Satellite Reign, Tell Us What You Really Think

Satellite Reign, the recently released spiritual successor to Syndicate, has a little bit of an #auspol Easter egg in its credits. Specifically, throwing no small amount of shade at our current government.

The below image, which appears in the game's credits, refers to the rapidly revoked Interactive Games Fund, cut just 12 months after it started, and just as the industry was starting to see its results.

Without that government boost, the industry will grow more slowly and less options will be available -- and not everyone has the veteran status and nostalgia-inducing brand power to run the most successful local Kickstarter campaign we've ever seen.

It's an easy jab to make. The current government's decision to put a red line through Australian games funding is resoundingly understood as backward and frivolous, and each successful release after the cuts were a reminder of the poor decision. Of the $20 million given to game startups, a certain amount was due to be paid back to the government, and there are several examples of jobs being created and critically acclaimed games being made with the funds.

Given the nature of the game, I wouldn't be surprised if it also contained one or two Easter eggs about our new surveillance policies.

At this moment, there is an inquiry into what the government should be doing to support the local games industry, closing September 18th. Although there was a recent concern over there only being one submission so far, that's jumping the gun a little -- several organisations such as the IGDA are drafting their own submissions and templates.

You can submit your own here.


Comments

    This message can apply to any job in Australia at the moment.

      What are you on about! Our government always does its best to support our local businesses! They work hard w/ well intentioned funding support and tax breaks! And well considered licensing fees!

      That is assuming your business is Mining =P

        Hey, remember when they told cruise ships to fire its Australian workers and just outsource to save money?

          Hohohoho lets bitch about mining on our devices that require precious metals.... Let the irony wash over us LOLOL That Abbott that mining..... It's all Rupert Murdochs fault for my (perceived) suffering!

            Most precious metals required for our devices to work come from China or the US.

              and where does China get the coking coal to smelt such metals??????

                Mongolia and Russia combined supply as much as Australia and, given the massive downturn in imports recently, could probably supply China alone.

                Though, to be honest, coking coal isn't needed for most, if not any, components of digital devices.

                  Are ... Are you arguing with your evil twin?? ...

            It's not really a dig (ha!) at mining, it's a dig at the government and it's lack of support for anything BUT mining.

            There's always that one LNP lackey having a hissy fit because his supreme leader is being embarrassed. Keep towing the failing LNP line mypetmonkey!

              And there's always another narcissistic name calling grub of a ALP/greens supporter showing their bigotry. The only embarrassment is your lack of argument and immediate name calling response.

              No argument only abuse..... Read a book djbear

              Out of milk? Blame Tony and Murdoch....
              You're rubbish at your job and got fired? Blame Tony and Murdoch....
              No one is giving you free money? Blame Tony and Murdoch....
              Trip over? Blame Tony and Murdoch....
              Feel aggrieved about anything? Blame Tony and Murdoch....

              No party line..... Just tired of morons who think they are smart but basically just blame Tony and Murdoch....

              Last edited 08/09/15 4:54 pm

                Oh you poor thing, You try so hard.

                Last edited 08/09/15 5:47 pm

      Mine is fine... But I don't go round thinking a government owes me everything.... I have this thing called self reliability and responsibility... I'm a total freak it seems.

      Last edited 07/09/15 11:08 pm

        "Mine is fine"

        Ugh.

          That's the prevailing public attitude that got us in this mess.

            That's the problem with people's attitude to politics in this country. They see it as something similar to going for a sports team. Liberal supporters will stand up and defend this horrible government no matter how far they continue to screw it up. Things like tripling the debt since coming into power : Labor's fault. Their NBN : original logo that got all the old farts on board - cheaper, faster and more affordable now has no finish date, has blown out more than Labor's NBN plan and is costing people just as much. The age of entitlement is over: Meaning everyone but the rich and mining companies will be taxed more (students, parents, low income, middle income, pensioners etc). While the rest of the world is researching new ways to create job and fuels, our government is pushing for the next big thing in the market : Coal.

