In a new interview, recently inducted ESA president Michael D. Gallagher has said a top priority for his post will be to "fend off calls" from politicians and advocates who want to see games regulated less as art and media and more like drugs.
The new New York Times interview
quotes Gallagher as saying he believes his most basic job function is to "create opportunities for this industry to thrive,” adding that "We need to make sure the policy environment supports the growth of video games."
Gallagher, who came to the ESA
in May, was formerly an assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, serving as the chief telecommunications and policy advisor to the Bush administration, and, more recently, communications practice chair at law firm Perkins Coie.
He is also a member of both the advisory committee to the secretary general of the United Nations for the Internet governance forum and the U.S. State Department advisory committee on information and communication policy.
Gallagher, who recalls in the interview networking Washington representative Rick White's office computers to play Doom
when he served as White's chief of staff, said he looks to MPAA chief Jack Valenti as the role model for his new job.
He also praised the industry's self regulation on efforts such as the recent action taken against Manhunt 2
, and said that he plans to step up focused Congressional lobbying.
Gallagher told the Times, “The main challenge is connecting with decision makers and creating champions for the video-game industry in the policy-making arena. So working to set up a way for the Entertainment Software Association to participate in the federal election process is one of my top priorities. Contributing on the federal level is a very important part of our success going forward.”