A federal government review of the media landscape has been released yesterday, with some positive recommendations on the gaming front.
The Convergence Review: Final Report was commissioned in March 2011, and its conclusions recognise that the media landscape has shifted dramatically since the last serious revision of government policy on the landscape as a whole took place in the 1990s.
The review clearly recommends in its opening statements and in detail later on that an interactive entertainment offset would help 'recognise that games and other interactive genres make a significant contribution to cultural identity and innovation', largely due to games' significant economic conrtibution to the country.
To this end, the review asks for AUD$2-5 million to be funnelled to Screen Australia (Screen New South Wales has recently taken over the Interactive Media Fund from the Department of Trade and Investment) to fund new videogame projects. (This compares to a recommendation of AUD$22 million to fund feature films).
Furthermore, the review repeatedly acknowledges the cultural impact of games, their relevance as tools for education, the likelihood that they will continue to grow over time, and the notion that the lines between production of games and other forms of media will begin to blur.
Time will tell whether these recommendations will see their way into policy and help drive our development community.
The review committee was comprised of Senator Stephen Conroy, Louise McElVogue and Malcolm Long. An interim report with the likely findings of the final report was released in December 2011. A big thanks must go out to the Game Developers' Association of Australia (GDAA) and the Interactive Games And Entertainment Association (iGEA) for their input to the review on behald of the games sector.
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