Games can act as a great poster industry for science and computer science, says UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey.
Speaking to MCV about the long-awaited approval of tax breaks by the European Commission, Vaizey said he wanted to see more studios engaging with young people and inspiring them to take up science. The new computer science curriculum is set to be introduced into UK schools from September this year.
He also said he wanted to see more UK games businesses expand independently, rather than get bought by foreign companies.
"I would love to see some real, domestic, home-grown growth that expands overseas," said Vaizey.
"I want to see element of – which I think there already is but even more – engagement with young people in terms of skills. The industry itself is a great poster industry for science and computer science and the kind of hard skills that Michael Gove is so keen about kids learning. So it would be great to see as many games companies as possible, when they’re not busy working, engaging with young people and showing how studying science at school gets you a pretty great job at the end of it."
Vaizey went on to say that the tax breaks for the games industry, as well as in animation, TV and film, would signal a golden age for these sectors in the UK, but warned the UK should not get complacent and fall behind again.
"I think it is going to be golden age for these industries," he said.
"But we will always have to slightly look over our shoulder and see what others are up to. I don’t want to get into an arms race on tax credits, that’s one of the chief reasons that The Treasury was sceptical about a tax credit to begin with, because they took the view of: ‘If you start with this, what happens next?’ But it is important to keep abreast of what others are up to because we want to have a successful UK games industry based in Britain."