Screen Australia has announced a new fund to support First Nations video game development.
The First Nations Game Studio fund will provide up to $150,000 per year in support for up to two video games studios operating primarily under the leadership and creative control of Australian Indigenous people.
In announcing the fund, Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke said in a statement, “First Nations communities have been telling stories – through music, dance and song – since the first sunrise. It’s critical we continue to support those stories being told.
“Australia’s videogame developers are significant storytellers, and this fund will ensure First Nations stories are told in one of the world’s fastest-growing industries,” he said.
The fund supports the growing trend of video games created by First Nations people, many of which incorporate Indigenous storytelling and culture.
Screen Australia is the Australian Government agency which supports Australian film, television, online titles and video games. The new First Nations fund adds to $5.5 million in existing funding under the Games: Expansion Pack fund.
Screen Australia’s Head of First Nations, Angela Bates says: “…the First Nations Game Studio fund is the first of its kind on a national scale and we are proud to further our commitment to supporting First Nations creatives in telling authentic stories across so many platforms for the screen.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for First Nations game studios to build their businesses and create games that will cut through and establish a place within this billion-dollar global industry.”
A survey of more than 1,200 households by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association and Bond University found the majority supported greater diversity and inclusion in video games generally, in terms of representations of age, cultural background, race, gender and language/ nationality.