US gamer lobby launched

Nonprofit Entertainment Consumers Association "established to serve the needs of those who play computer and video games"; former IEMA head Hal Halpin heading.

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In today's checkered political landscape, virtually every interest group has an advocacy group representing it. So little wonder, then, that gamers would soon get their own nonprofit representation organization--or, what most people call a lobby.

The Entertainment Consumers Association logo.

Hot on the heels of the recent formation of the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), which represents game and video retailers, comes the announcement of the formation of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA). The connection between the two goes beyond their similar-sounding names, as the ECA's president is none other than Hal Halpin, former president of the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA), which merged with the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) to form the EMA earlier this year.

According to the mission statement on its Web site, the ECA is "an advocacy organization for consumers of interactive entertainment. ... The mission of the ECA is to give game consumers a voice and to ensure that elected officials hear their concerns and appreciate the growing influence of the gamer demographic."

The ECA site also points out that "nearly 50 percent of the US population...spend $10 billion annually on gaming yet as a group are continually overlooked by both politicians and the mainstream press." The ECA will work to remedy said oversight, though no particular initiative to raise awareness amongst nongamers has yet been announced.

Anyone interested in joining the ECA can do so for a $19.99 annual membership fee. Besides funding pro-game publicity and lobbying efforts, the organization is planning a series of benefits, including a magazine, discounts on game rentals and purchases, and free PC game demos for download. Members will also be eligible for a PlayStation 3 giveaway planned for later in the year.

Discussion

45 comments
Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Having gone to the site, it is an advocacy group for the Industry against the politicians. Whatever it says about being there for gamers/consumers everything it says on the main page is about defending the gaming industry from the nasty politicians. I don't see how that is a consumer advocacy group. Where's the consumer group to defend us from the industry? To pressure them to have better quality control and less bugs? To pressure print or web based gaming media to support the gamer rather than the industry? Where are the gaming groups that can put pressure on the cutting of genres and the increasing cost of gaming through micro-transactions, paid-for patches, upgrades and level unlocks, adverts in games and games that cost the same but give only 10-15 hours of gameplay as opposed to the 30+ of just a couple of years ago?

_Sam_
_Sam_

I might join sometime

michaelhall
michaelhall

im with pinktoque I also disagree with lobbying anything, its just another way for someone to make money off people who don't pay attention to anything. tobbacco copanies have lobbiests, and the gov taxes cigs that kill people to perpetuate monies to be spent on helthcare and the like. don't you guys think this could backfire in some way or another? nonprofit is a joke, it doesnt exist. credit unions are nonprofit, but they grow just like banks, and all the employees get paid also. but i guess you guys that support this would be more at ease throwing 20 bones away than getting off your bum and using your own voice... boo on this ECA. But I could be wrong, maybe its the best thing that has ever happend to gaming and I just don't see through the surface...

Mredria
Mredria

20$... Pretty good for the discounts and subscriptions, plus getting our voices heard. I'd just spend the money on icecream and candy anyway.

vamroc
vamroc

Anything that will keep people like Thompson out of the headlines. There should be a "White Russian" mod in the next GTA that has Thompson getting "Probed".

makemeweak
makemeweak

50% of the US population? That must be for more than just video games.

CheddarLimbo
CheddarLimbo

Generic_Dude said: "Ugh... what we need are LESS lobbyists, not MORE, regardless of who they represent. " ------------------ If you can't beat 'em - join 'em. I'm giving them my 20 bucks.

ldonyo
ldonyo

If you're a gamer of voting age, joining the ECA is a no-brainer. Unless, of course, you want people like Jack Thompson deciding what kind of games you can play...

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

Good. Very good. Let the voice of the gamers be heard!

lumines_god
lumines_god

as nappan so eloquently said it: About damned time!

Kaizen4
Kaizen4

I notice people are are saying $20 is too much for this, If I were an American I would undoubtedly give $20 to this lobby, and that's BEFORE you take into account the magazine, competitions and discounts. The American games industry has been under attack for too long. Now you've been given a voice so USE IT... or of course, you could just sit here and complain in a forum post which no-one cares about except for gamers themselves.

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

TryMe01
TryMe01

$19.99 annual membership fee, what a fip off, i could buy a game for that kind of money

nappan
nappan

About damned time.

glhx1rush
glhx1rush

Hahha, who is the bigger douche, Clinton or Thompson ?, hahaha, I'm going to be laughing over than question all night, hahaha, I can't decide! hahhhaah

Boo_looDODO
Boo_looDODO

:D Sweetness! Think about it, if we all join this "Organization" lets say about...50 million gamers 20 x 50,000,00 = 100,000,000 million in cash, think about the possiblities! If the gaming industry is worth $10 Billion alone in the US, there is no telling how big our influence is on the global economy, and yet society itself! This is the first step towards a bright future for gamers!

pinktoque
pinktoque

Interesting. Good luck with this. I'd also like to say that Jack Thompson is a moron. If he'd like some facts on the TRUTH about violence and video games, he needs to read this article: http://www.gamerevolution.com/static/index.php?section=feature&sub=violence&page=violence Funny how media and the government can hype up that video game violence causes things like school shootings, yet at the same time they publicly display graphs and charts that prove otherwise. Learn2Propaganda.

Demoman286th
Demoman286th

Meh, Twenty bucks to join a group... that's twenty bucks I can spend on Video Games... WHY ARE SO MANY OF MY INTERESTS CONFLICTING!?

JLCrogue
JLCrogue

thorsen-ink "Bill Clinton and Jack Thompson shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence." Why? I don't see what's so great about Bill Clinton, other than he's not as bad as Hilary Clinton! :lol:

yoshirox85
yoshirox85

So it's like Pandora.com for videogames? Awesome.

umbrae
umbrae

Why'd it take so long?

thorsen-ink
thorsen-ink

Bill Clinton and Jack Thompson shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence.

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

Sweet! Finally some people who actually will help fight against mentally unstably people such has Jack Thompson (should I even capitalize his name does he really even deserve that? I mean I respect his guy less than Bill Clinton). So ya, it's good to know someone is actually helping us gamers.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

Ugh... what we need are LESS lobbyists, not MORE, regardless of who they represent.

Iramek
Iramek

this should be intresting to watch. wonder if they will be effective as most gamer are hoping they will be.

I_Stole_the_Tv
I_Stole_the_Tv

Lobbying for blood, boobies, and other very important things!

pawabeer
pawabeer

its about time gamers fought back!

veracity024
veracity024

good finally someone lobbying for the good guys

coreyb42
coreyb42

Cool, now we can bribe (errr, 'contribute to campaigns') politicians just like everyone else!

mishuk
mishuk

At long last!!! Finally this advocacy group can take down on Jack Thompson...that stupid idiot lawyer.

joestierman
joestierman

umm i just commented about this yesterday that we should have some representation. wow you guys are fast

barkey2007
barkey2007

I'm surprised this group didn't start earlier. finally, a group is out there to represent gamers for once!

JohnB555
JohnB555

sounds like a worthy cause. Good luck.

TintedChimes
TintedChimes

doubt this will do anything but hey, at least its a nice front.