            It still boggles my mind how people can defend this bat s**t crazy government. They got into power by pointing the finger constantly at Julia saying "OMG LOOK SHE LIED ONCE ABOUT THE CARBON TAX" and have done nothing but lie the entire time they've been in power. Next years election can not come soon enough.... Hopefully enough of the Baby boomers who vote liberal would've died and we can get this mob out.

              You're doing the same thing champ. Hopefully they're dead.... How nice of you. Very tolerant of you.... Sorry I meant narcissistic.... You're right and anyone thinking different to you is EVIL and will hopefully die.

              I don't blame governments for every woe in the world. Sometimes you just have to take responsibility yourself.... The government does not owe you any money to make an indie game. The mean old government isn't stopping you, you're just going to have to do it yourself.

              By the way, the bottom 50% of taxpayers contribute 14% of tax income..... The Top 10% contribute 46%. Not enough? The bottom 6.9million households pulled out more welfare than they put in through taxes... They ended up cash positive.

              Last edited 08/09/15 12:02 pm

                Better check and see what the top 10% earn as income though right? They ended up massively cash flow positive. So who's really paying their way?

                  Whatever you say comrade... We all should earn the same and eat our rationed bread allowance yeah in our government issued clothes?

                I'm not sure why people are talking about the government "owing" indie developers anything. This isn't a welfare program, and it's not being entitled to lobby for funding.

                Our local industry has proven it can sustain itself. It was sink or swim when triple-As pulled out and we adapted and swam quite well. New entrants are educated and well prepared for the realities of the market. They know how crowded the App Store is and the normal path of contract work and several attempts at new IP before success.

                So funding shouldn't be seen as life support -- rather, an acceleration of job creation. These indie studios are going to what they do *anyway*, but with a funds injection they can switch to new IP from contract work quicker, take on a few extra people quicker, and get that game out quicker. Then, as a part of the program, they pay 50% of the funds back to the government (amounts vary according to individual grants), and the funds are used again in the same way.

                Just after this funding was cut, we were hit with multiple examples of successful releases in which money was able to be paid back into the program. Several of these studios were able to employ people much quicker, and these people are still employed. It's not welfare, the whole process of industry building was just sped up.

                  Thank you very much Jung!

                  It always amuses me how people keep screaming "ER MAH GAWD CORPORATE WELFARE!" and then get uber defensive at the mining jabs...

                  Any form of industry in will have it's ups and downs. But long term viability requires occasional "pushes" by the government to make sure that the industry can remain sustainable and improve growth. Mining is one of these industries. It's a big industry and a great income earner exactly because of such initiatives by the government during their early life and till today.

                  The problem people seem to forget is that this government seems to enjoy putting all its eggs on one basket w/o even attempting to salvage/fix/push other industries. If you want an industry to get beyond the small potatoes start they get then they need some push. At the same time random cutting of funds because "they do not agree w/ our view" or because or cost cutting under the guise of "trimming the fat to end corporate welfare" helps no one.

                  If the US government took the same approach our government did w/ their car industry Japan and Europe would be the only car makers left in this world. Now their own industry is bouncing back whilst we have no industry after the next 3-5 years.

                  @rock_m

                  The problem people seem to forget is that this government seems to enjoy putting all its eggs on one basket w/o even attempting to salvage/fix/push other industries

                  Nobody is forgetting that, because that is not entirely true.

                  Look at the automotive industry. Hockey asked that before any more money be invested, the remaining manufacturers submit case plans and justify any amount they request.

                  Ford then decided to pull out not because of funding cuts, but because they didn't want strings attached.

                  At the same time random cutting of funds because "they do not agree w/ our view" or because or cost cutting under the guise of "trimming the fat to end corporate welfare" helps no one.

                  Depends on what you look at. Obviously the cutting of game funding continues the contemptuous view both sides have of IT.

                  In terms of the solar panel cut. Those cuts were to redirect funding into technologies to solar batteries and other technologies that when coupled with panels make homes self-sufficient thus making power grids have a reverse role where excess power is pooled and later used in less sunny periods.

