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New Advocacy Group Says They're Looking Out for Gamers

| 13 Oct 2006 16:20

A new non-profit organization says they're looking to organize and educate gamers while they protect their interests on Capitol Hill and throughout the nation.

The Entertainment Consumers Association (or ECA) is lead by Hal Halpin. A 15-year veteran of the "interactive entertainment" industry, Halpin is the founder and former president of the game industry's retail trade association, the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA).

His newest effort touts several goals on their newly launched site at www.theeca.com, including keeping government influence out of the policing of the games industry, as well as dispelling the image of video games as a motivator of violent behavior.

While advocating for such a diverse group of consumers as gamers may seem a pretty large umbrella, Halpin told The Escapist that he's staying focused on what he views as some of the biggest threats.

"Our perspective is that gamers are the ones in the crosshairs, it's our rights that politicians are attempting to marginalize unduly and it's those fights that we intend to get involved with in the near term," Halpin said.

Gamers can lend their support to and stay abreast of the effort by becoming members of the ECA, which will run them $19.99.

According to the site, membership will also net "a chance to win a new PlayStation 3 console, discounts off of subscriptions to enthusiast magazines and premium websites, free copy of new feature-length film 'Gamers' as supplies last" and a few other perks.

More than just a way to raise funds, Halpin said he sees getting gamers involved with their political fight as one of the goals of his group.

"It's our intention to employ digital advocacy through grassroots initiatives. Other non-profits have very successfully motivated groups into action, a few diverse examples would be MoveOn.org or AARP," Halpin said.

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