The Entertainment Software Association celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and announced the recipients of the first ever Interactive Entertainment Impact Awards. This year’s awards are going to two members of the House of Representatives: Jay Obernolte (R-CA) and Marc Veasey (D-TX), as well as the AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons).

The Interactive Entertainment Impact Awards are rewarded to persons and organizations who have a positive impact on the gaming industry.

Reps. Obernolte and Veasey co-chair the Congressional Video Game and Esports Caucus — which I didn’t know was even a thing (and not to be confused with the Congressional Gaming Caucus, which covers gambling and casinos).

“As a video game developer for over 30 years, it is an honor to be recognized for my work promoting our digital economy. In my career I have watched the entertainment software industry grow into an economic juggernaut that brings people of all ages together, allowing grandparents, parents and children to share a communal entertainment experience. We must continue to advance policies that maintain our country’s position as the world leader in entertainment software development.”

Representative Jay Obernolte (R-CA)

“Thank you to the Entertainment Software Association for this recognition. The level of video game engagement continues to grow, building a community of players from all walks of life. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Video Game & Esports Caucus, I am committed to creating the safest online environment so that all parents and children can continue to embrace the social and economic benefits of games.”

Representative Marc Veasey (D-TX)

The ESA and AARP have collaborated for years, culminating in the 2023 AARP Games Summit, showcasing an oft-ignored demographic of gamers over 50. The AARP has also developed its own web-based video games for the AARP website.

“This award is a small token of recognition in relation to the enormous positive impact our awardees have had on the U.S. video game industry,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, president and CEO, ESA. “Reps. Obernolte and Veasey and AARP have been champions of the industry for years, and we are incredibly thankful for their work in ensuring that all Americans can enjoy the benefits video games bring to all of our lives and truly realize the power of play.”

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.