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MAKE SURE YOU ONLY BUY ONE TURKEY THIS CHRISTMAS

Top Tips for Buying Video Gaming Gifts

Friday 25 November 2005/... The "dos and don'ts" guide to buying computer and video games this Christmas is out now. With a month to go until Christmas day, the festive shopping season is in full swing. To ensure that everyone has a merry Christmas and is not disappointed by their presents ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) has provided a simple guide to buying computer and video games.

Michael Rawlinson, deputy director general of ELSPA, says: "At this time of year, people are looking for a bargain to stretch their gift budget further. Buying counterfeit goods, however, is a false economy as many pirated products are shoddy imitations which will only lead to disappointment on Christmas morning. ELSPA advises buyers to stick to shopping within their usual shops or trusted websites."

Ten top tips for avoiding Christmas disappointment:

DON'T:· Be taken in by implausibly cheap prices - there is a good chance the games are incomplete and missing key elements.

  • Buy unboxed games from market stalls or individuals - they may be counterfeit and pirated software can potentially cause damage to PCs and consoles.
  • Buy a number of different games from different companies on one disc - these are highly likely to be counterfeit and may well not feature all the games stated.
  • Buy games that don't have an official PEGI or BBFC age rating - age ratings are provided to give the purchaser essential information on the suitability of that game for the intended user. Visit www.askaboutgames.com from 7th December to find out more.

DO:· Buy games from reputable high street stores or online retailers.

  • Buy games with the appropriate age rating for the user - an 18 rated game is not suitable for someone younger.
  • Make sure it's authentic - products that come without any documentation, manuals or have the title handwritten on a sleeve or CD label are very likely to be counterfeit.
  • Check that the game will work on the user's computer or console - it is frustrating to open up that much-wanted game and then to realise you can't play it because your PC's not up to it or it's for the wrong console.
  • Get a receipt - if you don't get one you can't take it back if there is anything wrong with it. If they won't give you one, it's almost guaranteed to be dodgy product.
  • Report suspected piracy - call the ELSPA Piracy Hotline in confidence on 08705 133405.

Rawlinson added: "Hopefully, these tips should help to ensure that all the family is delighted with their Christmas gifts and has a fun-filled festive season playing their favourite computer and video games."

EDITORS NOTES

About ELSPA - http://www.elspa.com

ELSPA (The Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.

ELSPA's activities include: Official Chart and Industry Reports, Anti-Piracy UK and EU, PR and Communication, Events. More information on all these activities can be found at http://www.elspa.com.

About Software Piracy and its negative impact on both consumers and industry

ELSPA estimates criminal gain through computer and video games piracy sits at approximately £540 million.

Piracy/counterfeiting is illegal and punishable by fines and jail sentences.

The illegal copying of software poses the very real threat of criminal prosecution and a criminal record, as well as the risk of massive personal financial loss under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Consumers have no recourse under law for faulty pirated games, which can damage hardware.

Counterfeited/pirated games are often mixed with obscene or pornographic material.

Local and national jobs are lost as result of pirate operations.

Proven links exist between many organised counterfeiting organisations and dealers in drugs and pornography.

For further information on ELSPA or to arrange interviews, please contact:

EMMA COWIE/ DEBORAH COSTER

BARRINGTON HARVEY

Tel: 01462 456780

Fax: 01462 456781

Email: emma.cowie@bhpr.co.uk/ debi.coster@bhpr.co.uk

Issued by: Barrington Harvey, Trooper's Yard, Bancroft, Hitchin SG5 1JW

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