Computer/Video Gaming Associations in the USA

In the USA there exists multiple computer and video gaming associations.

The Entertainment Software Association, or ESA for short, is a video game industry trade association. ESA was founded on April of 1994. The association was originally called the Interactive Digital Software Association until July 16, 2003. The association is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

ESA was conceived by its members in order to serve the needs of both business and publicity related issues for companies that design and develop video games as well as for those that publish the software. Their scope of service to the industry includes not only the software programs but all the platforms video games function on, personal computers and Internet streaming devices.

ESA is also responsible for owning and operating the E3 Expo associated with video game development conventions and electronic market presentations. ESA works with the producers of electronic interactive medium publishers. The association covers a broad range of concerns such as the global content protection program, research for businesses and consumers, relationships with the government and efforts to protect intellectual property.

ESA also hosts Nite to Unite - for Kids to raise funds for scholarships so that youths can have the opportunity to pursue education and careers in the fields of video game development and electronics.

Another association vital to computer/video gaming industry in the USA is The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) which regulates the ratings on game titles released to the public. The ESRB started as a self-regulatory movement of the video game industry in response to public concerns about the content of video games.

The ESRB was founded in 1994 by ESA. It has assigned over 22,000 ratings to titles marketed to consumers. ESRB is recognized for its diligence and efforts so much that many retailers will refuse to market a game title if the title does not have an ESRB rating.

Through its efforts to police its own industry, the association is able to alter the perceptions of the public and successfully fight off allegations of being responsible for social decline. The ESRB's efforts are often proactive and successful enough that when before the judicial system, the courts have upheld the ESRB content rating as satisfactory in measuring and protecting consumer interest. The ESRB is a non-profit organization