GamePolitics Joins the ECA

October 25, 2006 -
We've got some big news today! has been acquired by the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), the innovative consumer group for gamers launched recently by former IEMA president Hal Halpin. 

As GP editor and founder, I'm proud to be associated with Hal's new organization, which is designed to be the voice of today's video game consumer. Here at GamePolitics we've always had a consumer-oriented outlook, but until now, there was no organized group to fight for gamers and their interests. With the launch of the ECA, gamers now have someone to watch their backs.

As far as content, readers shouldn't expect to see any difference in GP's daily features. I'll be staying on as GamePolitics editor, and we'll have the same in-depth coverage of legislative, political and cultural issues that you've come to expect from GamePolitics. Of course, we've also got great resources like the Legislation Tracker, forums and much more. Look for some new features upcoming as well!

The ECA is issuing a press release today that addresses both the GamePolitics acquisition as well as a new partnership with NCsoft and its PlaySmart public service program which is designed to educate consumers on personal safety and privacy for online gamers, especially children.

The San Jose Mercury-News' Dean & Nooch game blog has more. So does Gamasutra. And GameSpot.  And this one from Kotaku that I'm not so crazy about...


Whilst I can already hear the accusations of 'Bias' etc coming from certain quarters, I for one am glad to hear this. If for no other reason that now you are affiliated with a group like the ECA if becomes a lot harder to harass you and your empoyer.

Congratulations Dennis, you've certainly earned it over these last few months.

Congrats Dennis. I'm glad to see this site is getting the recognition it so rightly deserves.

I have to say that I'm concerned. See my rather long-ish posting back when the subject of the ECA first came up:

::puts fingertips together a la Mr. Burns:: Excelent.

Grats Dennis!

Congrats. I hope you win the free PS3 from their site for joining ^_^.

@Zero Beat ...already started, you're late!


@OMK - I'd pay Hal Halpin to let me keep doing this! (but don't let that get around...)

Congratulations, Dennis!

When's the party? (note: rhetorical if no party is planned)

I hope they paid you well for it Dennis. You've done a lot of hard work and deserve something for it.

Congratulations, Dennis. :-D I barely started reading all this a few months ago, but I can tell that you partnership with the ECA Is good news. Best of luck.

Now that that formal stuff is out of the way...: WOOOO! Go you! yay!

Great work, Dennis!


Well, certain parties have been accusing that since GP was first set up. ;)

It makes perfect sense. This site is like the CNN of the gaming community so it would only be logical if Hal would pick this site up and co-joining it with an organization with a means to inform and educate the (somewhat) misguided public.

~the1jeffy - proud Gper since, oh about a year and proud ECA'er since, well, last week.

This is an excellent turn of events. Normally, I'd be skeptical, and talk about potential selling out, but I've talked to both Hal (via his GP Q/A a few months back) and Dennis (wrote him a book review).

I trust them both as consumate professionals, with the interests of gamers at heart.

Three Cheers All Around!


~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

I have to be honest, I'm not too excited about this. Only a fool would believe that journalists are always completely without bias; it's just a part of human nature. There is a big difference, however, in the owner of a newspaper pushing a certain agenda or favoring a side of the political spectrum, and an advocacy group buying a news outlet. It reeks of attempting to purchase favorable news coverage for their cause. In my mind it casts a shadow of doubt over all future articles written here, especially if those articles imply a favor towards anything the ECA represents/supports. I'm not saying that the writers at GP are now simply mouthpieces for the industry, but it's hard to maintain the appearance of impartiality with a purchase like this.

Sell Out!

You used to be cool Dennis. Now you're just part of the video game consumer grouo machine. Fight the power!

But seriously, I hope this leads to good things.

'consumer grouo machine.'

Sounds like something spicy....with noodles ;)

With all the absurd Propaganda spread by the other side we finally have some thing to push back more propaganda. :D

Since the ECA says in its website that it's a nonprofit organization, why does it have its site in a .com domain (implying a commercial entity) instead of a more proper .org address?

