First ever all-party games group formed

First ever all-party games group formed

By Rob Crossley

June 12th 2009 at 10:01AM

Over 20 MPs and Lords on hand to provide a forum for discussion on how the industry can be aided

The UK has formed the very first cross-party parliamentary group dedicated to aid the videogames industry, continuing its sudden reversal on how it approaches the UK’s lucrative and misunderstood videogame sector.

At the very heart of Westminster, the ‘All Party Parliamentary Group for the Computer and Video Games Industry’ will discuss important issues in the games business. Its membership stretches beyond 20 MPs, Lords and industry representatives.

The group’s remit is to “provide a forum to discuss business issues affecting video games software developers, to develop policies to enhance the sector and to champion an industry that responsibly creates content for an audience ranging from children to adults.”

Labour MP Bill Olner has been appointed as chairman for the new group, while leading games industry body Tiga will – as secretariat – play a key role in representing the sector during debates.

“All-Party Groups can be a highly effective vehicle to raise and discuss issues amongst interested Parliamentarians,” said MP Olner. “I congratulate Tiga for showing leadership in instigating the creation of Westminster’s first All Party Parliamentary Group for the Computer and Video Games Industry, and for providing its secretariat.”

“The entire All Party Parliamentary Group is looking forward to working with Tiga in discussing issues crucial to the video games industry.”

As well as Olner and Tiga, the group will have on board Lord Puttnam of Queensgate and MP Philip Davies, both acting as vice-chairmen.

MP John Whittingdale – the chairman of the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport – has also been appointed as vice-chairman.

Olner, Whittingdale and Tiga CEO Richard Wilson will be speaking at the House of Commons this Monday during the launch of the ‘Play Together’ initiatives, aimed at helping the videogames industry maintain its position as one of the UK’s most successful and vibrant creative sectors.

“I am delighted that Bill Olner MP has set up Westminster’s All Party Parliamentary Group on the Computer and Video Games Industry and been elected as the Group’s first Chairman,” said Wilson.

“The participation of distinguished parliamentarians will lend real weight to the Group’s work,” he added.

“Tiga has made a real impact over the last 15 months in raising policy issues affecting the video games industry in political circles. The establishment of the All Party Group on the Computer and Video Games Industry will ensure that issues affecting the sector  (including the tax system, skill needs and industry-academia links) are raised still more effectively in Parliament and Government.”

Parliamentary member list follows:

•       Bill Olner MP
•       James Plaskitt MP
•       David Clelland MP
•       Lord Puttnam
•       Nick Palmer MP
•       Janet Anderson MP
•       Alan Keen MP
•       Lord Faulkner of Worcester
•       Celia Barlow MP
•       Tom Watson MP
•       Philip Davies MP
•       John Whittingdale OBE MP
•       Nigel Evans MP
•       Lord Inglewood
•       Michael Fabricant MP
•       Mark Field MP
•       Evan Harris MP
•       Lord Hugh Dykes
•       Dan Rogerson MP
•       Stewart Hosie MP
•       Don Foster MP
•       Baroness Bonham-Carter