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Dennis McCauley
Joined: 2006-09-30


As for the voice of consumers, ECA president Hal Halpin said the group's advocacy activities are still taking shape after its formation last October.

"It really depends on the feedback we get from the membership as the organization grows," Halpin told GameSpot. "My hope is we'll be using grassroots measures and chapters eventually to have people testify and show up who are constituents of the respective legislators."

As far as additional lobbying, Halpin said he suspects the group will work on issues like digital-rights management and licensing, as well as disclosure issues in the area of in-game advertising. Regardless of the topics the ECA winds up dealing with, Halpin stressed that the industry needs advocacy groups like his, saying the industry as a whole has been slow to join the public discussion about gaming.

"By not being involved, we've abdicated our voice to the other side--the opposition," Halpin said. "And in doing so, we've empowered them to sort of tell our story to the mass media and the public. I think that lobbying is an extraordinarily important aspect of what each of the organizations--ours included--does. It helps tell the story of what's going on, and only by working together--the IGDA, the ESA, the ECA, and the EMA--are we going to be able to affect that change that we need."

Tomorrow, Halpin, Della Rocca, and Bersell will lose a partner in telling the industry's story, as Lowenstein will vacate the top position at the ESA following a keynote address at the D.I.C.E. summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. While the organization searches for Lowenstein's permanent replacement, his duties will be taken over by ESA chairman Robbie Bach, who is also president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division, which makes the Xbox 360.


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