Greens Senator Scott Ludlam Wants Your Opinion On The Australian Games Industry

As we reported on June 22, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam secured an inquiry into the general state of the Australian games industry and what the government can do to support it. As the deadline for submissions creeps closer, Ludlam is looking for more people to contribute their opinions.

There are currently only 14 submissions to the inquiry and Ludlam is looking for more.

Last night he posted the following image with the message "get your game on".

It's strange, I would have expected that an inquiry like this would have received more submissions, both from the industry and the public. Gamers as a group became incredibly mobilised around the R18+ issue a few years back -- that inquiry received 10s of thousands of submissions. Of course an industry focused inquiry like this would never receive the same level of attention, but it is surprising to see so few in comparison.

That being said, the deadline for submissions is September 18. I expect to see a few more submissions coming in before it closes.


Comments

    I think there were more submissions about R18+ because it was a much publicised campaign, with a real objective. This inquiry doesn't seem to have that same focus.
    I'm not too sure many people are aware of this inquiry, and of those who are I'm not sure there are many who know enough about the current state of the Australian games industry to make a worthwhile submission. At least, that's my excuse!

      Yeah, it's not really a consumer-level issue. The R18+ issue was easy to get behind because it affected everyone and there was a clear path to resolving the issue. This is a lot more nebulous. It's not even something that the government should necessarily be interfering with.

    It's tough. I want to contribute to this, but I don't really know what to write. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure that the gov should be stepping in and "fixing" anything. Tax breaks and grants would be nice, sure, but every industry would like them. They're not strictly necessary.

    The Games Industry already had its big collapse. Help would have been nice five years ago when we were all losing our jobs.

    Now the industry is rebuilding. A number of Australian indies have made a name for themselves. It's tough, it always has been, but we're doing OK. The plummeting dollar means that profits are "magically" increasing because most sales are done in $US, so I guess that's nice.

    I think Australia really needs to invest in the digital future in general. Maybe, you know, invest in some kind of high-quality, nation-wide Internet infrastructure so that we can work more efficiently. There's not really any particular need to focus specifically on the Games Industry.

      Not strictly necessary, true. I think it's more that - if a games industry is viable here - then industry grants will kick-start the process, get the industry up and running more quickly than it would if left to recover on its own. Focusing on the games industry specifically makes sense if there's a greater potential for growth and sustainability than other industries/areas. I can't comment as to whether or not this is true of the local games industry.

      Like others have said, I don't feel qualified to make a submission to this inquiry. People with their finger on the pulse of the industry (you, Mark Serrells!), and people who are looking to enter the area - or better, worked in the area in the past - are better equipped to supply something meaningful. The R18 issue is a very different area.

      Last edited 16/09/15 11:56 am

    Also. R18+ was consumer driven. This should be industry driven.

    *edit* Also, might I add that you could (and should) contact your local MP about these issues.
    Many business owners will have zero interest in contacting the Greens - but this shouldn't stop them from bringing up the same issue with their local member.

    Last edited 16/09/15 11:49 am

    Yeah, I don't really know for certain if the government should be propping up the game industry the way it does other industries, because there's the whole equation of 'what's the benefit to the Australian public by way of jobs/economy' etc to solve... and I don't have the solution.

    R18+ was simply pure, common sense. Games needed to be rated the same way other media is.
    Hell, I still have objections to the criteria they set for that rating - games are STILL not being rated the same way as non-interactive media under the mistaken assumption that the involvement is somehow more influential on poor, fragile ADULT MINDS; when it comes to games specifically, the censors are still robbing us of agency as adults and insulting our intelligence as opposed to setting restrictions for minors and letting the rest of us make our own, informed decisions. But again: That's just common sense. There's only a moral question there, not an economic one.

    Edit: If anything, I may simply make a submission tomorrow stating that as a consumer, I want to buy Australian, and I would love to see the Australian industry grow in the field that I am interested in. But that's about all I have to contribute and I'm not really sure that's worth paying attention to. It SEEMS obvious... but maybe what seems obvious isn't so much to the government.

    Last edited 16/09/15 12:03 pm

      The games fund was reportedly on its way to providing a positive return on investment (according to SBS, at least... http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/327818819557/the-arcade-and-australian-gaming-funding-the-feed), so there is at least some incentive for providing grants.

      Pretty much my thoughts too. I don't know if the gaming industry has ever been that important to the Australian economy, nor is it likely to be especially if we can't get infrastructure programs like the NBN off the ground. I think the time has passed for massive growth in this area. We're not likely to have a massive studio start up here and a few indie devs making small games does not make for much of an industry.

      On top of that as a consumer I don't really care. I play games that I find interesting and that are fun - where it comes from doesn't bother me so much. I'm not going to buy a game I don't like just because it was Australian made, nor do I want to prop up or support devs that are making games that people don't want to buy.

    I would have expected that an inquiry like this would have received more submissions, both from the industry and the public.

    You can thank Ludlam for that. His actions precede him thus he's alienated most others.

    He slammed experts using the envelope analogy thus few are willing to submit something that he can then use to pump himself up by slamming that too.

    If it was Turnbull (or heck even Conroy - and I can't believe I've even said that) then people might be willing but Ludlam's past actions have caused people in the know to be very guarded around him.

    Last edited 16/09/15 12:09 pm

      I'd post a comment agreeing but I'm still being moderated for saying I don't vote greens from last time this topic was posted.

      Last edited 16/09/15 12:49 pm

      Were there any experts who stood in favour of using the envelope analogy specifically for metadata retention with regard to the proposed legislation?
      They were awfully quiet.

        At PAX Ludlam made the comment that anyone using the meta-data analogy had no idea about IT.

        Now given that the analogy is used in tandem with airline tickets to describe and appears in various networking textbooks and is an easy yet very clear and effective teaching comparison, Ludlam has shown not only his own lack of IT but also took a swipe at those who are in the know.

        The fact he didn't even see how the envelop analogy shows how meta-data retention would not work and was flawed by design re-enforces this fact. The fact that the data payload (the contents of the envelope) is never inspected, then provided the routing path is in a "safe/trusted" path then any evidence and/or communication that could lead to attacks will go unnoticed. Not can, will.

        And this is where this side topic ends. Ludlam's own actions confirmed beyond doubt he is an uninformed attention seeker.

    A few months ago Scott paid a visit to a university lecture I was in.

    Although I am not a Greens supporter, and despite their pro gaming attitude I will most likely not support them, I still believe his views and opinions would be very welcome by the broad Australian community.

    Not only is Scott pro gaming, he is also for our rights online, especially after the new bill was implemented.

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