May 14th is Provincial Election day in British Columbia, and one of the hot topics of this election is the government support of the entertainment Industry.
About a month ago I reached out to the political parties of B.C. to see if any of them could provide a solution to the recent trend of major game studios in BC moving to provinces providing better funding or closing up shop. Only one party responded. I won’t say which one, because promoting a party isn’t what this article is about. Shortly after this brief twitter/email encounter, I learned about the game industry VoteMob, which took place at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown.
The VoteMob was an awesome opportunity to take part in an act of solidarity with the other entertainment industries in the technology sector, Film, TV, Games and so on. It also provided a networking opportunity for eager students like myself. The opportunity also encouraged young people to get out and vote. Individuals who may have sooner stayed away from the poles took the opportunity to network, enjoy the sun and get out of the office early on the Friday.
The event was promoted by many people in game development, and many companies including East Side Games, EA, Silicon Sisters, Klei Entertainment, Slant Six, Roadhouse Interactive and UFG, who all let their staff leave work to participate. Even the VFS Game Design program had their instructors finish classes early so that faculty and students could attend and show their support for the games industry.
I really took to the idea of the VoteMob because I was already reaching out to the parties on behalf of the games industry, and now here we were, able to show our numbers — and the point wasn’t to decide as a group who to vote for; but to draw attention to the importance of our industry. Future politicians might recognize the value in having us on their side, which could mean great things for those industries that provide so much to us, and for our economy here in B.C.