                  So nope, there is no eggs in one basket mentality. If anything, this was the mentality of Wayne Swan where later projects were costed against the mining and later carbox tax and when they flopped he browed to save face rather than admit he stuffed up but introducing taxes with out the proper implementations and/or tax reform needed to avoid dodging.

                  Now their own industry is bouncing back whilst we have no industry after the next 3-5 years.

                  And said industry bought the demise upon itself. Despite the constant stream from the tax payer, it was not being put to effective use. Hockey had the balls to start putting restrictions and acting like children the manufacturers took their bat, ball and jobs with them.

                  If a manufacturer decided to set up shop in future, said manufacturer is welcome, provided it does not adopt the attitude our own manufacturers had that lead to their own demise.

                  Don't get me wrong, I don't agree where some of the spending is going. But at the same time, their questionable actions do not change what is easily externally verified - Australia's coffers are in a sorry state.

                  This was known even before Hockey coined "budget emergency". The evidence was there, just that he turned out to fail to read it all and is now left trying to safe face for under-estimating the problem.

                  Last edited 08/09/15 6:38 pm

                Hey Mypetmonkey. I don't remember blaming the government for every woe in the world.. I just pointe out they're a bunch of hypocritical liars who will not last another term in politics. It's not a matter of me wishing other people who think differently from myself should "die and are evil", it's a matter of old people with old fashioned values holding the entire country back from progress because their pappy voted for the Libs back in the day.

                Unlike you I don't see politics as a football match. I think the Howard government was an amazing government who did great things for the country. I think the Rudd/Gillard government had some hiccups but they also did some great things. The Abbott government has been a spiralling train wreck that have no idea how to run a country. Australia has the chance to be one of the world leaders in this next coming era but we're being run into the ground by a bunch of idiots who are only thinking about their own pay packets when they retire.

                I could list off the list of literally the hundreds of bad choices this government has made since coming into power, but I'm pretty sure you're one of those people that would swear an orange was blue even if they were brought up believing it.

                I don't think Labor is much better btw... It's like picking the better of two evils atm.

        @mypetmonkey just like the wasteful government has full self reliability on you giving over a 3rd of your hard earned wages (if you work) and 10% of every dollar you spend.

      Our Dear Leader promised to create 2 million jobs. He didnt say they'd be in Australia...

        He said he'd create those 2 million jobs, he failed to tell us they are jobs for the Chinese, as per the FTA he signed with china

    @janexo so much shade bein' thrown right now

      You kids and your indecipherable gibberish lingo.

        U l33+ dræ?

          I genuinely don't have any idea what the hell you just said.

          I literally 'can't even'.

            Don't stress, i'm just throwin shade ;)

            Last edited 07/09/15 9:36 pm

              HE KEEPS DOING IT SAYING THE THINGS

                Just so I don't derail the actual article about a game, I really really like the music at the end of the trailer lol.

                lol! In my day it was "Struth!", "Cobber!", "Fair dinkum!", "By jingo, by crikey!" - oh my god, I sound like Tony Abbott ...

    Pfft, if I was the government I'd reply right back with "you obviously didn't need our support because you found an audience and didn't need a subsidy"
    "In unrelated matters, here's a bunch of money for the coal industry!"

      Video games are just a fad. Coal will never run out. Ever.

        I played a Star Invader once, never gonna make money from all of those 5c pieces! I tells ya, it's Steam Engines or nothing!

        "Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future, here in Australia, and right around the world" :D

        The government loves video games, they've been playing one since forever; it's called Space Invaders.. Making sure those illegal aliens don't land and invade our space...

    *whistles* Nice. Ballsy.

    I wonder if that will catch on.

      Hopefully not as it over simplifies the state of affairs and gives the wrong impression.

      First, at face value it implies that the Coalition actively sought to block the creation of the game with the phrase "Despite the best efforts of our government"

      This is not true, anyone in the gaming industry is able to seek any means they like to get their creations made. The government is just not going to subsidies things now.

      It also distracts away from the more crucial problem. Both sides hold IT in contempt and any funding is a token gesture that can be easily taken back.

