VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY PROMOTED BY CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS
by Antwand Pearman on March 1, 2011 at 12:33 PM EDT

NEW CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS WILL PROMOTE COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY

Reps. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., announced the launch of the new Congressional Caucus for Competitiveness in Entertainment Technology (E-Tech Caucus) on February 16, 2011 at a press conference on Capitol Hill. The 39-member caucus will work toward sustaining a robust computer and video game industry by educating Members of Congress and the American people on the industry’s economic, educational and social benefits.

“The E-Tech Caucus is about jobs and our competitiveness around the world,” said Rep. Brady. “This growing industry has generated more than 120,000 jobs in over 34 states and is a major international player as well. It’s time Congress took notice.”

The formation of the caucus reflects the computer and video game industry’s economic impact and remarkable growth. In the past six years, the industry’s sales revenue grew by more than 120 percent, with the industry generating approximately $24 billion in revenue in 2010. Over the same period, the entire U.S. GDP grew by only 16 percent.

The diverse membership of the caucus, with legislators from both sides of the aisle, representing constituents from California to Virginia and Texas to Illinois, reflects the national impact of the computer and video game industry. The industry has an economic presence in 34 states; 300 colleges and universities in 42 states offer computer and video game design courses and degrees. In addition, in states from coast to coast the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation supports a national scholarship program for students pursuing video game development degrees, grants to schools that utilize computer and video games in the classroom, and iCivics, an online education program from former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor that encourages an active role in democracy.

The formation of this new caucus is also further recognition of both the widespread appeal of computer and video games and their use beyond entertainment. Today, 67 percent of American households play games, the average player is 34 years old and 40 percent of all players are women. Many industries, including those in the health, education and business fields, recognize the benefits of video game technology. Computer and video games have a presence in school curricula, medical procedure simulations and physical therapy, as well as employee recruitment and training initiatives.

“The U.S. entertainment software industry is at the forefront of innovation and education, turning what we have thought about video games on its head,” Rep. Wasserman Schultz said. “At the same time that our children are playing Wii Sports, academic researchers are developing games that explore protein folding, and doctors are using video game simulations to hone their skills. We owe it to our children to explore how these technologies can help America continue to lead the world in innovation.”

As the computer and video game industry becomes more and more a part of everyday life, the E-Tech Caucus intends to provide a forum to discuss and formulate innovative solutions to a range of policy challenges that harness the ingenuity and broad reach of the entertainment software industry.

THEESA.COM

 

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