Scottish Parliament, Member’s Business Debate: Scottish Games Week 2023

Clare Adamson MSP, Motherwell and Wishaw said:

“Brian Baglow’s determined advocacy for the games sector in Scotland has brought gaming into the spotlight and it was brilliant to see the fruits of his labour in Dynamic Earth For the opening of the Scottish Games Industry Conference.

The games industry is the largest entertainment media in the world. Global market revenues stand at $214.2 billion with projected annual growth of 8.4%. The sector eclipses traditional entertainment media, worth more than the music and video industries combined.The headline figures paint a picture of a colossal economic potential.

If we can support the Scottish games ecosystem to thrive it will bring enormous benefits to our society economically, and yes, socially and culturally too.

You might remember the story of the virtual library on Minecraft created by the Reporters Without Borders which has hosted important works censored by their states. For me, that’s a perfect example of games being used in a way few of us could have envisioned and imagined.

In many respects, the sector in Scotland is doing well, following the inaugural Scottish Games Week last year I was pleased to see the launch of Tech Scaler funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Codebase.

Supporting developers on the commercial side is a key challenge for public policy and something we need to model to suit the ecosystem in Scotland. Small business start-up models traditionally supported by local gateways or Scottish Enterprise simply do not support the industry in the way that they need to grow.

Studios like Team Terrible and their mega hit “The Baby in Yellow” are a glowing example of the new success stories. But we could replicate these successes over and over again. Think what we could achieve with a coordinated games ecosystem. One, fit for purpose, with the creativity of the industry is fully recognised, valued, and supported.

I’m interested in looking at the big picture in Scotland. There are innovative small studios across the country and they need our support to flourish. 

In short, the games sector is here to play, and that is a world cup Scotland could be winning in.”

Maurice Golden MSP, North East Scotland said:

“The culmination of Dundee’s history and present as a world leader in computer game development, is the proposed 4,000 seater eSports arena for the city of Dundee. A multi-purpose arena at Dundee’s waterfront which will host live concerts and events and we can all hope that these plans are realised as soon as possible.

I commend all those who have supported the computer games industry in Dundee over the last few decades: from the visionary games developers, private investors, the universities and colleges, local government, Scotland’s two governments, and call on public sector partners to keep focus on Dundee, redouble your efforts, and let’s keep Dundee as the epicentre of UK computer game development.”

Stephanie Callaghan MSP, Uddingston and Bellshill said:

“Here in Scotland, gaming contributes around £350 million to our economy and homegrown cutting -edge creativity from companies like Rockstar North and a source of huge national pride that goes beyond Dundee.

Gaming can be so much more than childhood fun. It can play a fundamental role in enhancing the educational experience: improving cognitive function, learning of facts, and increasing cultural awareness. 

Children who played video games for three hours a day showed higher brain activity in the areas associated with attention and memory, compared to non-players.”

Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP, Glasgow said:

“Scotland has massive potential in the games industry. It contributes £129 million in direct and indirect tax revenue to our GDP. Scottish based games development companies invest £141 million in jobs and are responsible for employing 6,400 people.

It is already part of our economy and the Glasgow region where I represent. With the highest number of gaming companies in Glasgow operating there than any other region in Scotland, Glasgow has and will play a key part in developing Scotland’s contribution to the industry and the economy.”

Natalie Don MSP, Renfrewshire North and West said:

Gaming is without a doubt an asset to Scotland. Scotland has a long and pivotal history in gaming and has helped shape the global gaming landscape. I’m extremely proud that the Scottish Government has provided funding for Scottish Games Week that gives an important platform to the whole Scottish gaming community to come together and celebrate its successes, learn from its challenges, and showcase its talent.

Despite its successes, gaming has always received a bad name. There’s always been a bit of a mixed reaction , and too often gaming is associated with the negative impacts. The industry is massively under-represented and I think that has something to do with this.”

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