The ESA pauses political contributions following US Capitol attack

The US Capitol Building
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The Entertainment Software Association has announced that it will pause contributions made by its Political Advisory Committee after an attempted coup in the US Capitol by far-right insurrectionists. 

"Given the events and actions that led to the violence at the US Capitol, we are pausing contributions from the ESA PAC as we reflect on the tragedy and our path forward," the ESA said in a statement to Gamesindustry.biz (opens in new tab).

During 2020's US election cycle, the EA PAC donated $48,300 to federal candidates. As Gamesindustry.biz notes, among them were five representatives who, following the violent attack on the Capitol, voted to overturn the election results citing baseless claims of fraud. Those representatives are Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif), Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (R-Ga), Jay Obernolte (R-Calif), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind), and Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), who each received between $500 and $2,500 from the ESA PAC.

The ESA has been a political organization since its founding (as the Interactive Digital Software Association) in response to Congressman Joe Lieberman's proposed Video Game Ratings Act of 1994, which would have created a government committee to rate videogames if publishers hadn't worked together to propose the ESRB instead.

In the years since, the ESA has backed anti-piracy legislation, filed several million copyright takedown notices (opens in new tab), and defended loot boxes against proposed regulation multiple (opens in new tab) times (opens in new tab).

During several previous elections, the ESA PAC contributed more to Republicans than Democrats. The 2020 election cycle marked a swing in the other direction, with 56.52% of its contributions going to Democrat candidates (opens in new tab).

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.