Wealthy game publishers have the ESA. Big bucks retailers have the EMA. Even game developers have their own group, the IGDA.
It’s about time somebody stuck up for the little guy, the video game consumer.
Hal Halpin, who once headed the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association, hopes to help gamers “give their passion a voice.”
That’s the idea behind the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), a web-based consumer group which is launching this morning.
According to a press release, the ECA is designed to “serve the evolving needs of individuals who play computer and video games. This first ever of its kind organization focuses its advocacy efforts on consumer rights, anti-games legislation, and a host of other public policy concerns in addition to providing substantial community and affinity benefits to its members.”
The ECA says its mission includes giving game consumers a voice and ensuring that state and local politicians hear their concerns and appreciate their demographic power. The organization is designed to be an advocate for gamers who, according the organization, represent nearly half of the U.S. population, whose average age is 33, and who spend $10 billion annually on their pastime.
Hal Halpin adds:
“The ECA was created to fill a void that needed to be paid attention to… arguably the most important group within the interactive entertainment industry, the consumers. These individuals are the life-blood to this multibillion dollar industry yet they have been unrepresented, until now, which is exciting for myself and the rest of the ECA team as we are the organization that now allows their voices to be heard.”
Set up as a 501(c)(4) non-profit membership organization, an ECA membership will cost gamers $19.99 per year. Today’s press release details member benefits that include:
- news on industry issues and events
- career and educational opportunities in gaming
- a chance to voice feedback on issues and products
- subscription discounts
- savings on game purchases and rentals
- access to game events
Future plans may involve additional goodies such as research, education assets, career assistance and guidance, scholarships and financial aid, and even low-cost comprehensive individual health and life insurance for members.
Going forward, GamePolitics will provide news services for the ECA. We’ll have more to say about that at some future point.