These Guys Want The White House To Ban Console Region-Locking

These Guys Want The White House To Ban Console Region-Locking

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.

Go sign it.


  • Online petition vs MS/Sony/Content Industry Lobby Groups

    Good luck to them but I think I know what the result of this petition is likely to be.

    • Except that Sony and MS leave region locking up to the publisher (the consoles support it, they don’t require it). To date only a single PS3 has ever had region locking…
      I doubt the white house will do anything about it – but I don’t actually think they’d have that much opposition if they did decide to. Video games lobbying groups aren’t as strong as groups like the MPAA, and even if they were – they’d need to be at a consensus for this.

    • Don’t be so sure, if they reach the minimum number of votes (25000 or 100000 depending on when the petition started) the white house MUST at least respond to it. Even if nothing comes of it, it will increase awareness of the issue when the white house responds.

      • As far as the White House / POTUS / US domestic policy is concerned, this is not an issue at all. This simply isn’t a job for the US Senate.

      • As cool as it would be if something happend, Its why they changed it to 100,000 votes, so when they respond to something, its will be hopefully be something worth looking into that’s more than region coding on video game consoles.

  • Are you fucking kidding me? They’re petitioning the White House about region-locking? This is the stupidest thing ever.

    • to be fair, the white house recently had to respond (like two weeks ago maybe) to a petition about building a death star

      • Which prompted them to change the required signature count from 25,000 to 100,000. If this gets the requisite signatures, they increase the minimum even further.

        • except that this is an issue (one that actually exists no less) about international trade involving a major branch of the entertainment industry.

  • There are alot of people out there who love to tell you what you can’t do, but those people are almost always lazy, apathetic and lacking all ambition.

    Ignore all nasayers. They are unproductive and contribute nothing. Doing a little gives you much more of a chance to change something, than the naysayers sitting on their butts doing nothing.

    • The outrageous thing here is that someone is petitioning the White House to ban region locking. Something that is international. I wasn’t aware that America could tell a Japanese company to stop manufacturing a product a certain way.

      Who do they think they are? They do not control the world.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!