Entertainment Software Association president Michael Gallagher issued a statement today condemning a speech from venture capitalist Gilman Louie about the state of the game industry during his DICE 2014 talk "Disrupting Gaming."
Michael Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, publicly admonished venture capitalist Gilman Louie for remarks Louie made about the state of the game industry during his DICE 2014 talk "Disrupting Gaming."
Louie is best known for his work licensing Tetris from its creators in the Soviet Union. During his talk Louie told attendees to improve the public image of the game industry by establishing an organization to advance the interests of the industry as a whole and to provide scholarships to bring new talent into the field.
Obviously, the ESA, the trade group representing the industry, already does these things.
"One [DICE] speech from an admittedly accomplished industry pioneer was so off-base and filled with misinformation that it requires an immediate response," wrote Gallagher in a published response.
"It is unfortunate that those who heard the remarks were left with a mistaken impression and a skewed – if not even a completely inaccurate – view of our industry’s standing with policymakers around the country. I want to introduce Mr. Louie to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which represents the U.S. video game industry in DC and in state capitals, and the leadership of our 35 member companies. With the exception of Mr. Louie, many in the industry are familiar with ESA from our victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in overturning an unconstitutional California law that limited game developers’ rights and our two presentations at DICE in the past five years. However, we accomplish much more than that on a daily basis. "
Gallagher goes on to highlight eight areas where the ESA is already putting a lot of energy into including ratings, investment in research, investment in interactive educational initiatives, sponsoring physical education and sports activities, creating and sponsoring game-a-thons and eSports events, working with non-profits on technology education, building a positive brand image for games, and providing gaming scholarships.
Finally Gallagher says that Louie's claim about legislators blaming video games for all of society's ills is simply not true.
"What is confounding is Mr. Louie’s statement that every legislator he speaks with blames video games for a host of societal ills. This is just, again, completely untrue. Numerous elected officials have publicly supported the industry and championed our positions, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator John Thune, and Representatives Hunter, Brady, Upton, and Murphy. In fact, ESA worked with leading members of Congress, including the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schulz, in the creation of the Congressional Caucus for Competitiveness in Entertainment Technology (E-TECH Caucus), which launched in 2011. The E-TECH Caucus now has more than 50 Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle who are committed to improving and advancing video games and their full potential. The industry enjoys support in both Congress and in the White House—as evidenced by the strong and productive relationships ESA has had with both White House video game czars and our presence and support at the launch of the Digital Promise Initiative, which went without mention in Mr. Louie’s presentation."