ELSPA has today laid out the main policy areas on which it will focus its efforts when the next Parliament comes into power.
In particular, the games industry trade body has highlighted education as an area which requires work - by encouraging the take up of STEM subjects and computer science - and tackling crime, particularly IP theft.
It also said that age ratings needed to be publicised through advertising and education campaigns, and more easily available financial incentives such as R&D funding should be on offer.
"During the last Parliament, ELSPA made great strides in getting the games industry recognised and respected by Government. With this recognition has come much success in several different areas. I am delighted that our presence in Westminster is vastly better than five years ago," commented Michael Rawlinson, director general of ELSPA.
"However, now is not the time to sit back. It is essential to capitalise on our new found fame in SW1 and continue to work hard to ensure that all areas of our industry are supported by Government.
"Over the last few months ELSPA has developed a set of policies, which I am delighted to outline today. They have been created to reflect the needs of the whole industry and the changing remit of our trade association over the coming months.
"During our policy development we have taken time to discuss their content with all three major parties to ensure that they are achievable and in-keeping with each party manifesto for the creative industries. We are therefore confident that, whoever wins the election, our next Minister will know not only about the cultural and economic importance of our industry but the support we require to ensure our continued success."
ELSPA's policy agenda covers the following:
- Financial support and incentives:
- In line with other creative industries, pursue greater, more easily available financial incentives - tax breaks/ R & D initiatives/Lottery funding.
- Age ratings:
- Work with the industry to implement an effective advertising and education campaign about the importance of age ratings.
- Tackle IP theft at all levels from street to state (including strengthening of Section 296ZB of the Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act).
- Work with the industry to encourage the take up of STEM subjects and computer science.
- Work with Skillset and industry to develop relevant, industry specific undergraduate courses.
- Create partnerships between industry and academia to encourage undergraduates in key subjects to seek employment in the games industry.
- Health and wellbeing:
- Recognise the role of leisure activities – including computer games – as part of a balanced childhood and adult lifestyle.
- Communicate the positive impact of gaming and the responsible attitude of the industry to all relevant government departments.
- Develop and support a flexible and effective telecommunications and broadband infrastructure in which emerging games technology and consumer access can thrive.
- Emerging markets:
- Support the use of games technology in training and education.
- Increase direct levels of government support:
- Develop and support a government sponsored agency with responsibility for tax breaks, lottery funding, industry promotion and inward investment.