New “We the People” petition to help prevent console region-locking

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Under the new We the People online petition initiative set in motion by the White House, a very video game-centric hot topic has come to light. As many gamers know — particularly those who enjoy handheld gaming — region-locking is a particularly pesky and limiting feature that’s become the norm in consoles over the last couple of generations. Thankfully, one pro-active person has decided to help get the support of the US government to take a look into the issue. And this is where you can help.

The petition titled “Ban the use of region-locking in games, movies, software, and Internet traffic handling” is proposing a motion to prevent distributors from hindering the ability of consumers using products they’ve imported from other regions. In other words, being able to play games from a Japanese 3DS cartridge on your US handheld, for example. It’s an global issue that constantly rears its ugly head upon a console launch, or when a particularly interesting title is only available in another region and won’t see a local release (at least, for the foreseeable future).

As of this writing the petition has garnered 376 signatures out of its 100,000 goal to qualify a response from the White House by February 15, 2013. And as recently reported, even some humourously outlandish proposals have seen a formal response. But if this is an issue that really affects you — or you see as something holding back the gaming industry from international growth — then you’re encouraged to show your support by signing. And if you’re of the mindset that gamers won’t be taken seriously, Australia just recently introduced its R18+ classification for video games, which was spear-headed by a large demographic of vocal gaming enthusiasts and has been an issue for over fifteen years. Gamers can indeed help make a difference.

How do you feel about this proposal? Is it something you feel strongly about? Have your say below or contribute to the discussion in our forum.

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