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May 3, 2012

Some contradictions

Today, some quotations about governments, funding and videogames: Interactive entertainment is increas

American Public Media's 'Budget Hero' game.

Today, some quotations about governments, funding and videogames:

Interactive entertainment is increasingly becoming a more significant part of our cultural and creative production and will therefore play a more important role in expressing our cultural identity. The creative and technical expertise that the sector generates has the potential to make a significant contribution to Australia’s innovation economy.

The Federal Government’s Convergence Review, page 74. The review recommended, amongst other things, that “Interactive entertainment, such as games and other applications, should be supported by an offset scheme,” (page xviii). It also stated that the “national cultural policy, currently being developed, will explore ways the government can support Australia’s creative industries to optimise their commercial capacity, pursue trade and investment opportunities and bring innovative content to new audiences.” (page 74)

Louise Herron, another committee member and chair of the Major Performing Arts Board, said she thought Mr Crean “was hoping for some money” for the policy. “The Minister really believes the arts are important, but the difficulty is money.” Kevin Brennan, a cultural policy expert who is on the steering committee, said: “The days of bolstering up the arts budget are over. It’s very difficult for politicians to find money and justify it.”

‘Culture, arts squeezed from budget with no spare change’, Sydney Morning Herald. A news report detailing the postponement of the National Cultural Policy today due to the federal government’s desire to deliver a surplus. We can only assume that the recommendations of the Convergence Review that are wrapped up in the NCP have also been postponed.

Victoria leads the world in the videogame industry. Victoria is at the forefront of next generation technology, developing electronic games for console platforms, as well as games for digital distribution, computer, mobile and handheld devices.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu, announcing the upcoming Games Masters exhibition at ACMI in October last year.

Victorian games developers have been dealt a huge blow with the removal of funding to Film Victoria’s games investment program. In the 2012-13 budget handed down on Tuesday, the Victorian Government did not renew funding to continue digital media programs that have supported local games development for the past decade.

‘Games funded no more’, The Age. Though initial reports suggested that the Film Victoria funding for games would be cut completely, the Victorian government is yet to make a statement on the issue, and there has been some suggestion from the Game Developer’s Association of Australia that Film Victoria will be obliged to continue funding games.

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4 comments

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4 thoughts on “Some contradictions

  1. Ruprecht

    Very short-sighted by Baillieu … what are all the sacked 4200 public servants going to do when they lose their jobs?

    That’s right, sit on the couch and play videogames.

    Victorians could have been making those games.

  2. FunkyJ

    And to pour salt into my wounds at least, this appeared today in the newsfeeds as well…

    Ubisoft Toronto is more than just a video game studio. It also represents one of the most tangible examples of the public-private partnership that exists between provincial governments and the Canadian video game industry, which contributed $1.7 billion in economic activity to the country last year[…]

    Ubisoft expects to invest more than $500 million in the Toronto studio […]

    As part of the deal, Ubisoft said it expects to expand the studio to more than 800 employees over 10 years.

    http://business.financialpost.com/2012/05/01/ubisoft-hopes-to-replicate-montreal-success-in-toronto/

  3. Daniel Golding

    Thanks Paul—very useful reading.

  4. Paul Callaghan

    I haven’t read it all, but it looks like the recommendations of the Convergence Review as it relates to games are pretty close to Screen Australia’s submission, which is absolutely worth a read, especially as they got PWC to do some economic modelling on the whole thing in their ‘Playing for Keeps’ report.

    Submission: http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/documents/SA_publications/Submission_ConvergenceReview.pdf
    Report with modelling: http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/about_us/pub_gamesreport.aspx

    In terms of the National Cultural Policy, games are significantly outnumbered by other cultural submissions – which is to be expected – but I collated some of them over at my blog – http://www.paulcallaghan.net/blog/2011/12/05/national-cultural-policy-and-games/.