In what is either the best or the worst week, two Federal Labor and Liberal MPs have joined forces to launch a new parliamentary friendship group to establish stronger ties with the video game industry and community.
It’s called Parliamentary Friends of Video Games, and it’s headlined by Liberal National MP Senator James McGrath and Labor’s Tim Watts. The general purpose of the group is largely to give politicians and industry a non-partisan forum to meet.
Australia has lots of these groups, so the formation of another one doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see any change in policy direction from the Federal Government or a new kind of virtual-induced bipartisanship. Just to keep everyone’s expectations in check, here’s some of the other parliamentary friend groups:
- Parliamentary Friends Of Museums, Libraries And Galleries
- Parliamentary Friends Of International Education
- Parliamentary Friends Of Young Entrepreneurs
- Parliamentary Friends Of Western Australia
- Parliamentary Friends Of Australian Red Meat
- Parliamentary Friends Of Blockchain
- Parliamentary Friends Of The Bring Julian Assange Home Group
So this doesn’t mean the Australian Interactive Games Fund is coming back any time soon. However, the launch event will be streamed live via Watts’ own Twitch channel. It’ll air from 6:00pm AEDT to 8:00pm AEDT on Wednesday, December 2.
So while this isn’t going to automatically lead to Federal equivalents of the highly successful state funds for local game development, the interactivity should open up some interesting conversation. Mr Watts has been a strong backer of more federal support, but it’ll be good to get Senator McGrath’s views and more of a look into the Coalition’s perspective. Both will probably have some thoughts on the 4 Corners crowdsourced investigation as well, so that should be interesting.