Joseph Olin, the former head of a video game professional group, has been appointed executive director of the Video Game Bar Association (VGBA), a trade group for attorneys and legal counsel focused on the games business.
Olin is the past president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS), which puts on the Dice Summit and the Dice Awards — the equivalent of the Oscars of video games — in Las Vegas every spring. During his tenure at the AIAS, Olin became a well-known spokesman for video games, and he helped grow the AIAS membership to more than 20,000 accredited gamemakers.
“The VGBA is an important organization for these communities — developers, publishers, and practitioners — as it is through engaging our members that gamemakers’ rights are secured,” said Olin in a statement. “My goal is to expand the level of service to our membership through its annual VGBA Summit as well as regional meetings on topics to advance an understanding of the laws affecting the industry.”
Olin most recently served as executive director for the International Digital Media & Arts Association, which serves digital media educators.
“Joseph’s long tenure of leadership in the interactive entertainment industry will allow him to have a large effect on our trajectory,” said attorneys David Rosenbaum and Patrick Sweeney, the co-founders of VGBA, in a joint statement. “It’s a real opportunity for us to have him involved in the association, and we’re confident Joseph will catalyze our efforts.”
Olin has spent more than 30 years in video games and consumer products. He currently operates a game consultancy — It’s A Secret — working with independent developers and government agencies on game education. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California in the School of Cinematic Art teaching game design and production.
And while working in the game industry, he helped introduce gaming’s most famous heroine, Lara Croft, with the launch of Tomb Raider while serving as vice president of marketing and business development for Eidos Interactive.
The Video Game Bar Association was formed in 2011 to promote the education of and interaction among licensed game attorneys.