British Inspiration Awards Include Gaming

Be inspired

Isn’t it nice when gaming brings everyone together? And other stuff too, like books, films and fashion. But especially games. A cross-party initiative has seen the leaders of the big three British political parties (growl, SNP fans) gritting their teeth and pretending to agree about how simply excellent Britain is when it comes to creating stuff. And so we have the British Inspiration Awards, which aim to celebrate just how jolly good we are. And we mention it because, rather splendidly, it’s to include videogames. It’s significant, not simply that they weren’t forgotten, but that they genuinely are being recognised alongside their peers when it comes to entertaining ourselves. You can see the full press release below.

“Interactive entertainment” it’s called in the list (at the bottom of the press release). It’s going to take place on the 23rd April, and then is planned to be an annual thing, presumably so long as everyone remembers to be creative.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP, David Cameron MP and Nick Clegg MP back UK creative industries sector * Britain’s Creative Sector to recognise major contributors to country’s economic, social and artistic development in music, fashion, film, games, design, television and the arts
Tuesday 16th March/… Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP, Conservative Leader David Cameron MP and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg MP today threw cross party support behind the UK’s creative industries sector as it launched a major new awards initiative. The British Inspiration Awards, a major new celebration of Britain’s cultural sector, celebrates the people and the achievements that have helped Great Britain become a global power-house of creative endeavour.

Supported by industries including video games, interactive entertainment, fashion, music, film, television and media, the BIAs will also be a charity-facing event with 100 per cent of net proceeds going to UK charities, including help for the families of UK Armed Forces.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP, said:
“Britain is a country full of talent. You see it every time you turn on the TV, when you watch a sports event, a film, or flick through the pages of a fashion magazine. You can hear it in our music. And you can feel it in the energy and dynamism of our communities.

“I am enormously proud of the talented people in this country who, through their creative and entrepreneurial gifts, illuminate their lives and enrich ours. And the British Inspiration Awards is a great way of both recognising their endeavours and celebrating our achievements as a nation.”

David Cameron MP, Leader of the Conservative Party, said:
“British design and creativity has led the world for many years, and we should be proud of that heritage. I welcome the opportunity this event brings to celebrate our many creative successes.”

Nick Clegg MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:
“This event is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the excellence of the individual nominees in their respective fields and also to recognise the enormous contribution that creativity makes to our economy, our society and our culture.”

The British Inspiration Awards have been created to recognise those who have contributed to our country’s economic, social and artistic development through creative endeavour. Rather than hiding our nation’s light under a bushel, the British Inspiration Awards are designed to help Britain develop a positive spirit for the future, and foster a community where difference and diversity are looked upon as an asset. The BIAs will honour the top creative, entrepreneurial, inspirational people that have helped make Britain great over many years.

The event is being driven by an Executive Committee led by David Yarnton, UK MD of Nintendo. Yarnton, said: “The UK is the creative capital of the World. Whether it’s Damien Hirst or Simon Cowell; Damon Albarn or Ridley Scott, Dame Vivienne Westwood or Jonathan Ive; Sam Houser or Amy Winehouse, this nation has an incredibly rich and colourful heritage of creativity.

“The political cross-party support is welcomed and is further evidence of the importance in which the sector is now held. Our view is that it is about time that the UK creative sector was recognised for its achievements. It has much to be proud of and we intend to bring together creative industries from across Great Britain and give recognition where it is due.

“We have received a tremendous reaction from across the UK as creative and media industries get behind us, share our vision for supporting charity whilst amplifying the messages of the great work for which this Nation has been responsible.”

He added: “We also want to stand up and show support for many organisations and charities that deserve more help and support. As a sector we are proud to do this.”

In recognition of an individual, company or group’s contribution to the Creative Economy of Great Britain and the Inspiration that they give to others they will be awarded a Boudica; a forward-looking woman who inspired others around her. The Boudica logo with its four shades represents England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland moving forward together as one.

