With a small smart investment from government, Western Australia could become a hub for the national video games industry, which generates more than $2 billion a year, under a Greens plan released today.
"The massive success of mobile gaming, and the emerging technology of VR, present huge opportunities for the industry, and with just a few key measures, we could see a considerable amount of that work undertaken in Western Australia," Greens Communications spokesperson and Senator for WA Scott Ludlam said today.
"Every day millions of Australians turn to videogames for leisure, entertainment and education. The average Australian gamer is now indistinguishable from the average Australian - they are one and the same. The videogames industry is the fastest-growing entertainment industry in the world.
"We can foster this talent at the federal level by reintroducing an improved Australian Interactive Games Fund (AIGF). This $4 million would see small independent studios grow into flourishing ongoing enterprises.
"If we extended some of the benefits screen producers have enjoyed for years to videogame developers, it would be the single most important initiative we could take for providing enduring confidence in the industry as an essential part of screen culture.
"There are initiatives in other states that we should apply here, such as the Arcade co-working space in Melbourne, funded in part by the Victorian Government; a soft grants scheme with low interest or zero interest loans, similar to the current Queensland scheme; the ‘living salary’ grant scheme to pay modest wage for the crucial first stage of development, similar to the current Victorian scheme; and a marketing assistance fund for game makers, that enables them to travel interstate and overseas to showcase their work and Western Australian innovation.
"We're happy to give whoever forms government the cheat codes, but we think the best way forward is to hit reset on Saturday and install as many Greens as possible," Senator Ludlam said.
Read the full plan at http://greens.org.au/level-up-wa