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U.S. Congressional Caucus For Entertainment Technology Competitiveness Launched
U.S. Congressional Caucus For Entertainment Technology Competitiveness Launched
February 16, 2011 | By Kris Graft

February 16, 2011 | By Kris Graft
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    13 comments
More: Console/PC, Student/Education



Congress members and representatives from the computer and video game industry launched a new caucus Wednesday morning at an event on Capitol Hill.

The new Congressional Caucus for Competitiveness in Entertainment Technology, also called the E-Tech Caucus, will address ongoing issues within the burgeoning interactive entertainment sector.

Meeting at the caucus' launch will be Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), co-chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Cooney Center executive director Michael H. Levine, Ph.D., Entertainment Software Association CEO Michael Gallagher, and members of the caucus.

Representatives for Congressman Brady said the games industry generates over 120,000 jobs across various disciplines across 34 states, with average salaries of $89,000.

Brady's press reps said game industry revenues are around $24 billion in the U.S., and there is growing demand for game development-related education. The new caucus will also examine worldwide intellectual property theft.

[UPDATE: Video game industry trade body ESA applauded the establishment of the caucus in a statement.

"Our industry has demonstrated great potential over the last few years in many new areas, including health, education, and medicine," said ESA head Gallagher.

"It is our goal to work with the E-Tech Caucus to continue that growth well into the 21st century by fostering the creation of more innovative technologies and growing America’s competitive position in the global entertainment technology marketplace," he added.

The ESA said between 2005-2009, the computer and video game industry grew at an annual rate of 10.6 percent, compared to the overall U.S. economy which grew 1.4 percent annually during the same period.

Dr. Levine with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop added that games can make learning more compelling, and help the U.S. be more competitive in the global landscape.

"The newly established Congressional Caucus has an essential role to play in shining a bright light on the games and learning sector," he said. "It can help build public-private partnerships that encourage entrepreneurs to develop bold breakthrough designs and help modernize education for a digital age."]


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Comments


Jonathan Escobedo
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This makes me very happy. I wish this caucus the best of luck.

Sean Kiley
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Just cut our taxes and go away, thanks.

Andrew Hopper
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"Just cut our taxes and watch civilization decline from the power vacuum left behind by a non-functioning civilian government"



That's what you mean, right?

Mark Harris
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Sheesh, not this debate again.



Suffice to say that some people believe governments can "function" for less than $3.7 trillion without the risk of immediate societal collapse.



Hyperbole is fun, though, I suppose.

Andrew Hopper
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Does "competition" mean draining money from programmers and designers and workers to business managers and money managers and marketers? Because that's all it ever means for the rest of the economy.

Robert Gill
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So, can we please get back on topic?



Anyway...this will be a wait and see thing for me. ESA has not been bad, but it's messed up before. Not going to rag on it though yet.

Christopher Enderle
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Finally, now we know who to give our lobbying money to. And for all you tax talkers, all's I got to say is that if people don't have disposable income our industry's going to hurt, and giving people who already have disposable income even more disposable income isn't going to boost our sales.

Mark Harris
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Why don't you ask your local social services workers about the prevalence of video games among the poor, even those on welfare. You may be surprised by what you hear.



I'm not trying to diss the poor, btw, before I get jumped. I'm merely suggesting gathering some evidence.

Christopher Enderle
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What point are you trying to make? Are you contending my point that more people having more spending money would help our industry? Because I don't see how you could take what I was saying any other way.

Achilles de Flandres
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"average salaries of $89,000"?



umm...



It's like going to coal mine in China, where the workers earn $5 / day, but the manager makes $5,000 / day, and saying that the average salary in the coal mine industry in China is $1,000 / day.

Mark Harris
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You may want to revisit the Gamasutra articles about the annual salary survey done by Game Developer Magazine.



Professionals in the game industry are pretty well compensated across the board. It's due to their competence and work ethic, no doubt.



Now, if you want to argue that the compensation vs. hours worked is skewed, then you have a platform.

Christopher Enderle
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He has a point on both ends, according to last year's gamdeveloper salary survey "... the average game developer salary across all disciplines and all levels of experience, is $75,573." I think the average worker getting an average of $14,000 raise in the last 10 months would have made news, but maybe it's our biased media.



Anyway, I don't think any of that has to with the point Achilles was trying to make. Averages are useless anyway when you take into account location, experience, and profession. And that was his point. Averaging salary is poor way to represent the benefits our industry brings the community. They want to make it sound like that by supporting the opening of studios it raise community standards as more tax dollars are collected from these high earners.

John Petersen
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Games don't need to cost as much as they do to make. They got their hands in all kinds of stuff if it's costing that much.



You can make a game for $60 if you had the proper tools. But that's beside the point.



So, yeah, a "big heil yea!" for gettin' congress going on this and I'm very intrested in seeing what happens with the IP robbery thing. That should prove interesting. Not just in games, but everything.


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