BIA Award Categories
Innovation, Enterprise and Industry
Science and Technology
Interactive Entertainment
Special Recognition

The inaugural British Inspiration Awards will take place on Friday 23rd of April 2010 at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London EC1.

Partners also include The Brewery, Daily Mail, Express Newspapers, City AM, Fullers and Diageo.

The British Inspiration Awards has an Executive Board which is led by David Yarnton. The Board includes:
Richard Desmond – Northern & Shell Plc
Wendy Malem – Director of the Centre for Fashion Enterprise at London College of Fashion.
Russ Lindsay – James Grant Media Group
Simon Harvey – Barrington Harvey
Tom George – CEO Media Edge CIA
Gary MacManus – CEO Reach LTD
Colonel Ben Farrell MBE
Nicola Mendelsohn – Chairman Karmarama
Philip Snape – MD PSA Communications

A working group is responsible for the event.

The BIAs will support The Dallaglio Foundation and Games Aid as its main beneficiaries.

A prime beneficiary of The Dallaglio Foundation is the Help for Heroes Charity.

Further information can be found at

Tickets can be ordered through the web site or by calling Barrington Harvey
01462 456780.


  1. Magic H8 Ball says:

    UK makes videogames?

    • AndrewC says:

      You are becoming increasingly silly.

    • Colthor says:

      @Magic H8 Ball:
      Rockstar North are Scottish, which should go down well with the Mail and Express.

  2. Jockie says:

    A quick gander at the website shows that the Executive Board of the awards is led by Nintendo UK’s managing director, which may have something to do with Gamings inclusion.

  3. cliffski says:

    The UK games industry has campaigned for years to get the same sort of tax breaks the film industry gets, and to put us on a level playing field with countries like Canada, who shower game devs with tax concessions and support.
    We get an awards ceremony.

    Welcome though it is, it pales into insignificance next to the effect that even a 1% tax rate change would make.

    Games have no real physical resource requirements, and their labour force is generally mobile, being made up of a lot of younger people without the same family roots that older employees have,
    In short, there are big incentives for game developers to sod off to another country with lower tax rates.
    An awards ceremony doesn’t even figure into that calculation.

    If I moved my company to NewZealand, I’d pay no tax on earnings for FOUR YEARS. Someone explain to me how the UK government competes with that to support the UK games industry?

    • Colthor says:

      But, without an awards ceremony, how would some desperately electioneering politicians use it to make themselves seem relevant and down with the kids?
      You can’t do that with tax breaks. Also, they cost money.

    • Nallen says:

      cliffski you normally say some of the smartest things I read here, but with that comment you seem to be missing the point by a country mile. How is this related to tax breaks or government policy? it’s not even specific to the genre! As you rightly say, “An awards ceremony doesn’t even figure into that calculation.”

      I guess you’re responding to the “stand up and show support” rhetoric, but the fact it’s one throw away line in all that shows just how irrelevant that aspect is.

    • cliffski says:

      what I’m getting at is the industry has told the UK govt exactly what they need, and awards ceremony was not on the list.
      This is the UK governemnt trying to claim it supports the industry when in fact, it does not.

    • Adventurous Putty says:

      Sorry if this betrays my ignorance, but if Canada is such a hot scene for gaming because of tax breaks and such, who’s a big, AAA developer from Canada? I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      Well there are these upstarts called Bioware, you may have heard of them.

    • Dante says:

      Bioware, Relic, Ubisoft Montreal (Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry 2), Edios Montreal (Working on DX3 and Theaf), EA Canada and EA Montreal (Need for Speed and Skate), Rockstar Toronto and Rockstar Vancouver and Silicon Knights.

    • Will says:

      @cliffski: Are you sure you’ve got the terms of your “4 years tax free in NZ” scenario right? I read the IRD’s page on the topic, and it seems like it’s intended to exempt tax on foreign investments like pension schemes, rather than employment income. Or is it that your business would be a controlled foreign company, or perhaps it’s the royalties you’d be getting tax free?

