Dude, this is soooooo totally TUBULAR! I can't wait to sign up for the Video Game Players Association so I can hang out with all the cool kids!
Oh. Never mind.
This ad ran in the November, 1982 issue of Electronic Games magazine, and is the only evidence of the VGPA's existence I have been able to find.
As far as I can discover, the "1st Annual $5,000 Video Game Championship Play-Offs" scheduled for June 15, 1983 never took place. Maybe there weren't enough kids willing to send in $3.00 for a membership to generate the promised $5,000 in prizes -- clearly, the organization didn't have that kind of money. At the time the ad was put together, it appears the VGPA could not even afford to print shirts -- their all-expense-spared logo is clearly pasted onto a photo of kids wearing plain, blank t-shirts.
Actually, as I look more closely, they were standing in front of an arcade machine that wasn't even turned on. So it's not clear whether the promoted "Play-Offs" were anything BUT a drawing. Reading the ad with that in mind, it seems that joining the Video Game Players Association entered you in the Championship Play-Offs drawing; there were monetary prizes for first through fourth places, and 24 finalists received a vacation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That's all this ad really says. There's no concrete indication that any actual playing of video games was involved.
I'm sure reading the Championship Rules in the "Video Game Views" newsletter would greatly clarify matters. But then, I wonder if the newsletter itself was actually ever printed or mailed out.
Further details appear to be lost to the sands of time, along with, presumably, at least a few $3.00 checks and money orders. As far as I can tell, this organization is no relation to the more recent but equally defunct Video Game Players Association, founded in 2002 as a lobbying organization; its domain name is up for grabs.
It's tempting to buy up www.vgpa.com and just put this ad scan on the Web for posterity.
But not tempting enough for me to actually do it.
That's a good thing.