Why Scotland needs to recognise the cultural value of its games industry

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NESTA’s report  Demanding Growth published today makes the case for supporting the games industry to recover from the recession including cultural tax credits for sector as both France and Canada have done.

The measures include several suggested by those in the games industry in Scotland for it to build on the  competitive advantages it has.  In Dundee in particular there is a cluster of  globally competitive talent in this industry – which needs recognition and support.  The Scottish Government and public agencies- Scottish Enterprise is currently active in this area – have an opportunity to act now to support Scotland’s competitive advantage.   This is an area we expect Creative Scotland to be active when it comes into being but the time for action is surely now.

NESTA calls for Westminster and the UK public agencies to deliver a package of measures to remove barriers to innovation and growth including:

•changes to the existing R&D tax credit system to improve its benefits for video games studios including giving R&D tax credits should be given before production commences to incentivise development of new products

• Prioritising video games in current initiatives to support innovation, such as the Technology Strategy Board’s (TSB) Creative Industries R&D Fund

• prioritising online gaming and serious games for training purposes

• a video games prototype fund to improve the UK capabilities at generating original IP

•A ‘kitemark’ for video game courses to improve the industry-readiness of their graduates.

•A Games Education Fund to finance the placement of lecturers in video games studios, as well as research fellowships and prioritising  research projects with Open Source outputs that can be extended, adapted and improved by video games studios themselves.

•Creating a Centre of Excellence on Educational Games

•Rolling out of student placements such as the highly successful ‘Dare to be Digital’ prototype competition across the UK.

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