With the furor over video games reaching an all-time high in the last couple years, it seems 2008 has seen the first legitimate step towards the true maturation of the 35 year old Video Games industry. With the average gamer now closer to middle age than puberty, it was only a matter of time until Pac-Man, Mario, and Sonic threw their hats into the political arena. No, they’re not running for public offices, but they are making friends with those already occupying our nations public servant positions.
The Electronic Software Association, which represents Disney, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony among others, have formed a Political Action Committee to put they’re money where their collective mouths are. The PAC, which should be set into action in March intends to Donate $50,000 to $100,000 to various candidates in the hopes of greasing the wheels, and getting momentum behind the idea that games are not just children’s toys, but rather a fully realized form of artistic expression and entertainment, appealing to the whole spectrum of consumers. With the Wii reaching critical mass, not to mention the money made annually from hardware and software sales increasing to rival such heralded Industries as music, and movies, it was only a matter of time. And that time is now.
With more than 100,000 people mobilized through the ESA’s Video Games Voters Network, and $100k in lobbying money spread around, the ESA hopes to make some noise on the political front in ways that WILL affect how we consume games. Now if we could just get Hillary to relax and try out some Wii Sports, she might just chill out and stop hassling Master Chief and Co.