ESA Boss Talks Politics and the Video Game Biz at E3

June 5, 2009 -

During Tuesday's E3 state-of-the-industry speech ESA boss Mike Gallagher touched on a number of issues. In this post we'll take a look at his comments on politics and the video game industry:

On Barack Obama's Xbox Live campaign ads:

Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama purchased advertising space within video games during his presidential campaign... In doing so, Obama became the first presidential candidate to use video games to engage voters and court their support. Others will inevitably follow...

On state-funded financial incentives for video game developers:

You may recall that Texas Governor Rick Perry delivered our keynote address last year... A true advocate for the industry, he backed up his words over the past year. He proclaimed February 3 “Entertainment Software Day” in Texas. Then, in April, he supported [legislation] tripling the economic incentive programs in Texas for digital interactive media production...

 

A growing number of elected officials increasingly view incentives for video game companies as an essential component in any plan designed to revive a local economy... This year, 18 states have actively considered legislation to create or significantly expand existing incentive programs for digital interactive media development and production...

On restrictive video game content legislation:

Of course, there remain some in government who still seek to lay society’s ills at our doorstep. We are vigilant in defending the interests of the video game ecosystem...

 

We have seen demonstrable proof that [the Video Game Voters Network's] powerful activism can stop a bad legislative proposal from becoming an even worse law. In Utah, for example, gamers stepped up, encouraging Governor Jon Huntsman to reject a piece of flawed legislation. The governor heeded their call and, in March, vetoed the bill. This decision represented a great win for both gamers and the industry at large. For the first time, a governor vetoed legislation that would have profoundly affected video games, consumers and the industry...

GP: With all due respect to Gallagher, from here it seemed that the industry's substantial lobbying efforts in Utah had far more to do with Gov. Huntsman's veto than e-mails generated by the VGVN.

That said, Gallagher's speech was a notable improvement over the 2008 version for a couple of reasons. First, it was moved to the L.A. Convention Center's comfortable and cozy theater. Last year's speech was delivered in a cavernous - and mostly empty - meeting room. More importantly, after wrapping up this year's talk Gallagher provided a question-and-answer period, something he didn't offer his audience in 2008.

During the Q&A I took the opportunity to ask Gallagher about the U.S. Supreme Court's pending consideration of California's violent video game law. If the Court rejects California's bid, I asked, did the ESA boss think the other 49 states would take notice and stop attempting to legislate games?

No, [they] won't... 12 times we've been to federal court and had those statutes overturned, [but] they continue to do it... We'll face challenges in different states at different times. What I can you tell you is, our advocacy and the growth of our industry is beginning to turn that issue around. An example I would point to is the number of legislators who introduce these bills has stopped. They didn't do it this year. That happened in North Carolina, it happened in Massachusets, it happened in Michigan and other states. And in some of those cases, we've taken our harshest critics and turned them around to where they are sponsoring legislation to give our industry incentives to locate in their state. So I see opportunity for this industry to continue to make its case...

 

We are going to turn that issue. And we are having an impact today. But we continue to have to be very vigilant...


Comments

Re: ESA Boss Talks Politics and the Video Game Biz at E3

Gallagher is a empty suit, typical corporate tactician unable to do much of anything but draw his paycheck.

 


I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay's outside our bedrooms..


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Re: ESA Boss Talks Politics and the Video Game Biz at E3

Gallagher is useless since he took over he screwed up E3 and the ESA.

Re: ESA Boss Talks Politics and the Video Game Biz at E3

What is Gallagher talking about?! VGVN e-mails, my ass. More like that $500 campaign contribution. Let's keep it real, folks.

Re: ESA Boss Talks Politics and the Video Game Biz at E3

Either this 'jackthompsonlives' is one of those trolls thinking it would be funny to impersonate Jack, or the corpse-molesting idiot still hasn't grasped the fact that the same slanderous, threatening, demonic, infantile behavior that got him disbarred for life last November isn't welcome here.

Look, you want to see an actually sane and even-handed debate over questionable media content and the similarities between real-life violence, right? Then the Jack Thompsons of the world - the lying, cretinous scum who are all guilty as charged of encouraging and trivializing the real-life violence to begin with - need to be banned and burned like they want to do to the rest of the planet, let's see how the massacre-chasing dunces like that.

Re: ESA Boss Talks Politics and the Video Game Biz at E3

My money's on the troll impersonating Jack --and doing a crappy impersonation, too.

Re: ESA Boss Talks Politics and the Video Game Biz at E3

Well, I'd like to believe that voters on the VGVN, such as myself, who wrote Gov. Huntsman encouraged him to make the decision he made. GP, arey you trying to say our voice doesn't matter? I'd like to believe we do. And you've helped out so much yourself; give yourself some credit.

We're gamers; we're strong, and we're loud.

Re: ESA Boss Talks Politics and the Video Game Biz at E3

Gamers are strong in numbers, but the industry leaders need to grow some balls or otherwise we are not going to march on the same beat. Susan Bartell's remarks on Mass Effect have shown how much gamers mean business by making themselves heard on a large shopping website, but grassroots movements can only take you so far.

 

Re: ESA Boss Talks Politics and the Video Game Biz at E3

That was Cooper Lawrence, actually.  Susan Bartell was part of the whole Halo 3 in churches issue.

"De minimus non curat lex"

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: ESA Boss Talks Politics and the Video Game Biz at E3

Gah, I mixed them up. Probably because they are both females showing off their degrees related to human behavior, to talk about matters that don't pertain much to their own experiences.

 

Re: ESA Boss Talks Politics and the Video Game Biz at E3

Wow, 12 times...that's a lot of times for those kinds of laws to be overturned without the state governments taking a hint. I wonder how many more billions of dollars is the industry going to need to make so that all the money will start to sway in favor of the government's interests.

 
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