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The Independent Games Developers Association (Tiga) has stated this week in an interview that video games deserve to be officially classified as ‘cultural products’ in the UK, alongside television, film and animation.
The CEO of Tiga, Dr Richard Wilson, commented that “recognizing games as cultural products would untie the red tape which unfairly prevents EU member state governments from supporting their national video game sectors” – video games are currently recognized as software under EU law, which resulted in a long drawn out process to get tax breaks for UK game companies (which was finally approved by the European Commission in March); the argument made by Tiga is that this would not have been the case had games enjoyed the same benefits as film or TV.
The latest financial analysis by Tiga would certainly suggest that such a move would be in the Government’s interests; estimating that video games generate up to £93 billion worldwide compared to $88.3 billion for films and a surprisingly low $15 billion for music. On a personal note, I think that to declare video games as cultural products is a perfectly logically decision – the impact they have on modern life, not only from a financial standpoint, means they deserve to be celebrated and remembered as much as the next number one single or box-office hit.