House of Commons debate sparks discussion on games as an ‘art form’ deserving of Government support
Westminster has made a surprise public turnaround regarding its position on game tax breaks, with Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw suggesting that the Labour government is considering further support for the UK games industry.
Speaking at a Digital Britain House of Commons debate last night, Bradshaw was asked by Labour MP Tom Watson whether the ruling Labour party had the interests of the games industry at heart:
“Will my hon. Friend ensure that ‘Digital Britain’ takes heed of the interests of the very successful UK video games industry,” he asked.
“Video games make their players think, and they challenge them and make them focus, and many people in Britain believe that a medium that does that should be elevated to an art form. I hope my hon. Friend's Department gives the video games industry a similar status to that of the UK music and film industries.”
In response, Bradshaw offered an assurance that the Labour government recognises “the importance of the video games industry to the British economy.”
“Research and development tax credits are available for the industry, and we are looking at introducing further tax breaks,” he added.
“We will deal with the issue of classification, and other announcements that will, I think, please my hon. Friend will form part of the final report.”