Thursday, July 16, 2015

Game Development for Britain

For all of the crazy political things going on in Britain right now, the Culture Minister is doing some fine work in championing video games as a source of artistic development. Ed Vaizey was appointed the position in July of 2014, and he's still pretty young to the game. He first entered politics in 2005. He also loves movies, so thumbs up for that.

As the keynote speaker for this year's 'Develop:Britain,' a conference for developers and technology business leaders, he commented that video games are just as important as films for British culture.

Games are taking their rightful place alongside the film industry as one of our most important assets.”

Starting out as the Culture Minister, he saw the potential video games had at allowing Britain to be one of the leading countries in the world that produced this form of art. But all of his colleagues saw was violence and anti-social behavior (all predicated by inclusive studies and stereotypes of gamers), and that games would never amount to anything. Vaizey wanted to change that perception. He helped create tax credits to bring new studios into the country, and allow start-up developers a chance to explore, unburdened. He has also helped start a protype fund with University Abertay, which will be used to support game products and provide new jobs within the game business.

Vaizey has also had a hand in the Next Gen Skills Academy. It's a virtual resource for 16 to 18 year olds who want to be in the game industry. The cool part is that it provides apprenticeships directly with big developers like Ubisoft, Sony, and Pinewood Studios, along with university course work.

It's good to see a few politicians here and there that want to bring video games up in the world. I know it's mostly for monetary reasons, but when has something not been about money? Everyone's got to get paid. But it's also good to point out that our age group is coming into our own. We're starting to take on more roles that can affect nations. The children who grew up with Mario and Sonic are getting ready to take political offices, and can put their stamp of approval on everything to do with accelerating the growth of gaming.

It's a pipe dream, I know. But it just takes a few of us to make a difference. It's good to see someone campaigning for us. Even for business purposes.

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