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The Government Should Be Part of Game Development

The government helped put artists to work during The Great Depression. This same model could be used to stimulate today's indie game industry.

Below is a great talk about how the government stimulates paradigm shifts in technology. It's a pretty long video, but just keep in mind that the government invested in the Internet, GPS, touch screen development, and all sorts of other game-changing technology.

Because the country has a large source of capital, they're the perfect investors. As long as a few of their investments turn out big, it's easy for them to make a big return. This makes the government one of the few entities that can make high-risk, high-reward investments.

If you recall, when the US went through The Great Depression, FDR created a program called the WPA (the Works Progress Administration). The program was made to put as many people to work as possible, plus stimulate the economy. It was one of FDR's most successful programs because it both directly and indirectly improved the lives of Americans. And what's exciting about it is that it employed artists!

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Jackson Pollock made his first stable income through the Federal Art Project. Letting the government stimulate the art world can allow great artists to experiment until they find their voices. And this is no different for game designers.

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Phil Fish was given a grant from the Canadian government to make FEZ, which turned out to be one of the most iconic games in recent history. Without these kinds of investments, we wouldn't get this kind of elevated material. If these kinds of projects benefit the public and put good people to work, there's no reason not to fund them on a large scale, especially during a jobs crisis.

By initiating crazy projects with huge risks, the government stimulates all sorts of growth in industries that would otherwise have incremental progress. With video games being one of the few industries that can make huge returns on small investments, it only makes sense to make government-funded games.

This article is from the Serenity Forge Blog.

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