Parliamentary Friends of Video Games group launched in bipartisan effort

"We’re launching this group because of the huge economic and social impact of video games today."

A bipartisan Parliamentary Friends of Video Games group has recently been launched under the leadership of Tim Watts MP, Labor’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications and Cyber Security, and Liberal Senator James McGrath.

According to the IGEA, the new group will provide a forum for those in the Australian video games industry to “engage with parliamentarians and raise awareness of the importance of the sector.”

“We’re launching this group because of the huge economic and social impact of video games today. It’s a continuation of the great advocacy work IGEA has done in Canberra to date for the industry to be taken seriously,” said Tim Watts MP. “Australia is home to a talented, world leading community of game developers and publishers but lacks the scale of its peers in New Zealand, Finland, Canada, and the United Kingdom. While often overlooked in policy making processes, the video game industry is a dynamic, future-focused and digital industry that provides creative tech jobs and is almost entirely export-based.

“With the right policy settings, the video game industry has the potential to help drive the post-COVID economic recovery, creating jobs and opening up a significant export market,” Mr Watts continued.

“This industry represents the fastest-growing media in the world and is a significant driver in the global tech industry,” added Senator McGrath. “Australia has built a reputation over many years of producing some of the world’s best creative talent and I have no doubt we have a generation of innovative, technology-savvy developers and publishers who are ready and eager to grow this industry here, explore opportunities and export their products to the world.”

The group was launched a Parliament House event last night, a bipartisan event in which government officials celebrated alongside the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) and Melbourne-based developer Big Ant Studios (AO Tennis).

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the establishment of the Parliamentary Friends of Video Games group,” said IGEA CEO, Ron Curry. “This is a first for the local games industry and highlights the support we have across parties. We know that billions of players around the world engage with games on a daily basis and we welcome the formal pathway Tim Watts and Senator James McGrath have created to formally engage with the Australian games industry and game players.

“We know there are many in Parliament who publicly or secretly love playing games and it’s fantastic they now have a forum to celebrate it. The group has already expressed a desire to ensure that Australia remains competitive on a global stage and takes advantage of all of the opportunities a complete video game development ecosystem will create economically, creatively and culturally.”

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.