ECA plays smart with PlaySmart and gobbles GamePolitics
Ronald Diemicke (1148), Oct 25, 2006
The ECA (Entertainment Consumers Association) sent out a press release today with two decently big developments. First off, the ECA acquired GamePolitics, a blog that is the epicenter of all video game / political related news. Dennis McCauley, the blog's writer who also happens to be a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, will continue with GamePolitics as the ECA's official political editor.
The second 'big' piece of news was that the ECA has chosen to partner with NCsoft to pack in 'PlaySmart' tip cards into retail NCsoft games. This will start with start with Guild Wars Nightfall and NCsoft will also provide the information online.
Seems like the absorption of GamePolitics could be a good thing. It seems to me that one of the biggest problems facing the industry is awareness regarding the issues that are going on in the political world regarding games. Unless people are made aware of the issues the industry faces, they won't be able to form an opinion or make an intelligent argument. Unless consumers and people in the industry make their voices herd, we run the risk of having ridiculous laws written by people who have no idea what they're legislating. If this helps GamePolitics spread the word, isn't it a good thing?
Meanwhile, I had never herd of PlaySmart before. So after a little big of looking on the NCsoft website, I found a press release that stated the types of things that will go on the PlaySmart reference cards. An example of one of the bullets is : -Parents should review games ratings to ensure they are age appropriate for children.
This is another one: -Do not give out passwords or account information to friends so they may play on your account.
These things seem like they should be common sense more or less. I mean, even if you're not that computer savvy, would you give out your bank account information to someone? Would you let your 9 year old kid go to an R rated movie? This seems silly to me. These types of warnings get put on games all the time... yet no one sees to listen to them.
Any thoughts on the GamePolitics acquisition? Is more coverage of the video game political situation important? What are your feelings on this? Also, do we really need a 'reference card' for people to mind them to make intelligent decisions about their online habits? If this is a good idea, will a 'reference card' do any good?