Dan: Likely because most people don't even think about what the .com (Commercial) .net (Network) and .org (Organization) things mean. For most people an address ending in .com is just such an instant recognition that the other choices feel like second-rate selections.


Forgot to congratulate you, Dennis! That's fantastic news!

Hmmm... "acquired", eh? Don't spend it all on one place ;)

Congrats! Let me be the first to say that Hal Halpin is a God amongst men and a first rate chap.

This is sweet!!! I told my mom about it!!!

How do you like them apples,censorcrats? we have buddies now!!!!

But what does"cheif political editor" mean?

I always thought that was supposed to neutral on issues involving games and politics. We all know that the vast majority of people who post here including myself are very much against game regulation and censorship, but by doing this Dennis might be seen as a pawn of the industry and politicians and people like Dave Walsh and others like him will be less likely to want to talk or give out information to Dennis as they now see as an being totally pro-game and anti-regulation rather then the neutrality Dennis insisted on before. Not that i'm against that, i'm the most anti-censorship, pro-free speech, pro-youth free speech rights person there is, but i just don't expect people like Leland Yee, Dave Walsh or others to want to convese about game and politics on this site anymore like they used to.

Perhaps there'd be more voiced concerns if the GP community wasn't somewhat biased in its composition. Virtually anyone who would frequent GAMEPolitics is a gamer to some degree, and gamers are going to be opposed to the fairly blatantly unconstitutional laws, fearmongering, and witchhunting that passes for goverment these days. The out-and-out anti-game people haven't ever seemed quite so interested in discussing the issues that are discussed here - most of them seem to view games as a threat that must be legislated for the good of society.
That, and GP does have some people who would play the devil's advocate. I for one would not oppose media ratings having the force of law, as long as it's done in a way that would actually serve anyone's interest - for starters, regulations should affect all media, not just games. So I doubt this change necessarily cause any major change in site content or discussion. There's still a wide variety of opinions that comment, and I'm willing to give Dennis the benefit of the doubt that he won't be just another industry shill.
So all in all I say this is a nice new opportunity for the site and don't think it'll be as bad as some would say. Congrats, GP!

Humm...congrats but less than excited by this. Would seem a clear conflict of interest between neutrality and advocacy. You will be perceived as a spokesman for the ECA and no longer an independent reporter, no matter how false that might be.

For that matter, never been much in favor of the ECA. Why should consumers need to pay membership fees for the lobbying group when the game companies can easily find ways to funnel money to support the organization? Yes, there should be a consumer lobbying group but there is no need to charge an admission fee.

My two cents...

Congratulations, GP! Good news for this site, and a good move for the ECA as well. -sj

Great news, GP! Does this mean that the site will become more active in the political debate over video games?


The ECA != "The Industry"
-That is why there is a member fee, we back the orgainization.


Of course there has to be a fee. Who pays for the service the ECA provides? The industry? Nope. (see above)

Look, it remains to be seen if the ECA turns out badly. But knowing the folks involved makes me think otherwise.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

At the end of the day, Dennis has dished up the dirt on the gaming industry as frequently as he has defended it. I don't see that stopping, why should it, much of this site relies on the lively debate that takes place on it, and if anything, controversial stuff like Hot Coffee and Super Columbine are as much a part of 'Gaming News' as anything else.

Personally, I don't expect the style of reporting to change, Dennis has always been critical of certain practices regarding Sports games, for example, I don't see that changing simply because of his involvement with a Consumer relations association, if anything, it gives our voices and concerns more weight.

It's eating my danm posts!!! it's eating them!!!


"...witchhunting that passes for goverment these days."

I'm not trying to split hairs here, but understand that not everyone in the federal government is into this silly, misguided, unconstitutional behavior. So if you could please avoid painting the government with a broad brush, and not lump us pro-game feds with these other idiots, that would be better for gaming society as a whole...

My apologies to you, gs2005. I for one hear a lot of bad news and very little good news concerning the government these days, and in light of that it's easy to to forget that the misguided actions of the few do not always represent the good works of the many. Gamers can't let their rhetoric be as full of spite as that of the ones they would argue against, and I'll try to be more mindful of this in the future.