      I missed the deadline for the exemption by a couple of years – we came over in 2004 – but as far as I can see the tax system here isn’t wildly dissimilar to the UK.

      Tax aside, I’d still recommend the move. The NZTE is moderately good at supporting game development – they subsidise some trade missions and some studios have been able to get funding to help develop their technology.

  4. Michael says:

    You’d have to be foreign to not be deeply cynical about this.

  5. Monchberter says:

    Cue Clegg, Brown and Cameron getting a go on Wii Sports, only 3 years too late.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      That could be pretty entertaining. Screw televised debates on policies — let’s watch them play games. I think it’s the only way left to dumb down politics.

    • Simes says:

      Until Simon Cowell gets involved (and he wants to) there will always be at least one more way left to dumb down politics.

    • Andy says:

      And the winner gets to be the next Prime Minister!

      I quite like the idea of elections being won via Quake Live deathmatch. Or perhaps TF2…No less random than how it currently happens.

    • Jimmy says:

      Cameron on Cowell.

    • Dante says:

      Unfortunately this would probably mean Tom Watson for PM.

      Wait, did I say unfortunately? I meant awesomely! Screw Single Transferable Vote, Election by Deathmatch!

  6. LewieP says:

    Daily mail in hypocrisy shocker.

  7. godwin says:


  8. scundoo says:


    You might also be interested in the fact that Liberia has zero tax on Ships.
    Just in case you happen to have a merchant fleet or two.
    You know, since the whole point is rolling in the mazuma, the cash.

    Making games for a living, setting your own hours, being your own boss. I mean, it’s such a service, nay sacrifice, for all of society, advancing the human race in bounds that OF COURSE YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO PAY ANY TAXES ON PROFIT! WHAT PINKO-COMMIE LIBERAL THOUGHT THAT ONE UP? PAYING TAXES, OH MY GAWD!!!

    • cliffski says:


      You realise games are sold globally right?
      You know that tax rates are different in different countries?

      You want every game to be out-cpmpeted by the likes of crapware like Evony? paying its little-to-nothing Chinese tax rates?

      But hey, lets not ever let any developer ever at any point mention money in any context, because if they do CLEARLY they are “TEH EVIL GREEDY MILLIONAIRES!!!11111”

    • scundoo says:

      No, but claiming that:
      since you can physical remove yourself from the society you are in,
      you shouldn’t have to contribute towards it.
      is absurd

    • scundoo says:

      physically *

    • corbie says:

      @Scundoo – I really dont think he is saying that . I presume he still pays all those lovely endearing little taxes we all know and love.

      Tax breaks that would encourage growth in the industry could potentially promote more employment, more taxpayers and more tax paid. Everybody wins!

      Awards, while nice to get, tend to end up in toilets, holding bog roll, promoting hygenic bathroom practices.

      Why can’t we have both?



    • James G says:

      For example:

      Tiga had proposed support that it reckoned would cost the Treasury £192m – roughly equivalent to three days’ worth of interest payments on the burgeoning national debt – over a five-year period. That cash, it argued, would safeguard £415m in tax receipts and encourage £450m of investment by the industry, creating more jobs.

      Obviously those figures should be taken with a pinch of salt, but similar positive returns have been seen on investments in the UK film industry, and in countries which have implemented various financial incentives in the games industry. (I did have a fantastic article looking at a breakdown of the effects of tax breaks on the film and games industries in a number of countries. Thought it was in the Grauniad, unfortunately I can’t find it now.)