      If someone is in IT, their best chances are to find work overseas when they are treated with respected and in some areas literal goes while Australia (regardless of who is in office) holds IT with contempt.

      There is no denying that the budget is a mess. But to cut in area then reckless throw it at another doesn't help.

      Last edited 07/09/15 6:22 pm

        I think a critical difference when examining any political commentary (or simple barb) is mistaking the difference between the layman's "the government," and the very specific, "the Coalition Government."

        The current mob of reprobates might've been responsible for cutting a funding program that was a big deal to those who it affected, but a drop in the ocean relative to other nonsensical spending decisions, but as you intimated, I don't think it's necessarily a partisan criticism.

        Sometimes accuracy can be lost in the pursuit of pith. I think the trade-off's worth it, here. Even if we assume that funding wasn't planned for and the rug not pulled out from under the devs in this instance, and even if we ignore the idea that something that was available has been taken away as an act of disdain and/or ignorance/hypocrisy (depending on how far you want to go in drawing comparisons between the economic benefits of the game industry vs other better-subsidized industries)... even ignoring all that, the contempt quite obviously remains.

          I think putting ephemeral local issues into works of art intended to have a global audience is poor form, personally. We're not talking about grave injustices here, it's literally a first world problem. The people who are going to see the message are on board anyway and in a few years it might not even be relevant any more anyway.

          I mean, I'm not saying he shouldn't do it, I just personally find it tacky. I think this kind of art should rise above this level of petty bickering and discontent.

            Nah, I see this as a valid and cheeky form of expression that does exactly what it is intended to do, promote discussion about funding for the future of IT and entertainment industries in this country. It is obviously working, there are discussions all over the place since this was noticed.

              If by 'all over the place' you mean a few specialist websites where people support funding anyway, you'd be on the mark. I haven't seen it covered anywhere else. If a screen came up in the credits of a movie you just watched complaining about Californian road closure laws, how much of a shit would you give? It's a minority issue even here in Australia, let alone internationally.

              At the end of the day it's unfortunate that the government doesn't want to support the games industry in Australia but it's trivial. It's not like they're imposing unfair taxes on the industry, they're just not giving it free money.

            Well summed up mate. All it does is give more ammunition to those who say the games industry isn't mature enough, or worth investing in.

        It's not about subsidies. The GFC completely collapsed the games industry in Aus, as in about half the jobs disappearing, and loads of our best talent moving off shore.
        To help rebuild, we had a $20M fund which gave out loans to game developers. This was a very competitive programme, so the loans went to very good candidates.
        As you would expect from loans, the govt/country was actually MAKING MONEY from this programme while also CREATING JOBS. Both at once - profits and growth! And all they had to do was leave that money in the bank for us.

        But no. The fictional "budget emergency" needed addressing, so they pilfered that industry support programme, along with anything else that looked like industry support or a public service, while spending all that pilfered money on their own agendas and doubling the deficit anyway.
        If that's not political nonsense, I don't know what is. Yes that barb was directed at the federal body as a whole, but yes we do have very good reasons as an industry to be pissed with the current Liberal party.

          But no. The fictional "budget emergency" needed addressing

          There is nothing fictional about the state of the budget. Period.

          The budget needs repair and Labor can start by owning the consequences of its own actions and start acting like an opposition party and not obstructionists.

          The GFC completely collapsed the games industry in Aus

          When our dollar went above parity, the foreign investors desired to pull out and close their studios here. They didn't want to do business here if it mean they couldn't do so on the cheap.

          The GFC was a convenience to those pulling money out, not a cause.

          So they pulled out and the hard workers did the only logical thing - follow the jobs because underlying it all, IT is not taken serious in Australia.

          The industry has a right to be angry but those in it have not right to think they can blame the current Coalition, not Liberal, government for there not being enough funding.

          The environment as it has stood for decades holds IT in contempt. For that to change - a new third party other than Labor or the Coalition will have to emerge with the numbers to govern because neither side is going to change the status quo.

