On this site you can read a lot of lecturing about how others should do their jobs. Well, when an elected official shows that he can take games seriously, instead of personally, he should get credit for that. Unfortunately for Americans, this guy is a member of the UK Parliament. But here's what struck me about Don Foster of Bath, in his remarks to The Guardian backing the gaming industry as an important part of the British economy:
"I hardly play any games, I'm not from that generation, but because of my job, I had to research the industry. The vast majority of my parliamentary colleagues are always wanting to ban the latest game, but they don't know the details of the industry. Few people in this country realise how important it is to the UK economy."
Instead of trivializing or dismissing something he didn't understand, he looked into it and gave it a fair evaluation. It's part of being a representative and a leader, and I wish others would practice it more — and on subjects other than video games, of course. Foster was noting how the UK games industry had fallen to fourth place overall in world development, and backing UK publishers who need stronger education policy to deliver them trained graduates, and tax breaks to stop the drain of development to nations with lower costs of doing business. Eidos' creative director and head of acquisitions recently said that the mainstream of the UK still treats games makers as "one notch up from pornography," and the government's posture doesn't help. Not sure how effective Mr. Foster will — Liberal Democrats are the third largest party in Parliament — but at least he's showing some support. UK MP Backs Games Industry [Edge Online via GamePolitics]