Concept to pitch for X|Media|Lab Perth

I spent yesterday at a workshop presented by the Department of Culture and the Arts, ScreenWest, and Murdoch University. It was called: Digital workshop: from concept to pitch.

Here’s a blurb from the event webpage:

Spend a day with digital professionals and workshop a hypothetical digital project from concept to pitch. You will work as part of a small team of creatives, mentored by digital pros and at the conclusion of the day you will have the skills and knowledge to prepare a digital project submission for X|Media|Lab Perth 2011.

I didn’t have many expectations at the start of the day. Primarily, I figured that various pitched crossmedia projects may require some game development work and I wanted to let participants know about the local game development community and Let’s Make Games.

After a brief registration process and introductions, we broke out into assigned teams (which involved more introductions) and started working on project concepts. My team decided to get behind a concept I suggested involving a think-global-act-local-cultural-exchange-competitive-activism crossmedia reality program.

At the end of the day, we won the People’s Choice Award (which was nice). More interesting though was that the winner of the Mentors’ Award (presumably for project most suitable for X|Media|Lab and the X|Media|Lab Perth Development Award) was a video game.

It’s no surprise that the game project won. It was a very well designed and pitched project with a clear market, positive social impact, and a number of potential funding partners. It looks like a lot of good clean edutainment fun, and I hope that the game is eventually developed in Perth by local developers. 🙂

So it’s not surprising, but it is interesting. Mostly because the funding agencies involved (DCA and ScreenWest) do not currently support funding of games.

Consider this excerpt from ScreenWest’s Terms of Trade (written in July 2009):

3.4 ScreenWest doesn’t provide development funding for:

h) Development of Computer Games.

So what does this all mean?

Clearly, attitudes towards games are changing – not just within the general public, but also within the screen industry. I’m very glad that a game won the Mentors’ Award, and I hope that this is an indicator that games will soon no longer be excluded from funding in Western Australia.

Overall, the workshop was invigorating and reinforced a feeling of opportunity for different media professionals to work together. I met some great people who inspired me with their work, and I felt that I could positively contribute in many areas. Thanks to the organisers and participants!