Are you a fan of playing Angry Birds, or Candy Crush Saga, or Words With Friends on your mobile phone on the way to work? Now you have friends in high places. Tony Burke, our new Immigration Minister, and Minister for the Arts, surely enjoys a similar relaxation from the trials and tribulations of being a pollie.
However, the Minister must be getting bored with his current games selection, because he has just given Screen Australia $6 million for their new Games Enterprise program.
“Gaming is at the front line of creativity in new technology,” Mr Burke said. “Our Australian games industry has distinguished itself in recent years by recognising the enormous potential of creating games applications for smartphones and tablets.”
The $6 million has been distributed between 10 different Australian gaming companies. One of the lucky recipients is Defiant Development, which has brought us such gems as Rocket Bunnies, where players are invited to ‘escape spiders, avoid mines, dodge peril, explore the galaxy, and solve devious puzzles’, all from the comfort of the ministerial car.
Mr Burke tried to claim he is backing a winner, arguing that “the Australian games sector is expanding in terms of the number of people playing, its economic and cultural impact, and its influence beyond the entertainment industry.” However, the hand-out comes at a time when the industry has lost 60% of its workforce in the last six years.
Lucky for gamers, this hand-out is just Round One. The Government’s Creative Australia policy has set aside an additional $4 million for future rounds of funding.
The Minister can now sleep soundly at night, knowing that his capacity to ‘dodge peril’ on the way to the office is assured. Perhaps the Government has learnt from Julia Gillard’s experience at last.
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