Like all new forms of media, gaming is going through its share of prosecution and fear mongering. It just seems to be something that humanity has to do whenever a new form of entertainment comes around. It goes away eventually though and people start realizing they were acting like idiots. Recent events like Jack Thompson’s problems with the bar and the surprisingly level headed Byron Report might have one believing that gaming’s struggles to be recognized as legitimate and not the root of all evil are coming to an end pretty soon. However, according to Hal Halpin, the president of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), this just isn’t the case.
During an interview TVGB did with Mr. Halpin, we questioned him on the most important issues facing gamers. After replying that free speech was still the foremost issue, he went on to say that “the same battles that we’ve been up against for the last few years, and the industry has been up against for a long time, will continue.”
Concerned, we followed up by asking if he saw this trend ending any time soon to which he responded with a laugh, “No, no. You know, I get questions from members and consumers about what will happen with Jack Thompson’s role being diminished because of his issues with the bar, and really it’s not a matter of one individual and one individual’s ability to affect an entire sector, although he certainly does. Even if he is disbarred, that certainly doesn’t stop him from having a voice and being in the media and being passionate about his beliefs. And the same thing is true for lots of anti-games advocates and special interest groups. There will still be that counterbalance on both sides for now, and the good news is that we’re sort of winning the war on attrition because there is more of us everyday, and the more we can educate the more of us will come along and we can impact that change.”
Thank goodness he ended on a high note. So change is coming, but we’re all going to have to be patient because people like Jack Thompson will always have a voice and always have a right to speak it. The difference is, one day our voice is going to be much, much louder than theirs.
Check back tomorrow for our full interview with Mr. Halpin.