Gaming trade body in bid to boost ‘understanding’

The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) is to host a conference to encourage the media to embrace and exploit the games industry as a powerful cultural force.

The Media Meets Gaming conference on 22 November invites media, gaming, PR and marketing executives to discuss both the reputation of the gaming industry and media content collaborations.

ELSPA director-general Roger Bennett said the games industry needs to develop better relationships with the media to move beyond the negative accusations that are commonly levelled at it in news stories.

‘Gaming, as a mass-market entertainment medium, is growing at an astounding speed but it is often not taken seriously and tends to get the blame for society’s ills,’ he said.

Sales of gaming hardware and software in the UK exceeded £2bn in 2003 and the industry has doubled in size in six years, but Bennett said it is a relative newcomer to the entertainment sector.

‘It is time the that the mass-market games industry became better understood, exposed and exploited as an important and valuable economic, cultural and commercial factor,’ he said.

The gaming industry must move beyond the news pages, said Bennett, adding that there are great opportunities for the media to exploit the influence and technological expertise of the games industry for broader content creation.

Music labels already use games to target young audiences and other sectors can follow suit, he pointed out.

The conference boasts a panel including representatives from Microsoft, BBC, Condé Nast, Naked Communications and PR agency Barrington Harvey.

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