We usually only hear about government when its got hold of the (wrong end) of a stick to bash the industry with, conflating us with actual gambling, or worrying about whether children are playing games clearly marked for adults only.
So it’s a nice change to hear from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Video Games and Esports. The group, chaired by Alex Sobel MP (the Labour and Co-Operative MP for Leeds North West), has released a report collating the industry’s efforts during the pandemic.
Entitled ‘Playing its Part’ Sobel notes in his foreword that: “I have been impressed by the efforts these industries have made in response to the global crisis.”
The report specifically mentions ‘Games for Carers’, where 86 games companies donated over 100,000 games to NHS workers. How King and Codemasters, among others, reinforced teh ‘Stay at Home’ message using in-game advertising. While Xbox also added similar advice to the Xbox dashboard, with a click-through to the NHS.
The UK industry also support the #PlayApartTogether campaign, promoted by the World Health Organisation. Anf during the Pandemic continued with its Get Smart About PLAY campaign to encourage the use of family controls. While a wide variety of firms (and their communities) further supported a wide selection of charities.
Sobel also notes that games are set to take a significant part in the economic recovery from the crisis: “Video games and esports industries will play an important role. These are high productivity, job creating businesses spread around the UK that are natural exporters. Their resilience throughout this crisis means they are well placed to maintain the momentum that made the Creative Industries the fastest growing part of the economy prior to the pandemic.” Finally adding “The Government should back these winning sectors as we look to our future.”
Well done to everyone involved in all these initiatives, and the report is one to bookmark when you need evidence that the games industry does its best when it really matters.