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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

LGF - Minister reaffirms Government support for UK games industry

Government minister Shaun Woodward has confirmed that the Government will continue to support the UK games industry, despite the criticisms received by some more controversial titles.

In a speech delivered at the BAFTA headquarters, Woodward, who is minister for creative industries and tourism, described the games industry as "one of our most important creative industries, and one at which the UK excels". He went on to observe that the UK is the world's third largest market for games, and the third largest producer of them.

However, Woodward continued, there are still problems to be overcome. "We should do a great deal to address some of the bad publicity which [games] sometimes in the past have received because of one or two games in the margins," he stated.

"I think it's terribly important that one or two things don't spoil the barrel for everybody else, because this is an exceptional industry with exceptional talent. It fulfills and plays an important role in our society, and a very constructive role in the lives of many young people, as well as middle-aged people like myself."

Woodward welcomed BAFTA's decision to host a new British Academy Video Games Awards ceremony, which is designed to reward artistic, creative and technical innovation within the industry. The inaugural awards ceremony will take place on October 5 at London's Roundhouse.

"I think it's absolutely right that BAFTA is doing this... We in Government certainly think it really matters to the UK, and certainly within the programme of creative industries within the UK," Woodward said.

"It's absolutely central and at the heart, not only in terms of production values and creativity, but creating jobs and creating better lives for us all."

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