The Government is looking into the ‘enormous potential’ for esports in the UK as part of a new DCMS inquiry

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has formed a Committee to explore the potential for esports in the UK, among other tech trends.

The inquiry will also examine the growth of 'immersive and addictive' technologies. Specifically, the DCMS Committee will look at the impact virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) could have in the worlds of sport, entertainment and news, and 'how the addictive nature of some technologies' can affect users’ engagement with gaming and social media.

In terms of esports, the Committee wants to explore the future of competitive gaming in the UK.

Some of the questions they've asked in this Parliament.uk post, specifically around esports, include: "What is the future for the industry, in terms of future growth, ethics and regulation? How might the links between traditional sports and their electronic counterparts be strengthened?"

The Committee will also look at the links between video games and gambling, the effects of in-game spending, especially on children, and whether it needs stronger monitoring or regulation. It's also going to ask the question: 'What challenges and opportunities do gaming and esports offer the gambling industry and how should that be managed?'

Damian Collins, Chair of the DCMS Committee, said: "The way we interact with cutting-edge technologies is life-changing for our generation and generations to come. We have the opportunity now to shape that development, setting an agenda that benefits our economy and how we spend our leisure time, while ensuring the right safeguards are built in.

 

"We’re seeing industries emerge that offer enormous potential for growth such as esports and gaming, where the UK is rightly regarded as a world leader in production. We’ll be looking at what action is needed to ensure we remain a key player."
Damian Collins, DCMS Committee

 

"We’re seeing industries emerge that offer enormous potential for growth such as esports and gaming, where the UK is rightly regarded as a world leader in production. We’ll be looking at what action is needed to ensure we remain a key player."

The news comes just days after the Government announced plans to pump more than £20m into the UK’s creative industries, including a £200,000 investment to boost Digital Schoolhouse, a programme by UK games industry trade body Ukie which focuses on the computing curriculum and also includes a school esports league.

Last month, the DCMS said that the UK games industry contributed £1bn to the UK economy in 2017. However, Ukie says the actual figure is even higher, as government research uses Standard Industrial Classification codes which apparently do not include around half of the games businesses in the UK.

Over the past year or so, the Government has slowly become more aware of esports in the UK, with the likes of Creative Industries Minister Margot James supporting the industry here. She supports Women in Games and has commented on major events here like Dota 2's ESL One Birmingham (pictured), which is returning for 2019.

On that specific event and the work of ESL, she said: "ESL's presence here is a great boost for the Midlands region and further proof that esports in the UK is going from strength to strength."

The DCMS Committee is asking for evidence from 'the public, organisations and others with relevant expertise' to help with the inquiry, including info on esports. There's more details on the official Parliament.uk post here.

 

Image credit: ESL Dota 2 Twitter

1 Response

  1. Hello Having grown up in the Brent Borough, it is glaringly apparent that there is now a lack of club activities for the younger generation. As opposed to the experience of my generation growing up (I am now mid 30's), having a variety of youth clubs/activities to choose from. My belief is that this is a part of the reason as to why knife crime has increased. Whereby my generation met in person to build rapports, and emotional connections with each other. The youth paving the way now don't get much interpersonal experience, their only emotional connection is with electronic devices (smartphones, ipad, computer gaming consoles, etc). In turn taking a life bears no burden to the youth, because subconsciously the majority of their emotional ties lay with electronic devices. Esports: My plan is to use the devices the youth admire, to bring them together. Esports (console gaming sports) is an fast growing industry, and continues to grow worldwide. It's an area that is given a vast amount of attention/dedication by the youth of today. The concept is that youth congregate in a venue, and compete in friendly tournaments via computer gaming consoles. The UK could do with more exposure in this field. As a result of a lack of UK Esports exposure, our established players go abroad to join this community (and some UK individuals are now well known via Esports streaming events). What I Propose: I am knowledgeable on the Esports industry (as I personally monitor/enjoy spectating the sport), and have been console gaming for decades. My plan is to organise, and launch this as a recurring event activity for the youth. I am in search of support/funding to get this going, for the youth. If not yourself, can you forward me to the relevant persons? Kind regards Wayne Akers 07414 820248

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