ESA Calls 2011 a Remarkable Year for the Games Industry

December 22, 2011 -

Entertainment Software Association (ESA) CEO Mike Gallagher has written a letter to the industry and the public calling 2011 "historic." One of the key reasons 2011 was such a great year for the games industry and gamers was because of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. EMA, which shot down the California anti-video game law penned by California State Senator Leland Yee (D- San Francisco) - though there were certainly plenty of other milestones to celebrate. 

If there was one moment the ESA shouldn't be proud of it was when they threw their support behind the Protect IP Act and SOPA. It's an understandable position because they represent the games industry and should do everything they can to combat piracy - but not at the expense of the entire Internet. Hopefully they'll support something like OPEN in 2012...

That aside, it was a good year for the industry and the ESA - who worked very hard to take down supporters of that 2005 video game law. Gallagher's letter can be read below in its entirety:

Dear Friends,

The word "historic" is overused, but as we look back on 2011, it is a perfect fit for our industry's year. The U.S. Supreme Court's vigorous affirmation of our First Amendment rights, a new array of artistically astonishing games, and educators' increasing recognition of the role games play in teaching and learning made 2011 a remarkable year and set the stage for a great 2012.

I want to thank all of you for supporting our industry as we faced a momentous challenge to the constitutional rights of our industry's artists and creators before the U.S. Supreme Court. Your support helped amplify our voice, and ensured the Court heard our collective concerns about the consequences of the Schwarzenegger-Yee law at the center of the case. The Court's landmark declaration that video games enjoy the same Constitutional protections as books, movies and fine arts was exactly what we hoped to hear. The importance of this decision, both for our industry and for all who cherish free speech, cannot be overstated.

While the legal news played out in Washington, the rest of the world continued to be amazed by the increasing sophistication of the games our industry produces. As Seth Schiesel wrote in The New York Times earlier this month:

"Game makers are producing more high-quality entertainment for a broader variety of players than they ever have in the past. No other form of fun melds advanced digital technology, personal engagement and mass-market cultural relevance as felicitously as video games. That is why video games are the ascendant form of popular entertainment."

Entertainment will always be the heart of our industry, but I would also note the growing awareness that exists about the positive impact games have on improving other top priorities for the American people, including our economy, our education and healthcare systems, the workplace and the arts. Consider just a few examples from this year:

•Art: Video games gained new appreciation as works of art, as their stunning graphics and captivating soundtracks attracted the art community's attention. The Smithsonian Institution announced that it will unveil a new exhibit dedicated to showcasing the incredible artistry within games at its American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. ESA is proud to sponsor the exhibit, titled "The Art of Video Games," which opens March 16, 2012.

•The Economy: As many of you know, video game companies continue to post strong sales, with sales of game content, hardware and accessories generating $25.1 billion in revenue in 2010. Gamers' increasing interest in mobile, social and online play is a key component of this success, and we recognize The NPD Group's decision to begin reporting digital game sales on a monthly basis and the firm's new partnership with EEDAR that will help it do so. Their decision recognizes the significance of digital games to our business, and will provide a more complete picture of industry sales.

•Healthcare: Using an online game called Foldit, designed by Professor Zoran Popovic at the University of Washington, online gamers deciphered the protein that helps the HIV gene multiply. The protein stumped scientists for more than a decade, but the gamers unlocked it in just 10 days. While this is certainly a major breakthrough in the ongoing battle against AIDS, it also shows the unique power of our medium to solve incredibly difficult and complex problems.

•Education: In September, the White House launched Digital Promise, a public-private partnership aimed at incorporating technological tools, including games, into American classrooms. The program will support research and development efforts to identify effective teaching technologies, develop new approaches for rapid evaluation of new products and explore ways to expand the market for learning software.

I am proud to report that, in partnership with this initiative, ESA is once again sponsoring the National STEM Video Game Challenge in collaboration with The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, E-Line Media, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting/PBS KIDS' Ready to Learn initiative. The competition challenges students and developers to create original games that stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning.

Of course, these are just a few examples of the reach and promise of games, and we see new and inspiring instances every day. We will continue sharing these stories with you through our monthly newsletter and on our website while also exploring opportunities to provide further support and encouragement for this movement.

In 2011, our industry continued to grow, to innovate and to be a source of entertainment, inspiration and learning. We also reaffirmed our rightful legal place alongside the other art forms that entertain and enlighten our society. These developments made for an historic year.

I thank you again for your interest in and support of our industry, and wish you and your families a joyous and healthy holiday season.

Sincerely,

Michael D. Gallagher
President and CEO
Entertainment Software Association

Source: IndustryGamers

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Re: ESA Calls 2011 a Remarkable Year for the Games Industry

Online passes are gaining momentum,  that alone makes 2011 horrible.

 
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ConsterSleaker: if you think there's only been "a handful of" incidents, you have your head stuck *somewhere* - I'm assuming it's sand.09/20/2014 - 5:38am
prh99Most of it's agitprop clickbait anyway.09/20/2014 - 5:27am
prh99A good reason to stop reading reguardless of view pointhttp://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli.09/20/2014 - 5:22am
Andrew EisenWell this is unique! A musical critique of the Factual Feminist's "Are Video Games Sexist?" video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4s7cV4Us409/20/2014 - 2:41am
Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
Andrew EisenAnd still, in the end, Tito made up his own mind on how to handle his site. All 150 or so members went off to handle their own sites in their own ways. Some talked about it. Some didn't. Some changed disclosure policies. Some didn't.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenThere were two comments other than Kochera and Tito's. One pointed out the Escapist Code of Conduct, another comment was in support of Tito.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenKochera privately expressed his disagreement on how Tito decided to do something. No, I don't consider that crossing a line nor do I consider the exchange an example of the group pressuring him.09/20/2014 - 12:36am
Kronotechnical reasons. Anyways, I need to get to sleep as well.09/20/2014 - 12:29am
KronoAnd he wasn't the only one pushing Tito to censor the thread. If Tito had bowed to peer pressure, we likely wouldn't have gotten this http://goo.gl/vKiYtR which grew out of that thread. Said thread also lasted until a new one needed to be made for09/20/2014 - 12:28am
Krono@Andrew So it's an example of Kuchera crossing the line from reporter to advocate. And an example of the group pressuring for censorship.09/20/2014 - 12:21am
E. Zachary KnightAnyway, I am off to bed. I will probably wake up to all of this being knocked off the shout box.09/20/2014 - 12:20am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, that is the type of reading too much into things that bugs me. Ben did no such thing. Greg had the last word in that part of the exchange. The rest was about how to approach the story and Quinn.09/20/2014 - 12:19am
Andrew EisenSo?09/20/2014 - 12:13am
KronoExcept that the forum thread wasn't harassment, and Kuchera continued to push for the thread's removal after Tito made it clear he didn't consider it harassment.09/20/2014 - 12:12am
Andrew EisenPersonally, I see nothing wrong with someone offering their opinion or the other person making up their own mind on how to run their site.09/20/2014 - 12:06am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, I read nothing of the sort in that email chain. I read Ben giving advice on what to do when a forum thread is used to harass someone and spread falshoods about them and others.09/20/2014 - 12:05am
KronoThat's exactly what Ben Kuchera was doing to Greg Tito.09/19/2014 - 11:58pm
Krono@EZK So you see nothing wrong with one journalist pressuring a journalist from a different organization to not only not run a story, but to censor a civil discussion already taking place?09/19/2014 - 11:56pm
E. Zachary KnightI write for a number of blogs and talk to people who write similar blogs all the time for tips and advice. I see nothing wrong with that.09/19/2014 - 11:50pm
 

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