Games, Developers and Development

According the the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

  • Digital game development is all aspects of digital game development and production (e.g. concept and art design, animation, audio, programming etc.), online game development services and post-production, digital and visual effects (PDV) work on digital games.
  • Digital games developers are businesses that generate income predominantly from the development of digital games for a range of formats (major consoles, handheld consoles, personal computers and mobile phones).
  • Digital games are Interactive software products made for the consumer entertainment market, involving a gameplay feature. Excludes products primarily designed for the purposes of training or advertising (these should be treated as other software applications).

It should be remembered when looking at statistics about the size of games in society that areas of ‘games’ overlap and rather subjective. For example, a game developer must be a business and therefore for profit, and that games for training are excluded from their analysis.

In other worlds when you hear people cite numbers or un-referenced figures about games, consider that games are a media form and have co-operative and linked facets to forms of work, and objects produced. This is problematic as non-gamers tend to only think of games they have heard about in the media – the usual ‘this game is bad because’ beat up. The common and ignorant excuse I hear school leaders talk about is “yes, but games need integrating into the curriculum”. This is laughable. Culture does not emerge from your curriculum or from savant teachers claiming their version of the future on Twitter is the apex of digital learning. So no, the world won’t neatly follow on from your version of the how it should be. It’s your job to notice the world – and clearly if you think games means video games, and not a medium … take another look.

In the world of media, one which Australia is actually very good at – it’s totally ridiculous that school curriculum omits ‘games’ completely as a distinct, unique and probably very attractive future for kids. Go back an re-read the things that fall under games again – now ask yourself honestly – is learning for format text in Word anything more than functional. Is your literacy limited to one step past this – ie from Word to Blog … I do hope not … the future of media is brighter than that.

But of course, as school MUST have a maths, geography, english … teacher. But a media teacher who knows about games, and the things involved in creating media around them … a media teacher … a games teacher? No, what school need are teachers who can make Prezi’s and Blogs. That is where the digital revolution went to die in my opinion.

I can’t think of a single school in Australia who has a teacher which specialises in media-studies that encompasses games, as it does film, television, radio, magazines and books. Not one teacher who has the freedom to survey, use and develop virtual worlds and games with students. And that is just dumb.