Grand Theft Auto, Lemmings, Crackdown, APB Reloaded, iBomber, Flock, Bad Hotel, Eldevin, Quarrel, Championship Manager, The Ship, Car Jack Streets...
The list of games created in Scotland goes on and on. There are global blockbusters, there are multiple award winners, there are innovative and original new experiences for emerging platforms and there a simple, fun games created in a matter of weeks for Dare to be Digital.
So it came as a shock to find recent research - created by DC Research, with input from CogentSI and Pirnie Ltd. - commissioned by Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, claiming that the games industry has a Gross Value Add (GVA) of zero...
The report also claims there are only two hundred people working within the games sector in Scotland and that there are no games-related students studying, thanks to there being no actual games-related courses available.
The study looks at the contribution of the creative industries to the Scottish economy. It covers all sixteen industries from photography, film and video through to fashion, textiles and music.
The report claims that it used publicly available data and statistics from 2010 to create a snapshot of the creative economy of the country, breaking each sector down into its gross value add, impact on the economic business chain and educational aspects.
The problem is that there's no set of data or publicly available information which would give that perception of the games and interactive sector - unless the research company can't or won't look for any information providing context such as - purely for example - press releases or statements from the Scottish government, Creative Scotland or Scottish Enterprise.
In a footnote, the researchers note that their figures for employment are probably wrong since, until recently, there was no specific SIC code for a company creating games, so many companies may well be found in other categories, or even outside the creative sector, categorised as 'software' or even 'toys and games'.
Similarly, the report notes that the actual GVA for 'computer games' is not zero, but merely below £10M, which they've thoughtfully rounded down to zero, to keep things simple.
It's wrong. It's very, very wrong.
The games industry in Scotland is flourishing. There are over 100 companies currently designing, building and publishing games for almost every conceivable platform. This is a creative sector which will quite conceivably start to interact with and change in fundamental ways almost every other aspect of the creative industries in the near future.
Yet, an official report to be used in government portrays 'computer games' as little more than a hobby, with no economic value.
Which is a problem. We now have hard 'evidence' that the games industry is economically worthless and of no real significance with the major government organisations which support and promote the very industry which doesn't exist.
There are a lot of very good people out there, in government, in Creative Scotland, in Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International. They know the industry, they support it and they work hard on its behalf. However, the games sector is not taken seriously by everyone. Not every sector of the creative arts looks up games and digital media as a significant part of the country's cultural heritage - or future. If these people are forming opinions, making decisions, or implementing policy based upon the information in this report, they'd feel entirely justified in sidelining or ignoring 'computer games' as irrelevant.
We're already seeing the side effects of this. In the 2012 Creative Scotland Awards, there are categories for film and television, music, visual arts, etc. but nothing whatsoever for digital media, technology or 'computer games'.
It's time for the games industry to stand up and take responsibility for its image in Scotland. We've made a huge contribution to the county's cultural output in the past. We've got a lot more to offer. We need to make sure we get out of the office and tell the rest of the creative industries why they need to be paying attention to the geeks who understand this technology thing.
Watch this space.
Brian Baglow is editor-in-chief at Scottishgames.net / concepts director, Information Dynamics
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