Funded by the Biritish Council, the Game Cultures research cluster worked with game makers, artists and policy makers to advise the Council on the extent to which their arts programmes should engage with video games. The resulting report provided a summary of the games industry across 5 EU countries and help shape the British Council's strategy towards the support and advocacy of video games as an artistic medium.
- Nick Webber
- Professor Paul Long
In an environment where cultural organisations were increasingly engaging with video games, British Council wanted to understand more about the sector, and about the artistic dimensions of video games.
British Council commissioned us to undertake this research, and the overall purpose was to offer a series of recommendations for how their Arts Programme should, or should not, engage with video games. We therefore explored a range of different regional and national contexts to see how games were understood (e.g. as part of the creative, cultural or technology industries), how game-making was supported, how games were seen (their perceived cultural value) and how games and game-like approaches had led to new artistic work and even new artforms.
We initially held a roundtable with a range of game makers, artists and policy makers, before moving on to a period of desk-based research examining, for example, policy materials and reports from the target regions and countries, and information produced by artists. This material was then drawn together into a report.
The project report offered a summary of the games industry and policy in 5 EU countries, Russia, Brazil, South Korea and across the British Council’s East Asia region, alongside a range of game-related artistic innovations. We recommend that British Council should engage with video games in a structured manner, contributing as broker, advocate and policy-shaper. British Council appointed a Programme Manager for Games and Interactive to further explore these possibilities.