Contribution of games industry recognised by senior MPs at Ukie Westminster reception
10 July 2012 - London, United Kingdom - Tax production credits and computer coding breakthrough recognised as major achievements for the industry.
Senior Coalition MPs, Ed Vaizey and Don Foster, praise the work of Ukie members and its board.
Ukie uses event to launch Next Gen Skills’ ‘Get Schools Coding’ Call to Action for MPs.
Ukie last night hosted a Westminster Summer Reception gathering together senior games industry figures from developers and publishers, parliamentarians and policy-makers to highlight some of the great work being done in the industry to promote responsible game playing and the positive commercial and cultural impact that the games industry brings to the UK.
Introducing the event, Ukie CEO Dr Jo Twist highlighted what a UK success story the games industry is, saying that “we have the opportunity to grow the interactive entertainment industry to make the UK a real global powerhouse in this fastest growing of creative industries”.
She also thanked the government for their ongoing support, in particular for announcing tax production credits and recognising the need to have computer science taught in England’s schools. Jo said: “Having tax production credits and getting a real breakthrough with computer science have been major achievements for the industry and a sign of what we can achieve in the future when the financial and talent conditions are right.”
Jo went on to say that “there is still much work to do and Ukie is committed to making sure that these announcements translate in to real wins for everyone, big and small, across the industry.”
Ukie, through its Next Gen Skills campaign, also used the event to launch its ‘Get Schools Coding’ Call to Action for MPs - asking MPs to drive the teaching of computer science at a local level, by getting them to speak to the schools in their constituency to encourage them to teach children how to create technology rather than just use it.
Jo finished off by saying that: “we are always looking at innovative new ways that policy can help interactive entertainment businesses. We are currently speaking to government see if we can help make crowd funding, for example, as effective as possible for companies who need funding for ideas.”
Speaking at the event, Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey, pledged the government’s ongoing support for the industry and praised the work of Ukie and its Board members on behalf of the diverse industry, particularly Andy Payne and Ian Livingstone, “for working with government on delivering policies that are of real benefit to the games industry”.
Ed said that he was particularly pleased to see the progress made towards getting computer science taught in England’s schools and acknowledged “the lead role that Ukie, Next Gen Skills and Ian Livingstone had played in helping government to make fundamental changes to how kids learn about technology in schools”. Ed also welcomed the launch of Next Gen Skills’ ‘Get Schools Coding’ Call to Action for MPs, saying that he “welcomed getting MPs involved at a constituency level to ensure that their local schools are equipped to teach children computer science in an engaging and rigorous way”.
Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for the Creative Industry, Don Foster MP, also spoke at the event, about the lead role that Ukie and the games industry should play in other key policy areas of intellectual property and child safety.
Regarding intellectual property protection, Don said the games industry led the way in using technology and business models to help protect IP. He said that “other content industries should certainly look at what lessons can be learned from these successful business models and technological solutions”. But also said that “the games industry is however not totally immune from the illegal distribution of content” and that the sector “must continue to take part in the debates around IP to make sure that any new legal enforcement measures are fit for the needs of the industry”.
Don also spoke about how the games industry should also lead the debate around child safety, praising the industry for the immanent implementation of PEGI age ratings in the UK and the widespread use of parental control systems on all main games consoles. He then urged the games industry “to take the lead in other, purely online, gaming platforms” but was is in “no doubt that the sector can build on the platform of PEGI to introduce systems and practices that other sectors and policy makers can use as models of best practice in this extremely important area.”
Don finished off with a call for the games industry to speak with one voice, saying “the games industry must work together particularly on getting tax breaks implemented. I understand that Ukie are keen to work with any partners, including TIGA and this approach is very welcome. The industry has achieved much in the last five years and it should act as inspiration to think what it could do if it spoke with one voice.”
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The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or Ukie (pronounced YOU-KEY) is a trade body that represents the whole of the UK’s video games and wider interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 1989 (and formerly known as ELSPA), Ukie’s membership includes games publishers, developers and the academic institutions that support the industry.
Ukie works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, tax incentives and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.
One of Ukie’s key roles is to support its members by providing them with key market information, promoting careers and offering the business support services, training and best-practice knowledge to enable them to operate most effectively.
In addition, Ukie compiles weekly, monthly and annual retail charts and sales reports for the UK market.