Lowenstein Offers an Outsider's View on Industry

November 24, 2009 -

For a man who spent more than 13 years making video game advocacy his life, Doug Lowenstein now rarely gives them a second thought.

Gamasutra caught up with Lowenstein for an interesting interview, tied to the fact that he will be recognized at D.I.C.E. in Febraury by the Academy for Interactive Arts and Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his years with the Entertainment Software Association (founded in 1994 as the Interactive Digital Software Association).

A former journalist that loved to argue First Amendment issues, Lowenstein said the video game needs to continue to be vigilant in standing up for itself on those grounds:

"I personally feel that any industry that is dependent on creative expression -- which at the core, are what games are all about -- should allow for unfettered opportunity to pursue whatever artistic vision one may have. This industry and any sort of entertainment industry must defend this to the fullest extent possible. If there's any erosion of that, it's a classic slippery slope. The First Amendment needs to stand tall. The industry can never get lazy about defending those rights."

Lowenstein admits that he doesn't keep up with the industry that much any more, but he said it seems that it is starting to get a foothold of acceptance as a form of expression:

"It seems … that there is more acceptance and tolerance, if you will, across the political spectrum for the game community in terms of the content it creates. It doesn't appear that there's the same level of effort to regulate games and game sales. It doesn't appear that politicians are routinely announcing games and game violence and its allegedly corrosive effect on young people and other users."

It doesn't appear that the gadflies and the critics of the industry have the same traction that they did three years ago. It doesn't seem that the media is as obsessed with the industry in terms of the negative bias that it brought to theses issues."

Despite the fact that the industry does not seem to be taking as many slings and arrows it once did, Lowenstein said that associations such as the ESA can't afford to be complacent:

"Even when you're not in the midst of some intense controversy that goes to the core of what the industry is, the absence of that doesn't make the association any less relevant. When people start thinking that, that's a very dangerous and myopic point of view."

Overall, a pretty good interview from a guy that used to eat, sleep and breathe video games for a living.


Comments

Re: Lowenstein Offers an Outsider's View on Industry

If it's his outside view of the industry, but played videogames for a living. This is good. But this story doesn't make sense.

 

 

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Re: Lowenstein Offers an Outsider's View on Industry

Say what you want about Doug, but even after being out of the loop for sometime he is still the better man for the job than that current hack.

Re: Lowenstein Offers an Outsider's View on Industry

Funny by dumbing down content to sale down to a wider audiance we are already on the down hill slope.............


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Re: Lowenstein Offers an Outsider's View on Industry

How can someone who has "years with the Entertainment Software Association" AND "used to eat, sleep and breathe video games for a living." be considered an "industry outsider"?

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Re: Lowenstein Offers an Outsider's View on Industry

It's like how Jack Thompson is often described as a "Video Game Expert".

 

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Goth_SkunkLike most MMOs, TERA *really* starts at the end-game. The majority of players have reached the level cap, and new players have a hard time finding others around their level to party up with.08/01/2015 - 4:49am
MattsworknameAndrew: Im not sure Im the one to be explainging this really, Im not sure im articulating it right07/31/2015 - 9:20pm
Big PermI got to around 30 in tera before giving up. I liked my sorc, but I need better motivation to grind07/31/2015 - 9:14pm
Andrew EisenAh TERA. I made a video about TERA censorship. One of my more popular ones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO26h9etTbw07/31/2015 - 8:52pm
Goth_SkunkI've been playing TERA all day. Just took a break to barbecue some chicken. :3 And Andrew: I'm using Cabal to suggest a group of people secretly united in some private views or interests within a community.07/31/2015 - 8:50pm
Andrew EisenI'd love to but I'm at work. But once I get home... I'm going to work out for a while. But after THAT... I'm going to shower. Then eat. Then prep tomorrow's meals. And THEN play video games! YEAH!!!07/31/2015 - 8:38pm
Big Permlol, ya'll are still going back and forth? Take a break and play some video games07/31/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenGoth - Are you using "cabal" to describe a group of writers or to suggest they all worked together in secret to publish those articles?07/31/2015 - 8:30pm
Andrew EisenMatt - That doesn't disprove the general premise of the various articles as that's not what they're about. Unless, again, he's talking about a different batch of articles.07/31/2015 - 8:28pm
Goth_SkunkThe difference between one voice being offensive and a cabal being offensive.07/31/2015 - 8:22pm
MechaCrashFunny how "you're offended, so what" flips into "we're offended, retract everything and apologize."07/31/2015 - 8:18pm
MattsworknameIts not the only argument he points out ,its just one of them07/31/2015 - 8:06pm
Mattsworknameidea that Gamers as the articel puts it, the "White male sterotype are dead, essentially was compltely false07/31/2015 - 8:03pm
MattsworknameThe video actually shows that the shaw study actually disproves the Premise of the artices by showing that the "Gamer" dentity, has no actual meaning to thsoe who use it other then "I play games", its not connected to race, gender, or orientation. So the07/31/2015 - 8:01pm
Andrew EisenWith the exception of a brief mention in Golding's Tumbr post. Even so, he's talking about gamer identity, not desire for diversity in gaming.07/31/2015 - 7:50pm
Andrew EisenI'm not calling his examination of the Shaw study into question. I haven't read the study nor seen his video. All I'm saying is that it has nothing to do with the Gamers Are Dead articles I've been referencing for the last year.07/31/2015 - 7:49pm
MattsworknameSome times sargon just goes off on tangents but in this case he was pretty direct and went through teh research in detail, did the whole first video about the shaw study itself07/31/2015 - 7:45pm
Andrew EisenWell, unless it's disingenuous twaddle but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.07/31/2015 - 7:42pm
Andrew EisenGotta be. The argument you describe makes no sense otherwise.07/31/2015 - 7:40pm
MattsworknameThat is a possibility, they looked like offical articles but its possible they are different from the articles you mentoin07/31/2015 - 7:28pm
 

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