          Last edited 08/09/15 11:22 am

            Yup, the donkey vote is going to be real for me. We need a viable third party to be a real option. If anyone tells me to vote greens though I will slap them -_-

              The Greens are by far the best party when it comes to rational, well-documented policies based on consistent logic and outcomes.

              That's not necessarily an endorsement of The Greens. It's a sign of how shallow and broken the current political climate has become. The best option is the party that started out as the hippy tree hug party.

                The Greens are by far the best party when it comes to rational, well-documented policies based on consistent logic and outcomes.

                "You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

                  When either of the major parties have anything based on consistent internal logic, outcomes... even just some actual policies that aren't reactionary soundbite bullshit, it'll be up for debate. Until then, the Greens have better policies regardless of your political leanings because THEY HAVE POLICIES.

                  @pokedad

                  Until then, the Greens have better policies regardless of your political leanings because THEY HAVE POLICIES.

                  Doesn't matter how much you shout it. Not gonna change the fact they don't.

                  And this is another discussion I am done with. You keep using that 'policy' word...

                  Last edited 08/09/15 4:42 pm

                  Yes. Policies. As in a series of ideas and plans for the country that serve an end through a logical progression of legislation and diplomacy.

                  But you can repeat "budget emergency" forever if you'd prefer. Interesting that as everything gets worse, the BUDGET EMERGENCY doesn't exist anymore. Probably because it didn't score the political points it was supposed to and was abandoned for a different (and no less untrue) reactionary scare tactic.

                  Greens unfunded policies, no economical science... Just warm fuzzy feels.

            I don't know about you, but the studios I worked for collapsed as a result of US-based publishers deciding to reduce risk and expenses by *immensely* cutting back the number of third party developers that they would work with at one time. We very quickly went from being on top of the world with millions in the bank and more work available than we could take in, even after rediculous 100% jobs growth, to having whole teams who did nothing but make bids for work for months at a time. Yes, going from being cheap labour to equal to local-labour was an issue, but, there were massive third-party developer collapses *world-wide* as a result of this shift by the publishers, and a huge restructuring of the industry towards publisher-owned developers and an explosion of indie startups.
            It's nice to know you're an expert on this though...

            As for the "budget emergency", we were doing just fine. Way stronger than EU and NA. We were praised for how we got through the GFC compared to those countries. Meanwhile, all the money saved in the "budget emergency" cuts has been spent two-fold! The same day they took $10M from us (and more in the long-term profits), they earmarked $100M for cramming more religion into schools. I'm sure people have showed you facts and figures to completely debunk that stupid slogan before, and I'm sure you're quickly brushed them off, so I'm sure nothing I say now can break your cognitive dissonance... So, frankly, if you believe a word of the "budget emergency" narrative, you're a bloody moron. Good day, and good luck with your Liberal fanboism.

              As for the "budget emergency", we were doing just fine. Way stronger than EU and NA.

              Labor spent its way out thanks to the Howard Surplus. Just because it doesn't suit your view doesn't mean its false.

              So, frankly, if you believe a word of the "budget emergency" narrative, you're a bloody moron

              Then I am thankful for being called a moron for being informed instead of being wise and not accepting we have a budget problem.

              I don't brush off anything. You on the other hand follow the pattern of other anti-Coalition campers.

              Rather than challenge the points made, you attack the poster; as you have done in your failed attempt to brand me a moron because I accept the reality instead of the dream.

              You want to over simplify and pretend Labor were good economic managers, that is your choice.

              It's not going to change the reality we do have a emergency and if not then one is imminent. It is time to pay the piper and Labor has racked up a large debt with him.

              And this is where I leave the discussion. You are not contributing anything more and are simplifying the picture to suit you rather than look at the facts as a whole.

              Good day, and good luck with your Liberal fanboism.

              Fence walker. Never picked a side and I'm not starting now. And I certainly didn't even imply Liberal in any of my posts.

              Last edited 08/09/15 4:30 pm

                Oh boy. Educate yourself, WiseHacker. Professor Bill will challenge all the points that the Coalition has ever made in regards to the Budget.

                http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=332

                  If they understood economic theory to any real level of proficiency they wouldn't be on this forum spouting nonsense revealing their ignorance on the subject matter.

