UK Culture Minister Ed Vaizey spoke about the importance of video games in a keynote speech at the Develop conference in Brighton. After years for lobbying from the gaming industry, the UK offered tax credits to UK-based studios in August 2014. Vaizey emphasized the success of the tax credits in his speech, saying “UK consumer spending on games is almost £4bn; the games industry has contributed almost £1.5bn in GVA (gross value added) to the UK economy, and almost 25,000 jobs. I hope it’s the case that tax breaks are helping projects go ahead that wouldn’t otherwise have happened.”

The gaming industry is clearly beneficial to UK's economy, but that wasn't Vaizey's main point. He made sure to emphasize the cultural importance of video games. He suggested campaigning to get computer science put on the national curriculum to inspire youngsters to become creative programers, and likened gaming to the film industry.

The British film industry – and this has been a passion of mine – has expanded its remit to support the games industry. Games are taking their rightful place alongside the film industry as one of our most important assets.

 Cover image: Wikimedia