The last time I wrote This Week In Gaming was one one month ago and the leading story was that of SOPA, also known as the Stop Online Piracy Act. To save recapping what's already been written, this is what I wrote in that newspost:

"A possible outcome of this bill passing would be that websites that we use would be shut down. You can say goodbye to megaupload, youporn and thepiratebay. United Kingdom TotalBiscuit has made a YouTube video explaining it which you can see here. The short story here is that a number of large American corporations including Sony, EA, UFC, NFL, NBA, Universal and 350+ more are supporting a bill which:

QuoteThe bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as copyright holders, to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement.

Of course, you will be wondering how this affects you or why you should care at all, you're not American, right? Well the problem is that all of our major international entertainment industries are American ... the games we play, the music we listen to, the porn we watch ... It's all in jeopardy. I'm honestly not being sensationalist in writing this. This isn't exaggeration for exaggeration's sake, this bill is BAD NEWS for anyone who regularly uses the internet. Simple as that. Watch TotalBiscuit's video, he explains it better than I do."

image: 2i8brjtimage: oszjarOne month later and SOPA remains in the headlines. One of the most popular sites on the internet,, has taken their stance by declaring they will be blacking out on January 18th in protest of SOPA. Their official post can be found here. All major headlines over the past month have been pertinent to the fight against SOPA, including many major gaming developers voicing their stance against the bill. Nintendo and Sony both publically dropped their support for SOPA and Major League Gaming dropped all of their domains from GoDaddy (who are public SOPA supporters). Trust EA to support SOPA, ofcourse. After all, since when did EA actually give a damn about gamers? NVIDIA also announced they don't support SOPA.

There have been calls for more public sites such as Facebook, YouTube or Google to show their opposition to SOPA, particularly as these are some of the sites with the most to lose and have the SOPA-ignorant userbase. Unfortunately it seems that these calls have landed on deaf ears. Media-mogul Rupert Murdoch (CEO of News Corporation, the second largest media conglomerate in the world) launched a public attack on Google for not taking action against SOPA, and branded them a "piracy leader" for their lack of participation.

Today, January 16th it was announced that SOPA is set to be shelved after American President Barack Obama publicly stated that he would not support it. The trick here is that SOPA has a sister bill, known as PIPA, which is slightly less radical and has flown under the radar thanks to the public awareness of SOPA. As someone smarter than I said:

QuoteDo not take this concession as a victory. This is an old trick. Please spread the word and call them out repeatedly.
1: Make crazy offer (SOPA)
2: Client rejects crazy offer (us)
3: Make a "reasonable" offer (PIPA)
4: Client accepts offer because it seems reasonable compared to crazy offer

You may think that there is nothing you can do, and perhaps in the grand scheme of things, nobody on Crossfire can stop SOPA or PIPA passing. But raising awareness is key and it's because of this that so many large gaming-orientated companies have come out in public opposition of these bills, further raising public awareness - it's a cycle.

American Congress will basically decide the future of the internet. It really is as simple and as sad as that.