Michael D. Gallagher does not make video games. He doesn't review them. He doesn't sell them. But recently he became one of the most important people in the video-game industry and, by extension, a powerful shaper of the digital entertainment consumed by hundreds of millions of people around the world.
On June 1, Mr. Gallagher, 43, took office as president of the Entertainment Software Association, becoming the game industry's chief lobbyist in Washington. As the game world gets ready for its most important annual conference, known as E3, which starts on July 11 in Los Angeles, executives and gamers will look to see how Mr. Gallagher intends to protect their primary interest: to be able to produce and consume games without too much outside government oversight.