Saturday, September 19, 2009

Whither The Video Game Players Association?

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 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.

Isn't it?


  1. GREAT Post!!

    The Great 'Atari Debacle' of 1983 probably didn't help the fledgling Video Game industry and VGPA at the time. The Video Game industry didn't recover until 1985 with the launch and success of the NES.

    The BEST NEWS: Video Game Players Association is REBORN!


    For the latest information - please note that the site is down temporarily for the addition of a Game-player dedicated social module which will be included with Free access.

    Also -- see what inflation does? The once $3.00 annual membership has increased to $25.00 -- but now includes great promotions and giveaways, an industry mag subscription and upcoming gaming events!

    Hope to see you at the next association member meeting!

    -JB Lee, President
    Video Game Players Association (VGPA)

  2. Anyone up for helping to revive retro and neo-retro games played professionally? I am working with a project, have a Facebook group up, and run weekly events using Game Room and Pinball FX2 on the XBox 360. I am up for doing more in this area. Would love to get a PGA for Pacman (and other games) where each game is like a different hole at golf.

    Anyhow, type in in your web browser to bring the Facebook group up.

  3. This is a joke.. The"revival" probaly lasted what, 2 days?