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Puttnam: Educational elements the key to state aid

Lord Puttnam believes that for developers of MMOs to successfully lobby the government for state aids, they will need to add a degree of educational content to their products.

Lord Puttnam of Queensgate has stated his belief that for developers of virtual worlds or MMOs to successfully lobby the government for state aids, they will need to add in a degree of educational content to their products, and demonstrate a unique cultural value.

The statement came at the keynote for the Virtual Worlds Forum, taking place as part of the London Games Festival, in a speech underlining his thoughts on the challenges that software developers face.

"Build educational capacity into the function of your games and you might get state aids. Otherwise you don't stand a snowball's chance in Hell."

The comments come at a time when the UK games industry is facing stiff competition from other countries on the cost of developing games, and following on from the failure of an application in France for games to receive state aid.

Lord Puttnam, a figure with an extensive background in the combination of media and politics, and an instrumental figure in the establishment of the videogames arm of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, also talked about subjects which will need to be addressed by the industry in the future.

These topics included addiction, cybercrime, the notion of online identity and security issues surrounding that, as well as the ethics behind developing virtual worlds for children.

The Virtual Worlds Forum spans several days during the LGF week, and includes a conference, workshops, and exhibitions.

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