Hal Halpin Rumors Swirl Around Lowenstein Departure

December 18, 2006 -
Contrary to rumors, outgoing Entertainment Software Association (ESA) boss Doug Lowenstein won't be heading to the newly-launched Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA).

Nor has ECA founder Hal Halpin been approached about replacing Lowenstein at the ESA, which represents video game publishers.

That's the word from Halpin, who told GamePolitics last night that he has been contacted about such rumors by a number of reporters since the Lowenstein news broke last week. Of the ESA vacancy, Halpin said:
My preference would be to have a real heavy hitter in the job - someone with a legal background, who knows their way around D.C. but isn't necessarily a part of it. The federal-level legislation is significantly less threatening to the category than is state-level action, so being engrained in the politics on The Hill need not be a priority. Having the coalition partners (EMA, IGDA, ECA) involved in the search, too, would be prudent.

Of the other groups mentioned by Halpin, the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) represents video game retailers, while the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) represents those who create the games.

While Halpin has the right pedigree for the ESA's top job, he's wrapped up in the ECA startup at the moment. The new organization for game consumers will officially begin operations sometime next month.

Meanwhile, GameSpot has reported that Lowenstein will assume a job similar to the one he is leaving with a Washington, D.C. trade organization representing investment firms.

By the way, don't forget to vote in GP's who will replace Doug Lowenstein? poll.

Full Disclosure Dept: We should point out that GamePolitics is an ECA partner.

Comments

@BattleChicken

I definitely share your concerns there. There's a fine line between a strong leader who defends his people, and a strong leader who defends his people AND rules them with an iron fist.

Those who can, DO. Those who can't, run industry associations.

I don't think so, Daniel, considering the fact that Hal outright said he's not going to replace Doug. Also, how many times can you put "Doug Lowenstein", "Jack Thompson", "crap", and "fighting back" in a paragraph? I swear, it looks like a freaking Mad Lib.

Anyways, all jokesaside, while I share most everyone's opinion that the next ESA president should be a bit more on the proactive side (who would say no to a cross-country tour, reminding state legislators how much support, not to mention money, they'd lose supporting a dead-end anti-VG bill?) it wouldn't take much for someone in that position to go to the dark side, and like battlechicken mentioned, it'd be the "Your Mom"/Kotaku debacle all over again, but on a grander scale.

It's hard to say. Playing defensively has worked for the ESA so far, but all it takes is one nutcase judge giving the thumbs-up to a law for the whole thing to fall apart. And going too aggresively would put them in the same light as the previously-mentioned RIAA, and the MPAA. Whoever the new prez is, he's got a bit of a tightrope to walk here. He's probably not going to please everyone, but as long as he does his damnedest to keep me from being a fugitive from justice because I play GTA every now and again, he'll have my thumbs-up.

[...] So who will become the new president? Oft-rumored Entertainment Consumers Association founder Hal Halpin has denied interest. But don’t let that stop you from voting Halpin in Game Politics’ informal / unofficial poll to name the successor. [...]

[...] Hal Halpin: Rumors swirl around Lowenstein departure [Game Politics] [...]

Whoever replaces Doug Lowenstein has to be ready to fight against the lies of Jack Thompson, and other anti-game fanatics. I hope that the next person to assume the office, that Doug Lowenstein is leaving, doesn't put up with crap from Jack Thompson and fights back. I think it's amazing how much crap Doug Lowenstein took from Jack Thompson without fighting back. The next person has to be a lot more aggressive and give Jack Thompson his crap back. Doug Lowenstein is obviously a very meek man. He deserves praise from pixelantes. However, I hope that Hal Halpin puts up a better fight.

Wait... when'd Hal get the haircut?

I'm glad doug is moving on, I get the feeling that he's just grown bored with fighting battles that he always wins. Lets face it, when was the last time anyone was able to survive the industries court challenge.

As far as a replacment ,I think that hal has it right, but whoever they get has to be aggressive, has to make use of the legal system and turn it to our advantage. No more lies, no more slander. You don't tell the story straight, we see you in court. Maybe then the news, the politicans ,and jack thompson will shut there mouth

I might be loathe to advocate such legal tactics, but enough is enough. They aren't learning, they aren't changing, it's time we start making them pay attention, and the best way to do that is to make it costly for them to lie.

Then, maybe then, we can start to change things.

Gamers? President? Bah!

How dare you Mentally Mastrabating Media Murderers attempt to establish yourself as a country.

We're still after you, Farcry developers! And this time....Your L337 h4x will be no use!

-Germanswatguy,Sergeant Major of the Anti Pixelante Attack Squad(A.P.A.S)

Geez, Mr. Halpin.
The old pics made you look like Terry Funk.
Now, you look like you're ready to don an X-Men uniform and go fight the forces of evil.

Somebody's been working out. No, really, compared to the old photos, you look like you've gotten younger.

nightwng2000
NW2K Software

From reading related replies regarding the change in management in this and other threads, it seems as though many would have liked a tougher Lowenstein -- someone harder, one who favored the preemptive strike... one with a tattoo of a video game bill with red circle and a line through it on his chest, (I'm certain the circle would be made of dragons, or spiders, or spider-dragons so it would look cooler than it sounds). A Lowenstein ready to fight to the death to defend the rights of gamers everywhere.

Well. I personally would like to say that I will miss the kind and gentle Lowenstein; even with his unprecedented kindness to puppies and fondness for church bake sales. His departure could very well mark the end of the lovable ESA, with it's rainbows and rivers of chocolate... ushering in a dark age... an age of preventative litigation.

The thing that I love most about Lowenstein's ESA is the fact that it defends itself, as opposed to searching for fights. I see a distinct difference between the two, and I find the first admirable, and the second morally reprehensible when referring to an industry group. It is my opinion that if the new head of the ESA decides to 'be more proactive', it is merely a matter of time before the ESA 'proactively' mirrors the RIAA in action and attitude. (A good example is the 'your mom is E for everybody' T-shirt reaction, and the ESA's threatening action on kotaku for posting an article about it)

Being aggressive will just mean there is always another lawsuit to file.. Another fight to pick. When the big threats are gone -- and a day *will* come where the critical battles will have been fought and won -- the icy legal glare of the heartless ESA will fall on you and me.

I personally would rather have the industry tolerate a little misinformation and slander from ignorant pols; only fighting the battles that really matter, than aggressively enforcing it's ideals... as the logical step after all these baseless government lawsuits taper off is an endless string of baseless ESA lawsuits.

We need someone hardboiled. A /b/tard. Thefremen comes to mind, as he's the only electable /b/tard I know.

And yes, this is me, not a campaigning spambot. You may email me for confirmation if you wish.


But yeah, Lowenstein should've been a lot more rabid. If you have to talk down two unconstitutional bills, and they fire three more at you, there comes a point where you have to say "I have had it with these motherfucking bills in this motherfucking country". Sure, you can sit back and think "meh, it's not going through anyway", but that doesn't hasten the realization that such laws are completely pointless.

Lowenstein wimped out on this one, didn't he?

My personal theory as to why Doug's leaving is that, after having to defend the industry against the exact same legislation challenges - the ones that were known to be unconstitutional before they were passed - about ten times, and seeing virtually no end to the possible legal challenges he might have to make, he left for someplace where his efforts would actually mean something. I couldn't blame him if that was the case - it'd be a bit infuriating when they keep passing the same laws and don't listen to you when you say "Hey, guys, they tried this in Illinois, it didn't work for them, either."
 
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