Halpin: Gamers need to stick up for themselves

9:40 AM on 07.20.2009

Jim Sterling

Former Reviews Editor

Entertainment Consumers Association president and all-round nice chap Hal Halpin has penned his monthly column for Industry Gamers, talking about the importance of perception and how the general public have been allowed to think of gamers. Claiming that gamers have been too inactive when it comes to combating negative stereotypes, he believes it's time we fought back.

"Combating the negative stereotypes the gaming industry and gamers themselves face is becoming a daunting task," he argues. "We’ve allowed people to equate gaming with everything from laziness to isolationism and antisocial behavior, when so clearly it’s the opposite.

"Because we’ve permitted everyone from anti-games advocates (disbarred attorneys included) to the President of the United States of America to perpetuate those fallacies and said and done nothing, we need to take ownership of at least part of that blame; until and unless we speak up and do something about it. It’s time."

While I agree that there's a fair amount of inaction going on, I don't know how much more we lowly gamers can do. I think the onus is truly on the game industry to stand up for itself rather than wait for enthusiast press to fight its battles, like Geoff Keighley had to do during FOX News' pathetic Mass Effect slandering. Electronic Arts could have, and possibly should have, sued FOX for lying about Mass Effect's sex scenes, but it just sat back and let mainstream media bite a chunk out of the gaming industry. 

There are a lot of lies being told about videogames, and the industry is letting them happen. Game publishers are ruthless and merciless when it comes to destroying competition within the industry -- why do they act like wilting flowers when it comes to tackling opposition from without?

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