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New ESA president Michael Gallagher should do us proud

11:15 AM on 09.03.2007 // Dale North
  @DaleNorth

Washington Post's technology columnist Mike Musgrove called new ESA head Michael Gallagher to see if he would be up for a video game showdown, which was really an attempt to see if Gallagher knew his stuff.

Apparently the telecom industry vet has "got game," as he took on Musgrove in Wii Sports Tennis, Halo 2, Guitar Hero 2 and Fight Night, with the end result being a draw. He rocks vanity plates that read GAME DAD and regularly totes a Black Nintendo DS in his suit pocket.

It is Gallagher's job to show Washington that video games are a legitimate entertainment medium, so it's a good thing that his skiill set extends beyond first-person shooter experience. He says that the current state of the video games industry has some parallels to the cellphone industry's past, when claims of brain cancer and automobile accidents claims were in the public eye.

Gallagher is now working hard to put games in the hands of politicians, which allows him to push back popular gaming stereotypes. They can now see that not all titles are based on violent gunplay. He notes that only about 8 percent of titles released every year fall under this mature-rated umbrella. He's also working to combat the other major stereotype that says that games are for children. The 43-year-old points out that the average gamer is in their 30's. 

There's no denying that Gallagher has his work cut out for him, but Microsoft's entertainment division president (and ESA board of directors member) Robbie Bach thinks that they got the right man for the job. "He's a guy who plays games and understands the space," Bach said. 

[Via Washington Post -- thanks, JV] 

 




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