The British Minister for Creative Industries and Tourism, and Labour Member of Parliament Shaun Woodward has called for the video games industry to sponsor an academy to support students interested in working in the industry.
Speaking in an interview in The Financial Times
, Woodward suggested that the industry should help to found an academy similar in function the successful London Film School. “The best way for the video games industry to have the talent and the skills it wants is to move into the hot seat itself; to come to the government and say 'we want to put some money into an - academy'”, he said.
Woodward suggested that there would be private sector support for such an initiative, but gave no indication as to whether he had personally raised the subject with games companies.
“You might have kids who traditionally have quite a difficult time coping with traditional academic subjects but happen to be the most amazing gamers... you have to look very creatively at the kind of educational background you want”, he commented.
The minister appeared to dismiss hopes for tax breaks in the UK, as enjoyed by the film and other creative industries, saying that the games industry had moved beyond an early “rebel period” of “looking enviously at … tax breaks and other state incentives”.
The British government is due to publish a green paper (a initial government report without any commitments, and potentially the first step towards government action) in the spring on the thirteen sectors which it describes as creative industries - including advertising, music, television, publishing and video games.
Woodward claims that working groups set up by the UK government have found that management skills are one of the most important issues to be addressed across the so-called creative industries. The problem is said to be particularly acute for creative companies where managers are not conventional business people.