NeoGAF frequenter and helpful Japanese translator Cheesemeister has started a petition to ask the White House to ban region-locking.
Region-locking, the practice of restricting game consoles to one specific country or region and only that specific country or region, has been criticised by gamers for decades now. If a console is region-locked, you can’t use it to play imports. Which really sucks for Americans who are into Japanese games (and vice versa).
You might be wondering: isn’t this a global issue? Cheesemeister writes: “Ultimately, there’d have to be bilateral legislative action, but you have to start somewhere. A US-side ban on region-locking would require that products sold in the US wouldn’t prevent you from playing imported digital media.”
Okay. So there’s a White House petition. Some might say, “Are you fucking kidding me? You’re petitioning the White House about region-locking? This is the stupidest thing ever.”
That’s not what I say. I say, power to you, Cheesemeister and crew. As video game fans, we’re often at the whim of giant money-mongering corporations who control what we play and how we play it. That’s frustrating. And sometimes our options are limited. Sometimes, no matter how crushed we might feel by the weight of companies who have asshole-ish practices like region-locking, it’s comforting to know that at least in some small way, everyone can have a voice. Even if it is in the form of a ridiculous White House petition.