Officials from British trade association ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers' Association) have welcomed a speech by Prime Minister Tony Blair, which indirectly praises the British games industry and its contribution to culture and business.
A number of games industry representatives were in attendance at the speech given by Blair at the Tate Modern art gallery in London. The speech was intended to praise creative industries in Britain, with Blair saying, “Culture spans so many disciplines… I am very much aware of the contribution from every quarter. There is not a sector represented... which has not contributed to the renaissance of British culture.”
Although Blair did not mention video games by name in his speech, he is known to be sympathetic to the industry despite its use, as in much of the rest of the world, as a popular scapegoat by the British mass media. This attitude has been most evident in his lack of enthusiasm for further legislation concerning the sale of violent games, despite attempts by fellow Labour MP Keith Vaz
to champion the cause.
Paul Jackson, director general of ELSPA, commented, “It is good to hear the Prime Minister’s speech and the government’s recognition of the creative industries in Britain and their contribution to the culture and essence of the country. The games industry is a proud member of these industries. The talent and creativity that our industry houses and nurtures is what makes the games industry a part of Britain’s cultural heritage, and more specifically, an important asset in Britain’s creative and cultural future”
“We continue to produce ground breaking technological breakthroughs and are continually making quantum leaps with creative achievement that delivers fiscal value for UK PLC”, continued Jackson.
Ian Livingstone, creative director of British publisher Eidos, added: “The games industry is a great British success story, employing roughly 25,000 people and contributing over £2 billion per annum to the economy. We make original and innovative games that sell around the world and whilst we have achieved most of this without significant contribution from government, we welcome the Prime Minister’s view that games are very much part of creative Britain both culturally and economically and look forward to his continued support.”