As far as and the ESA goes, I'm not sure I'm thrilled about the announcement, much as many of the people here aren't. I think there has always been a tendancy of many of the visitors here to assume that because the site is independent, this was the place to go to get unbiased reporting on the gaming community in politics.

Being acquired by the ECA is one way to really ruin the "unbiased" reputation. As an advocacy group, it is by definition biased, and it's going to be much harder for people unfamiliar with GP or the ECA to take seriously.

Now, as far as the people involved... I know you've done a lot of work for GP, Dennis, so it's awesome to see you get some (unknown) reward for your excellent work. And I trust that you'll stay more or less neutral. And I have a lot of respect for Hal, too.

So from me, a tempered congratulations!

As a side note, I hadn't been following the ECA too closely until now. Joining doesn't seem like a bad idea, though, which might be the most obvious immediate benefit of the purchase...

Haven't been on here in quite a while, but it really does sound like a good move. I agree with Alex that it does kill the unbiased argument, though. However, congratulations!

Congratulations Dennis! :) Very happy for you, especially if this means you'll get some help and maybe a paycheck from this gig.

Congratulations. *claps*

I'd be more excited but, I'm not 100% sure what this all means.

- Warren Lewis

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Wow! time to celebrate, isn't it?! :D

*opens another wine bottle*

Well, I'd like to say I was thrilled with this, but I probably don't know how this is exactly going to work out, so instead I'm just going to keep doing what I normally do, and bring up stuff like I normally do. In the end, I hope this turns out great though. Good luck Dennis!

One question though: Do you get one of those cool 'PRESS' cards to wear in your hat now when you talk about video games to politicians? ;) Hehe. Have a great day Dennis!

GP SOLD OUT! He's nothing but a hack now!

Just kidding, I hope we see Hal more often around here. The guy is really awesome.

While I enjoy reading Gamepolitics, I'm not so sure about Hal Halpin's project. My problem is that the ESA (indirectly related to this) represents game companies' views/rights, sometimes at the expense of consumer rights.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that why Hal formed the ECA, so there'd be an organization that put the consumer's first, even if it was at the industry's expense?

Thx to all for the good comments. You readers make this place what it is...

@Brer - hey, I never fault anyone for a "wait-and-see" attitude. In regard to Hal and the retailers, I can tell you this:

He's out of that business now. He's devoted himself to this ECA concept, being the voice of the game consumer. Just watch him go... He knows how to get things done.

Awesome news dennis. Now as soon as the ECA gets it's online registration fixed I can join up to.

Either way, this is good news, as hal has been a firm supporter of both GP, and Gamers in general.

Heres to seeing the ECA and GP bring back civility and intelligence to the debate, as certain "parties" have tried to remove those thigns from it.

Neutrally is a thing of the past with corperations buying up radio stations and newspapers you will be hard pressed to find a truely neutral outfit in this day and age unless they a re completely independent of al outside infulances.

I am not saying neutrally is dead it is just a rarity ,also if one constantly keeps a balance in reporting on most issues dose that not make him neutral in the end even tho he naturally leans one way?

If this is not so then CNN and Fox news are part of the political machine for the side they have chosen and not news agency's that have a naturally tilt.

I have mixed feelings about this, and Sprngpilot and Bigman-K have basically nailed what I would say.

Even though GP has always had a pro-game bias, being bought out by an advocacy group removes any impartiality, especially in the eyes of groups like NIMF.

A response to these questions would be nice too, Dennis ;)

However, It's not like TakeTwo/Sony/Microsoft or any other publisher is a sponsor of ECA, so I don't see a conflict of interest on that level.

Omedetou gozaimasu, Dennis-san...I think that overall this is great news. Issues of neutrality notwithstanding, I see little wrong with joining forces with like-minded individuals.

Careful, not everyone here is 21... =)

Folks, all I can say is, keep on reading.

The ECA is based in Connecticut. I'm based in Philly area. Hal Halpin is a busy guy. I'm a busy guy.

I have one job here, to keep GP up and running. I'll still be selecting, editing & writing the stories the same as always.
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