He’s better known for his political savvy, but new ESA bossman Mike Gallagher knows his way around Guitar Hero II as well.
A profile in yesterday’s Washington Post focuses on Gallagher’s mad gaming skillz as much as his professional resume. Tech columnist Mike Musgrove writes:
On trips to Capitol Hill these days, Michael Gallagher usually has a black Nintendo DS stashed in his suit pocket… his main reason for carrying the device is to give lawmakers some hands-on time with the latest titles the video game industry has to offer.
As the new president of the ESA, Gallagher is the face of video games in Washington… Judging from the way Gallagher handles a rocket launcher’s "splash damage" effects, I’d say this is a guy who is familiar enough with a game controller…
Why put a Nintendo DS into the hands of politicians? …he’s trying to dispel stereotypes that he still encounters about video games. One stereotype he’s trying to crack, for example, is that games are primarily for kids, when research has shown that the average gamer’s age is in the 30s… Gallagher likes to point out that only 8 percent of the games released each year are violent, "mature"-rated titles of the sort that make headlines.
…Gallagher says he hopes to raise the profile of video games among policymakers and thought leaders. "Video games are not getting the type of recognition they deserve as an entertainment medium," he said.