Scott Ludlam, co-deputy leader of the Federal Greens and perhaps the strongest advocate for the video game industry in Australia, has resigned from his party and the Federal Parliament effective immediately.
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The Vivid lights and cultural festival has become a fixture in the Sydney social calendar, and as the years have progressed its collaboration with video games has slowly increased. That's set to increase in 2016, with On The Floor hosting a series of panel discussions with prominent politicians, developers and figures within the gaming industry.
The first video game to enter the collective consciousness was Pong, released into the world in the early 1970s. In 2016, the games industry is a Hollywood-dwarfing multi-billion-dollar behemoth. Even by the standard of the mechanisms of our government so often moving at a glacial pace, waiting more than 40 years to take a closer look at the industry seems like quite an oversight.
Scott Ludlam spoke at PAX Australia today, alongside Tony Reed of the Game Developer's Association of Australia and Ron Curry of the Interactive Games Association of Australia.
The overwhelming message? The Australian games industry is worth investing in. And the Australian government should be doing more.
When the Australian government struck a red line through $10 million of federal funding for video games, the local industry was understandably upset. In response Greens Senator Scott Ludlam secured a government inquiry into the state of games development in Australia and what the government could do to help.
Just a friendly reminder: that inquiry is looking for submissions.
When the Australian government ran a red line through the Interactive Games Fund it removed $20 million dollars from an industry that always paid back its investments and then some. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam is currently attempting to change the way the federal government thinks about video games. According to him, we're missing out on an "extraordinary opportunity".