Member of European Parliament Jules Maaten Organises Conference to Take European Gaming to the Next Level

BRUSSELS, Belgium - April 9, 2009 - On the 15th of April, European Parliamentarian Jules Maaten will organise a conference on the European games industry in the European Parliament. With this, Maaten will focus attention on this highly innovative sector, which is becoming more and more important to the European economy. The conference is co-hosted by ALDE Members of Parliament Chris Davies, Magor Csibi and Yorgo Chatzimarkakis and Magor Imre Csibi.

Guest speaker Alexander Fernandez, president and CEO of Streamline Studios and member of the board of the European Games Developers Federation, will give a presentation on how games are created today. Dr. Pamela Kato will present the serious game, Re-Mission, which has helped young cancer patients learn about their disease.

"Europe has to encourage the further development of creative sectors like the games industry,” said Jules Maaten“Everybody would gain from such additional focus: the developers, the economy, but also the consumer and I’m advocating an EU programme for the stimulation of the European games industry."

Recently, worldwide sales of computer games surpassed the turnover of the movie industry, and the market share is still growing. In spite of difficult economic times, growth is predicted for game sales in the coming years, offering great opportunities for the European economy. Unlike other sectors, the games industry fits the picture of the Lisbon strategy, designed to make Europe the greatest knowledge-based economy in the world.

“Europe is a leader in the worldwide game development market, however as the environment changes, countries and governments need to find ways to further support those industries that can result in market leadership, additional employment and greater quality of life,” said Alexander Fernandez.“MEP Maaten is taking the initial steps to ensure Europe is a growing factor in this thriving sector and that we remain competitive worldwide for generations to come.

Maaten continued, "The market has changed and today, all generations are enjoying computer games. They are also becoming more important in medical science, where they can help save lives, and for educational purposes. Therefore, Europe has to help the European games industry grow to an even higher level to participate in these major opportunities that the market is presenting."

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