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We have won the battle

By on November 18, 2010
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I have just been reading the debate in the House of Commons about tax breaks for video games.

It is a surprisingly interesting debate, with contributions from David Hanson (Lab Delyn), Jim McGovern (Lab, Dundee West), Stewart Hosie (SNP, Dundee East), Tom Watson (Lab, West Bromwich East), Charlie Elphicke (Con, Dover), Mark Field (Cities of London and Westminster) and others.

I will post another day about the specifics of the debate on tax credits. But the thing that struck me the most throughout the debate was how positive, supportive, enthusiastic and knowledgeable a number of MPs are about the games industry.

Don’t ban this sick filth

During the entire debate about video game tax breaks, nobody said “Why is the government funding these murder simulators?” Keith Vaz didn’t stand up and say “Games kill, on average, one person every minute in the UK.” A government minister didn’t stand up and say “Games? Aren’t they just for spotty oiks who can’t get girlfriends?”

Nothing of the sort. The government minister, David Gauke (Con), was at pains to say:

“There is no sense in which the government are in any way anti-video games or think it is an antisocial issue or anything like that”

This is an amazing achievement. Massive credit to Richard Wilson and his team at TIGA for helping our politicians realise how important the games industry is – both culturally and commercially – to Britain. Credit also to UKIE, to the Games Up campaign and to everyone who has interacted with politicians to help improve the image of the games industry.

Last week, Rob Fahey declared that we had won the battle with the media. This week, it looks as if we’ve won the battle with politicians.

Well done to us all.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com