Michael Rawlinson (left), who heads British game publishers group ELSPA, details his organization's new - and apparently successful - approach to dealing with the U.K.'s government bureaucracy in a guest column for MCVUK.
Despite some difficult recent years in which most of the political dialogue on video games in the U.K. involved criticism of game violence, the British game biz has scored some big wins of late. Most notable among these was the government's recent adoption of the PEGI content rating system favored by the industry.
At its core, ELSPA's strategy seems to involve working both harder and smarter. Rawlinson writes:
PEGI’s ascent to becoming the sole ratings system for games was a momentous achievement for the industry – and just goes to show how we can really get the Government’s attention when we get our approach right.
We’ve deliberately become more professional in terms of our dealings with Government. We’re strategically planning what we do – we don’t just bowl up to meetings, answer questions then leave.
We not only had to convince Government... we also took our arguments much wider, taking in the whole of Westminster, as well as the devolved parliament in Scotland and the regional assembly in Wales as well as the European parliament. Retailers, children’s charities and more were also covered. All of these groups had different needs we had to meet...