Friday, August 24, 2001

Lisbeth Klastrup mentioned a white paper from the danish ministry of culture called Kunst i Netværkssamfundet [Art in the Network Society]. Here a select group of people suggest danish computer game industry should have financial support from the ministry of culture. This however is not necessarily easy to get through the parliament, so of course they need substantial or at least rhetorical arguments.

They do in fact not begin their argument towards financial support by saying, we want to support computer games. In order to do so, they say, that they want to support interactive fiction. It sound like something we already know from books and films except its interactive and accordingly must have something to do with computers - something completely different. They don't however explain the term, but quickly translates interactive fiction into games, even though as they are quite aware of not all games are interactive fiction. Then they tell about some succesful danish interactive fiction/games like Black Out, Bagsædestrisser, Magnus og Myggen, Giften, Englen, and the international bestseller Hitman. But it is expensive to make these productions. On the other hand there is a growing computer culture - so we may even earn money by supporting the game industry in Denmark. The last part is a substantial argument.

They end up suggesting we should have a cultural subsiding of computer games like we have for the film industry. I belive the reason behind this is, that Nordisk Film (the worlds oldest film company and a Pride of danish film industry) is in fact going into the game industry saying they want to be among the ten best computer game producers in the world. Nordisk Film were indeed one of the partners behind the game Hitman, and Nordisk Film may be used to lobby in the danish ministry of culture. But I also believe USA to disapprove of subsiding computer game industry. They already disapprove of the subsiding of european film industry, which they find interfering and a violation of market mechanisms. Well, Denmark will have something to talk about in the WTO negotiations.

Still this upcoming support of computer games is in fact an official recognition of computer games as potential art.


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