    Hang on lets all just blame Labour for our fuckups, and continued fuckups.... YEP THOSE DAMN LABOUR CHAPS, MAKING US COIES FAIL!!!!..... And Australians keep buying into the BS. Soon they will start an initiative to have 100% of Australians working for free! (if we keep progressing towards retardation!)

    Last edited 07/09/15 6:49 pm

      Labor.... But keep up that hyperbole....

        Never quite liked how they didn't spell Labor with a U for the party... dang Americanised spelling...

          I don't think spelling was very high on the agenda for trade workers in the 1890's

            Apparently at the time we were 'definitely going to go' to the American way of phonetic spelling.... well, they sure showed us! O_o

            Can't blame them - one of the early higher-ups was an American immigrant, who insisted on changing it to "modern" spelling.

    Hah! I posted that exact image on Facebook yesterday and now it's migrated to Kotaku? I wonder how many degrees of KevinBacon that is?
    Suprised no one else had shared it around yet :) I guess people don't watch the credits these days :p

    I don't understand why people expect the government to fund video games. Sure it would be a positive sentiment but when the economy's down the shitter shouldn't the nice-to-haves be the first to go? To be honest this just seems like the ultimate level of gamer entitlement.

      I don't understand why people expect the government to fund video games.

      For decades, the local automotive industry got funding to the point it was seen as guaranteed entitlement.

      This gave rise (but unlikely set) the precedent, if the government (of the day) is throwing money at X, where's mine?

      Of course, the remaining two automative giants decided to bail out when the "free ride" ended but other areas and the participants there in are basically saying, "You supported X before, so when is it my turn?"

      It's the culture we live in now - too many people see temporary measures as guaranteed entitlements and think they are hard done by when they need to go down the path of self sufficiency.

      In effect, it is not those in the gaming industry that think a entitlement has been taken away. It is other areas as well and we are seeing yet another example.

      Last edited 08/09/15 6:54 am

        It is investment, as a country we can decide to invest in future industries that may not be profitable right now. It creates an entire ecosystem, universities start offering more courses related to the industry because there is demand, interns work on games and get experience and then may go on to start their own companies. A lot of the invested money ends up as wages for Australians that are then not on welfare and they spend the money back into the economy and the government gets a portion of it back again in taxes anyway.
        The amount invested was really small, but made a real difference, pulling it was just mean spirited and short sighted, if they were really out to save small amounts like this, they wouldn't blow money changing the NBN logo (for example).
        If you want a prosperous country, you have to invest, in the past that was infrastructure like roads and ports and factories, now it is broadband and digital industries and digital ports as well.

          It is investment, as a country we can decide to invest in future industries that may not be profitable right now.

          Not with the budget Labor left us. Don't get me wrong, some of their decisions are plain idiotic, but the Coalition is all the current state can afford.

          Australia cannot afford any more Labor borrowing nor costing against taxes that cancelled themselves out.

          Eitherway, this side tangent has gone on long enough.

          The point of the matter is this senseless, over simplified and (as @zombiejesus put perfectly) tacky jibe that will cause more damage than support for an industry already suffering from continue contempt from both sides of politics.

            The coalition? The guys doubling the debt and making savage cuts at the same time? Stop with the damn potty mouth. No cookies for you tonight.

              The coalition? The guys doubling the debt and making savage cuts at the same time?

              Labor locked in the costings. That means either they have little to no ability to unlock said costings (unlikely) or terminating the grants and/or contracts will result in termination fees which can easily just more than to let said contract run their course.

              And this is where I leave the discussion. I already said this tangent has run long enough and I am not going to entertain any more anti-Coalition rhetoric.

            @WiseHacker Not with the budget Labor left us. Don't get me wrong, some of their decisions are plain idiotic, but the Coalition is all the current state can afford.
            Not so, the initiative was $20M, and it was actually making money for the government.
            Pulling funding like this that actually creates jobs and either turns a profit or only costs a sliver of the the investment in real terms is insane, then wasting money to do pointless things like change the logo of the NBN... you can't keep blaming a previous government for everything.
            Pulling this kind of thing is just a political stunt, it costs the country more than it saves, and the investment was so small as a part of the budget that it makes no tangible difference to the defecit, even if you assumed that the $20M was all cost to the government and no return.

