Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Government funding to support the creation of games and interactive content.

In these dire economic times it was interesting to hear this morning that the Australian Government through Enterprise Connect is providing $17 million Australian dollars over 4 years to fund a Creative Industries Innovation Centre. This centre will be based at the University of Technology, Sydney, and will support "small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in the creative industries sector improve their productivity and competitiveness by providing professional business advisory and development services. The Centre also builds collaboration between researchers and businesses, and assists creative businesses to access the latest technologies and market specific information."

This is of interest to libraries because the CIIC will assist Australian creative industries in the areas of publishing, writing, games, and interactive content. For Australian libraries more LOCAL interactive content can only be a good thing, right!

Gaming and interactive content is becoming more and more important in LibraryLand no matter where you are. For example, the American Library Association (ALA) has launched a number of initiatives around gamming and interactive content. For details, check out their News about Games and Gaming blog.

Look at the following image from the Australian ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) and see where libraries can fit in. I like the way CCI has mapped out the creative industry landscape, and from this diagram it is easy to see that libraries can fit into this space; either as part of the content industry sector, or the cultural industries sector.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation or CCI is lcated at the Queensland University of Technology. Partner Universities include Swinburne, University of Wollongong, and Edith Cowan University. There is a growing amount of information and presentations available on the CCI Wiki so it is definitely worth checking out. The CCI does work in a whole lot of areas that are of interest to libraries including: broadband policy, creative commons, creative workforce 2.0, digital futures and digital liberties, they even do work on standards and metadata.

So why all this fuss about interactive media and the creative industries. Well, it is very simple - its worth BIG bucks. Though be aware of 2007 research from the London Business School that identifies the problems that many sectors of the creative industries have in communicating value and therefore securing funding.

If you are interested, there is a free OECD publication from 2000 titled "The Creative Society of the 21st Century" [PDF File] while the more recent 2009 OECD publication "OECD Information Technology Outlook 2008" costs USD$ 149.00.

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