Doug Lowenstein, founder and former president of video game trade body the Entertainment Software Association, will receive the lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, the AIAS said Tuesday.
"This Lifetime Achievement Award represents the greatest professional honor I have ever received and I am grateful beyond words to the AIAS," said Lowenstein in a statement.
"To be honored 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, let alone to be in the company of Howard Lincoln, Minoru Arakawa, and Ken Kutaragi, is profoundly humbling."
Lowenstein was the prominent head of the ESA from the group's founding in 1994 as the International Digital Software Association until he resigned in February 2007. Currently, Lowenstein is president and CEO of the Private Equity Council.
The former ESA head was known for his outspokenness on issues relating to the burgeoning games industry, such as piracy, free speech issues, parental tools and the general perception of video games in mainstream and specialist media.
AIAS board chair Jay Cohen, currently president of development at Jerry Bruckheimer Games, added, "It was under Doug's leadership that the industry fought off dangerous efforts to impose restrictions on video game content, in the process establishing unequivocally that video games are entitled to the same First Amendment rights as any other entertainment content."
Aside from the ESA, Lowenstein in previous years was a newspaper reporter, a Washington correspondent, a senior legislative aide and a published author. The AIAS said its lifetime achievement award -- to be presented at the Las Vegas D.I.C.E. Summit in February 2010 -- "recognizes the contributions outside of game-makers who had the belief and vision to build the interactive entertainment industry."
The current ESA president is Mike Gallagher, who took the reins
in May 2007.