            We have a sovereign fiat currency that's not pegged to anything. Our government is resource constrained, not revenue constrained. In essence, the government Budget is not a household budget, and unless the economy is operating at full capacity (and labour is a resource, i.e. only transient unemployment), the government can spend as much money as is needed without causing inflation.

      It's in a similar vein to student education loans. It's not "funding", it's investment. The government loans you some money to help you create jobs and bring export income back to Australia, and if your game is successful you pay back the investment.

      From previous articles (including on Kotaku) about the (now defunct) fund, it seems it was fairly successful while it ran, with many projects returning the investment.

      It's called investment. Games are a billion dollar industry and great potential for a return on that investment. Same with renewable energy which is why it's ridiculous what the government is doing to that industry as well.

      Because most other nations give entitlements to the videogames industry.

      Our government is stuck in the 1950s, so that doesn't happen here.

      We had an industry support programme that actually made money for the taxpayer and also helped to grow the industry.
      It was defunded for political reasons.

      The budget doesn't work that way. It's not like your household budget where you have a weekly pay that you have to trade for everything you need to survive. The country can't cut funding to everything, save up and then blow it all buying New Zealand. The country isn't a person aiming to retire in 60 years. Instead it's about generating a healthy, balanced economy and maintaining a functional society. A big part of this is spending. Removing all the things we deem 'nice-to-haves' in our personal lives would not only be disastrous in the long term but it would likely damage the economy beyond all repair.
      Wasteful spending is obviously still a bad idea, but this only seems wasteful because we tend to look at it as 'we're wasting $X on a video game' instead of 'we're investing $X in the games industry to encourage growth in the field which creates jobs'. It's not an investment without risks, games tend to attract the passionate rather than the sound planners with loads of business experience, but it's a tiny amount of money in an area with massive potential. Although personally I'd say it's worth it even if it never returns a cent just because the arts and entertainment are vital to any country.

      It's worth having a think about because this misunderstanding is commonly exploited by political parties. They use the constant up and downs of the economy to convince people that we're down to our last $50, and then they go and point to the oppositions 'needless spending' on initiatives like this. It makes their team look like the stern leaders who are willing to do what it takes to ration out what little we have, which is absolute gold when they're trying to get elected or divert attention from something negative. Unfortunately it's terrible in the long term.
      People eat it up because they know that when they're low on money they have to make sacrifices to get by. It's one of the earliest things we learn about money. With the right spin on it they see the opposition putting some tiny amount into video games and think 'oh man, I might not have a job next year and they're blowing money on making games?!' instead of 'oh man, I might not have a job next year, but the government is stimulating growth in other industries to ensure that there will be more jobs'.
      Meanwhile both sides enjoy crazy benefits from their job that serve no purpose, but since both sides are exploiting the system there neither rocks the boat.

        But if we DID buy New Zealand we could rig it so we win all the sporting events.

        Word up. It's simple - what should come first, our society or our economy?

    I love this shade.

    But really, the government could do a lot more to encourage growth and development of this industry.

      Only if we can sell it to China!

      If anyone needs me I'll be writing jokes for Charlie Pickering.

    Maybe I'm missing something but I'm looking at the inquiry submission page here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/How_to_make_a_submission and I can find absolutely no reference to game development.

    It's no wonder there's only been one submission so far because nobody knows it's happening!

    I finally found it by manually trawling through each link at the bottom of the page. It's under Environment and Communications: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/Video_game_industry/Terms_of_Reference

    ... Er, so what did we all think of Satellite Reign? ...

    "Bigotry (n): intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself."

    By the very definition of the word, it is impossible to accuse somebody else of bigotry and dismiss their views without being a bigot yourself.

    As we used to shout around the schoolyard, "takes one to know one". Better luck next time?

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