May 24th, 2006

IEMA-VSDA Merger Completed

The merger between the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA), representing video stores and the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA), representing video game retailers, has been finalized. The combined organization will be called the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA). The web presence for the EMA will be entertainmentmerchantsassociation.org.

GP: Wow, that's a handful. Better bookmark that baby...

A press release describes the EMA as a "trade association for the retailers of DVDs, computer video games, and console video games." EMA membership will include mass merchants, video stores, video game retailers, online merchants and electronics retailers. At present the EMA has more than 1,000 members operating some 20,000 retail outlets with combined sales of $32 billion.
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GamePolitics Shows Up In Australian News Program

Several GP readers from Down Under wrote in to let us know that an Australian news magazine show called MediaWatch recently covered the controversy over the so-called Battlefield 2 Jihad Video. GamePolitics played a major part in busting that story wide open a couple of weeks back thanks primarily to correspondent Colin McInnes' revealing interview with the creator of the video, a Dutch gamer by the name of Samir.

In their investigative report, MediaWatch quoted liberally from our Samir interview and even flashed some GP screen shots. The show also provided a link to the full GP article. Although MediaWatch unfortunately referred to us as the "LiveJournal website" and not GamePolitics, we're still happy to see our coverage getting picked up by T.V. news.

By the way, Reuters, which started the controversy with its initial flawed coverage of the House Select Intelligence Committee hearing, has finally gotten around to its own interview with Samir. The Reuters reporter, who apparently plied Samir with lunch at Burger King, didn't get nearly as much information as Colin.

Want to talk about it? You can discuss this story via the "comments" feature (click below), or in the new GamePolitics Forums...

Oklahoma Games Bill Passes - Heads to Guv for Signature

Oklahoma T.V. station KBSI-52 is reporting that Oklahoma's video game bill, HB3004, cleared its final legislative hurdle today. The bill will now go to Gov. Brad Henry who has five days to sign the measure into law.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Fred Morgan (R, seen at left), was passed unanimously by the Oklahoma House. HB3004 had previously been approved in both the House and Senate, but amendments made to the Senate version necessitated a trip back to the House for concurrence.

"I am so delighted the House leadership saw the importance of this bill, which is crucial for support of Oklahoma's cherished family values," said Morgan. "These games expose malleable minds to unnecessary violence and graphic sexual content. The psychological research is overwhelming for the harm these games can pose to children."

"We're not dealing with Pac Man anymore," Morgan continued. "These games allow players to take on the role of killers in some cases, allow players to steal money and kill prostitutes... manufacturers are getting even more sophisticated in the way they market these games to children. The research is clear. Exposure to these games creates an anti-social environment for our children."

HB3004 enjoys the support of the Parents Television Council (PTC).

Should Gov. Henry sign the bill into law, it will undoubtedly trigger a First Amendment challenge by the video game industry. Several weeks back GP reported that a source in Henry's office indicated the Guv is likely to approve the measure.

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