Following an inquiry, the Australian senate recently released a report on the Future of the Australian Video Game Development Industry, titled “Game on: more than playing around”. I am proud to be quoted in the report:
Working conditions within the video game industry attracted some comment. Mr Alexander Ocias submitted that a ‘huge proportion’ of the game industry in other countries is ‘running unsustainably on unpaid labour’. Accordingly, he argued that ‘Australia’s strong labour laws should be seen as a point of pride, and not as an impediment’.
The full report can be downloaded from the APH website.
In my submission to the committee I campaigned for the cultural and artistic importance of videogames, as well as for government funding across a number of levels that would increase the financial and cultural wealth of the nation.
Overall I am very pleased with the outcome of the inquiry thus far, it has tremendously boosted the profile and reputation of our industry amongst senators who were previously totally unaware of our existence. Not only that, it is the only senate inquiry in recent history that has had total bipartisan consensus (and in our favour). It sets a great precedent for the return of federal-level funding for videogames.
Unfortunately, the majority of the report is framed around the largely unrelated “gamification” and “serious games” industry. It appears we did not make a sufficiently strong case for videogames being part of Australia’s current and future identity, and this is an area we must improve on in the future.
The inquiry was initiated by senator Scott Ludlam of the Greens at the end of 2015. The committee began by taking submissions from the public, before scheduling three public hearings, one in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. I livetweeted all three days, and the records can be found on the #auspolgames hashtag.