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Irish Legislator: Education, Funding Key To Game Sector Growth

Irish parliament member Paschal Donohoe used a recent Dublin meeting of senior executives from high-profile publishers to push for increased funding and education to grow the size of the country's game sector.
Irish parliament member Paschal Donohoe used a recent Dublin meeting of senior executives from high-profile publishers to push for increased funding and education to grow the size of the country's game sector. Speaking to Irish tech site SiliconRepublic, Donohoe said last week's government report seeking to more than double the size of the Irish game industry by 2015 was eminently achievable if the right actions are taken. The first step is attracting even more high-value multinational investment to the country, following on recent moves by companies such as Bioware, Bethesda parent Zenimax Media and Zynga to expand in Ireland. But help also has to come from within Ireland, Donohoe said, meaning Irish investors providing more seed capital to startup developers and helping recent graduates to commercialize their game ideas. "We have made good progress but can do more," Donohoe said. "There is a huge opportunity in that area. It's just so clear to me having met people who are studying in this area and having met their lecturers. The ball is rolling but we can kick it a lot harder." Donohoe also said that a future career in game development could serve as a carrot encouraging students to pay attention to lessons in math and science. "We should explain these things in terms boys and girls can understand and that gets them excited," he said. "I remember talking to one lad who said he wasn’t enjoying maths and couldn’t see where it was all going, but he was also playing a video game and I pointed out to him in that game if a bullet flies in a direction that's because of maths." Donohoe spoke after a meeting of senior game company executives organized by trade group Games Ireland and attended by representatives from publishers including Activision Blizzard, Eidos, EA, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Take-Two, Ubisoft and THQ.

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