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Tories Want To Support Uk Videogames Industry

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Interesting interview I found here: http://pc.boomtown.net/en_uk/articles/art.view.php?id=18140

Pasted below.

Q&A: Ed Vaizey MP

The Conservative Shadow Arts and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has told Boomtown that the Labour government has ignored the games industry.

Conservative Shadow Arts and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey says he would like to set up a group for dialogue with the UK games industry on similar lines to the UK Film Council.

Should the Tories gain power in the next general election the Member of Parliament for Wantage and Didcot said he would be keen to negotiate tax breaks with the industry.

Speaking to Boomtown Mr Vaizey explained his views on how a Conservative government would approach ties with the videogames industry and where the current Labour government is going wrong.

Boomtown: Given that you advocate change in the way government responds to the UK games industry, what do you think is wrong with the way the Labour administration approaches the games industry at present?

Ed Vaizey: The Government has ignored the industry. It does not act as an advocate for it, and allows those with negative opinions about games to hold sway. We have seen the games industry slip from second to fifth in world league tables, and the Government has refused to even investigate practical ways to secure our games industry’s success.

Boomtown: How would a Conservative government change this? What benefit would the industry see from a similar organisation to the UK Film Council? And what would the government and nation gain?

Ed Vaizey: We would look at all the options. Skills are very important and we want to make sure there are home-grown graduates ready to work in the industry. We will explore whether the film tax break could be extended to video games. A UK Video Games council would raise the profile of the industry and act as a strong advocate for it.

Boomtown: What is your perception of the UK games industry - where is it getting things right and where is it getting things wrong?

Ed Vaizey: There are two trade bodies with meaningless acronyms – ELSPA and TIGA. They should merge and form the UK Video Games Association. The games industry’s PR is getting better, but it is not doing enough to show how it ticks all the boxes – employing maths and computer science graduates, a strong regional presence throughout the UK, massive benefits in terms of tools for education, health and so on.

Boomtown: Where does the Conservative party stand on age-ratings, regulation and censorship for videogames in the retail space?

Ed Vaizey: We support the current proposals put forward by the Government.

Boomtown: With traditional forms of advertising having less impact on people more likely to be playing videogames than watching a party political broadcast, how can the Conservative party reach out to the gaming generation?

Ed Vaizey: The video games generation is very computer literate. Whenever I talk about games, it is picked up by numerous blogs and word gets out. I get more feedback from the public – gamers – on what I say about games than any other topic.

Not sure how many people here will know, but the UK used to be a world leader in videogames development, and even today we have some of the top development houses making games like Grand Theft Auto, WipEout, Tomb Raider etc...

However, we've really fallen behind recently with companies leaving the UK or finding they can't get access to the graduates or funding they need. Seems like the Tories want to get behind this multi-billion pound industry while Labour just want to get some cheap snipes in on the industry via Keith Vaz.

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I predict William Hague will be turning up at some Games developer with his baseball cap on back to front, playing a few rounds of M60 Bitch Killah on the Nintendobox 360 Wiibox and telling journalists that Labour are whack if they think they can take away games from the yoot an ting.

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I predict William Hague will be turning up at some Games developer with his baseball cap on back to front, playing a few rounds of M60 Bitch Killah on the Nintendobox 360 Wiibox and telling journalists that Labour are whack if they think they can take away games from the yoot an ting.

Actually the MP in the interview has been some industry conferences to talk about the issues.

You may scoff, but it's a big industry, bigger than film in the UK, yet it seems to get disregarded. It's a growing form of entertainment and leisure, appealing to a very wide market these days and we'd be mad not to capitalise on all the talent and reputation we have in the sector.

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You may scoff, but it's a big industry, bigger than film in the UK, yet it seems to get disregarded.

Just an attempt at humour, I've no agenda against the industry or William Hague for that matter, it's just that he once tried to get down with the kids and...

Jokes are never as good when you have to explain them are they?

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Just an attempt at humour, I've no agenda against the industry or William Hague for that matter, it's just that he once tried to get down with the kids and...

Jokes are never as good when you have to explain them are they?

I know what you mean.

Like when GB said he listens to Coldplay some other shite.

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Just an attempt at humour, I've no agenda against the industry or William Hague for that matter, it's just that he once tried to get down with the kids and...

Although I'm sure just as many adults play games as kids. Why, I may pick a fight with some orcs or Carthaginians myself by the end of today.

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Although I'm sure just as many adults play games as kids. Why, I may pick a fight with some orcs or Carthaginians myself by the end of today.

Get a wife!

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Guest anorthosite
Get a wife!

She might be playing the orcs or Carthaginians (although she has expressed a fondness for Spartan hoplites - I'm assuming she means in the context of the game...)

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Tax breaks aren't the reason the industry has fallen in league tables. The problem is the overall cost of producing AAA titles. And as the sums involved have risen, the distribution system has formed to protect (to some degree) this investment. Its the same deal as the film industry basically.

The halcyon days of Matthew Smith and Jeff Minter sitting in their front rooms banging out a classic title in front of the family TV are long gone.

Its also a pretty exploitative industry in terms of sucking in young graduates and spitting out burnt out ones in their mid-20s but, as with other creative industries, nobody involved seems to mind this overly so fair enough.

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I'm getting married in August and play Xbox games pretty much every day.

You probably still enjoy a healthy sex life too.

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