Monday, September 21, 2009

Membership Has its Privileges

You know that weird thing that happens when sometimes I tell you guys to do something and you, y'know, do it? Yeah, I'm a little uncomfortable with that. Still, as I endeavor to use my powers for good, I figure I'll submit the following for your perusal.

There exists an organization called the Entertainment Consumers Association. They are a non-profit, nonpartisan group that primarily exists to act as an advocate for gamers. Not the game industry, mind you, as they are well represented by groups like the ESA, but you and me, the actual consumers.

Though you might not know them by name, you'll likely remember their response to the Mass Effect "sex scandal" propagated by FOX News and various other outlets. In addition to standing up to the mischaracterization of games and gamers by the media, the group also acts to motivate our sometimes slothful demographic to combat modern ills like anti-gaming legislation and to support progressive principles like network neutrality. In short, they are the one body working in the political realm with the interests of the American gamer in mind.

To that end, the ECA sells yearly memberships. For $20 a year, not only do you get the satisfaction of supporting our culture, but also daily emails about goings-on in gamer advocacy, new developments within the gamer community and special deals. And speaking of deals, with your membership you also get access to coupon codes to help you save on game purchases from Amazon, Direct2Drive and other online retailers, as well as discounted admission to events like NY ComiCon and PAX.

Now before anyone bites my head off about trying to get you folks to drink the Kool-Aid and buy into some pie-in-the-sky special interest, let me point out that you can currently pick up a membership absolutely free. Check out this thread from Cheap Ass Gamer to score a code from this month's Game Informer and details on how to join for a year at no cost to you. That'll give you a full 12 months to try 'em out and make sure their mission is tonic to your views on the issues while still taking full advantage of all the organization's touted benefits.

If you dig it, maybe you'll re-up this time next year and support the ESA with your hard-earned scratch. If you find it not to your liking, you haven't given them a dime.

Sounds like a win-win to me.


badger said...

Thanks Z. I've been meaning to join...I just needed a little push. Once again, you act as a catalyst in my odd and shockingly nerdy existence. Many Thanks.

Z. said...

Just spreading the love, badger. ;)

MPFM said...

Thanks for the wonderful tip, Z. I haven't explored the site in full, but I think I have found a local chapter in Tennessee. I've been wanting something like this for years. PAX and Video Games Live have helped with the idea of making gamers respected a little more. E3, G4TV, and SpikeTV have killed it over the years, but this is something I think every gamer should be a part of. If it's free then there is no excuse, at least for another year that is.

Z. said...

Thanks, Steffo! Yeah, it really is hard to do good work on behalf of gamers with the damn Spike Video Game Awards actively working against you! ;)

tiffanys said...

Thanks, Steffo! Yeah, it really is hard to do good work on behalf of gamers with the damn Spike Video Game Awards actively working against you! ;)