The founder of the Entertainment Software Association, Douglas Lowenstein, is to be awarded the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts within the games industry.
Lowenstein launched the ESA - then known as the Interactive Digital Software Association - in 1994. During his 13 years as president, the trade body grew substantially in size in order to represent the USD 11.7 billion industry.
"Whether it was launching the E3 Expo and turning it into the signature gathering for interactive entertainment professionals, fighting against piracy, establishing the videogame's influence in state capitals and Washington, DC, ceaselessly making the case that video games are as important a cultural force as other forms of entertainment, or rebutting virulent anti video game attacks, Doug's contributions to our industry and the creative community have been profoundly meaningful and enduring," said AIAS president Joseph Olin.
"It was under Doug's leadership that the industry fought off dangerous efforts to impose restrictions on video game content," added Jay Cohen, AIAS Board chair. "For those of us in the AIAS, it is no exaggeration to say that the artistic freedom we now enjoy stems directly from Doug's efforts."
"This Lifetime Achievement Award represents the greatest professional honour I have ever received and I am grateful beyond words to the AIAS," said Lowenstein. "To be honoured for doing a job I loved, and fighting for values I deeply hold on behalf of an industry and people I felt privileged to represent is profoundly humbling."
Lowenstein will become the third recipient of the award, joining Howard Lincoln and Minoru Arakawa, founders of Nintendo of America, and Ken Kutaragi, the father of PlayStation.