gamer voting bloc by offering free copies of the fantasy RPG Parhedros: The Tunnels of Sethir to gamers who send emails to their Senators and Representatives, explaining how they feel about the issue of videogame censorship. Links to look up government email address are provided on the site.
"We hear so much about protecting kids from games," said Laurion spokesman David Van Meter, "but how often do we hear that the average videogamer is actually 33 years old, and that a whopping 72 percent of all gamers are over the age of 18, according to studies by the Entertainment Software Association? Videogamers are also voters, and I think it's time to let politicians know that we are tired of being treated like children when it comes to free speech in our games."
Parhedros: The Tunnels of Sethir is held as an example of "free-thinking" games being published online by small developers: While primarily a standard role-playing game, the story also addresses topics such as alcoholism and sexual identity crises.
"From our point of view, games will only reach their full potential as an artistic medium when they can freely tackle the same sorts of subjects that novelists and film-makers have treated for decades," Van Meter continued. "But the political hand-wringing over game content and ratings has left the major studios and retailers afraid to touch games that intellectually challenge adults as works of fiction. It will stay that way, too, until videogamers speak up and assert their political vote."
More information about the initiative, as well as links to other related game sites, U.S. political email address (and don't forget that free game) are available at the official Parhedros website.