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ESA Foundation To Honor Gabe Newell At 2012 “Nite To Unite – For Kids”


U.S. Video Game Industry Gathers to Celebrate Pioneer and Raise Funds for America’s Youth

WASHINGTON, DC – Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of Valve Corporation, will be the 2012 ESA Champion Honoree at the Entertainment Software Association Foundation’s (ESAF) “Nite to Unite – for Kids” (NTU). Now in its fifteenth year, the black-tie gala will take place October 18, 2012 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.

Described by Forbes magazine as “one of the most respected figures in the video game business,” Newell is responsible for multiple award-winning games including Portal and the online video game distribution platform Steam. Newell is being honored for using his technological creativity in interactive entertainment to help teachers access new learning software and to develop critical problem-solving skills in students. His efforts enhanced learning in the areas of physics, mathematics, and language arts and also were highlighted by the White House, which in 2011 partnered with Valve through the U.S. Department of Education to bring Portal into classrooms across the country.

Newell joins a list of some of the video game industry’s most distinguished leaders who were recognized previously at NTU. Past honorees include Mike Morhaime, president, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., Robbie Bach, former president of Microsoft Corporation’s Entertainment & Devices Division, and George Lucas, the famed director of “Star Wars.”

“Gabe is a visionary innovator for our industry, and his success has broadened the industry for gamers and game creators alike,” said Mike Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association that represents U.S. video and computer game publishers. “He has brought that same tenacity to working with schools and students, expanding access to digital learning while demonstrating that a commitment to positive social impact and leadership in business go hand-in-hand.”

NTU is an annual event hosted by ESAF that brings together interactive entertainment’s most creative and successful companies for a night of charity. All proceeds support ESAF’s grantmaking and educational activities, which range from providing scholarships for women and minority students pursuing college degrees in computer and video game arts to funding the incredibly popular Art of Video Games exhibit, which made its debut at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in March and is set to go on national tour next week.

This year’s NTU co-chairs include Kazuhiko Abe, president and CEO of Capcom U.S.A., Inc., John Pleasants, co-president of Disney Interactive, and Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. The casino night portion of the evening is sponsored by International Data Group (IDG) and IDG World Expo.

Both individuals and companies are welcome to attend the black-tie optional event. Tickets are $750 for individuals and table sponsorships are also available. For registration and ticket information, visit or contact Alexa Halpert at 415-551-5190 or by email at

ESAF was created by the American entertainment software industry to provide opportunities that can make a difference in the lives of America’s youth. The Foundation is fully supported by proceeds from their limited edition charity game pack’s sales and “Nite to Unite for Kids,” its annual fund-raiser, which has raised more than $11 million in the last 12 years. For more information about ESAF, please visit


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