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Conservative Party next on Tiga's political hit list

By Matt Martin

Tue 23 Sep 2008 11:38am GMT / 7:38am EDT / 4:38am PDT

Wilson to speak at Party Conference this weekend; MPs invited to LGF event


TIGA is the trade association representing the UKs games industry. The majority of our members are...

Following successful meetings with the Labour Party, TIGA CEO Richard Wilson has told that his next stop is the Conservative Party Conference.

TIGA is on a campaign to engage with policy makers and to educate MPs on the benefits of the games industry to the UK economy, which took Wilson to the Labour Party Conference last Saturday.

"We're keen to engage with policy makers to put games developers on the map and to make sure our concerns and our achievements are highlighted," said Wilson.

"In that sense it was successful. We had a handful of MPs there and there were quite a lot of Labour Party activists. They were very interested to hear about the games industry. There overall knowledge was thin, they weren't enormously well-informed about the games industry, but they were interested in what I had to say."

Wilson said that MPs were keen to understand more, and offered ways in which they could help promote the industry themselves.

"They were very interested in the possibility for MPs visiting studios, and quite interested in doing joint visits to schools with people from the games industry. Some MPs saw that as being a great way to generate interest in mathematics and science to show there are interesting careers students can embark upon," said Wilson.

This Sunday Wilson will join Shadow Arts Minister Ed Vaizey at the Conservative Party Conference, with Vaizey also agreeing to speak at next month's London Games Festival, along with Liberal Democrat MP Don Foster.

"[Vaizey] has shown a considerable amount of interest in the games industry and I'm really pleased he's involved in this event," commented Wilson. "I think it's an exciting time because we are starting to make an impact in getting the message over to the policy makers."

However, Wilson is aware that lobbying government is an uphill struggle, and that TIGA needs to be creative in its approach to MPs.

"I think it's going to be a long struggle – not because they don't want to hear, but because they have so many pressure groups that want to collar them and educate them on their problems.

"So we have to be quite imaginative in the way we get our message across, but we also have to be really hard working and keep plugging away. I'm confident the messages are beginning to get through, but it will take time," he added.

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