    • Dante says:

      @ Scundoo
      Believe me, I’m as pinko liberal as they come, but Cliff is right here, carefully targeted tax breaks are vitally important to arts and entertainment industries. They allow people a safety net for ambitious projects.
      One of the reasons the UK film industry has been in such steep decline over the years is because the old tax breaks have been gradually whittled away. Economy, sadly, has no conscience, investors are less like to give money to a bunch of bright young Brit film or gamemakers when they can do the same thing with a bunch of equally talented New Zealanders at half the cost.
      Done right these tax breaks can be a fantastic tool, because they lower the cost of starting a business, then, when they’re all grown up and rich you can tax their knobs off, and you’ll get far more cash than you would in the first place.
      To be honest I’m surprised we have as good a games industry as we do, considering that we offer little to nothing in the way of fiscal encouragement, not to mention a generally condescending and hostile attitude in politics and the media.
      The French are a great example in this regard, they’ve managed a thriving film and games industry for years, and they do it not just be fiscal means, but also by cultural acceptance. They knighted Michel Ancel for Christ’s sake. When we start seeing “Sir David Braben” in the New Years Honours list, then we’ll know we’re truly accepted.
      Sorry about that, it all got a bit tangetal there.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I’d rather see Sir Chris Delay than Sir David Braben tbqfh.

      Peter Molyneux recieved an OBE in 2004, the Collyer brothers of Sports Interactive (Championship Manager/Football Manager dev’s if you’ve not heard of them) got MBE’s recently & the Darling brothers who founded Codemasters recieved CBE’s a year ago. The current Codemasters CEO also recieved a CBE recently.

      A cursory search of BBC News would’ve made you look less stupid.

  9. Transportdaemon says:

    @ Andy: Holy cow if I ever need to decide on a tiebreak between two equally qualified people for a job… I’ll have them play some fps to make the decision for me! That would be far ore entertaining than televised debates with pre-considered questions. Although I have to agree with an earlier comment; I am highly dubious and cynical with politicians being involved in the awards .

    On the bright side it is welcome publicity for the gaming industry and some proceeds going to worthy charities.

  10. TeeJay says:

    Forgive me for feeling cynical but a press release that:

    1. name-checks Brown, Cameron & Clegg, Hirst, Cowell, Albarn & Winehouse

    2. equates “Great Britain” with “England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland moving forward together as one” (geography isn’t their strong point?)

    3. describes Boudicca as “a forward-looking woman who inspired others around her” (to kill up to 80,000 civilians in Colchester, St Albans & London and then get her massive army totally slaughtered by a much smaller Roman force before topping herself. “Forward looking?” The mighty empire of Norfolk stands as testimony?)


    4. which is backed by:

    the Mail (tabloid)
    the Express (tabloid)
    Fullers (beer)
    Diageo (beer)
    Richard Desmond (OK! magasine, the Fantasy Channel and Red Hot TV etc.)
    James Grant Media = talent managers for Ant & Dec etc.
    Barrington Harvey = PR for Activision Blizzard etc.
    Media Edge = advertising for EMI etc.
    Reach = marketing for EA games, British American Tobacco & Nintendo etc.
    Karmarama = make adverts for Nintendo etc.

    …and last but not least Philip Snape = formerly William Hague’s Conservative Business Liaison Unit, then adviser to Lord Kalms (Dixons plc) in ‘NO to Euro’ campaign, now adviser to Lord Kalms as Treasurer of the Conservative Party.

    Sorry but what the hell has this genuinely got to do with “creativity”? This is load of bullshit, funded and run by a bunch of c*nts. (ps For charideee! (net profits after costs = spare change raised at the tax-deductable-corporate-piss-up / back-slapping / networking / PR-and-marketing session)).

    Is this supposed to be a 2010 Conservative version of “Cool Britania”?


  11. Magic H8 Ball says:

    AndrewC said:
    You are becoming increasingly silly.

    No, seriously. All games I can name which I know came from UK:
    – Uplink and the whole rest that followed(Darwinia and whatnot)
    – Timesplitters, why do I even know this
    – that other guy said Rockstar North so GTA, even though Scotland is really pushing it

    That is not a whole lot of videogames. Especially when you consider BIA’ll probably want something, you know, new.

    I guess it will be all about scraping the barrel for indie games all over again.

    • Dante says:

      Okay well here’s some:

      Rockstar North (Scotland is not pushing it, the UK is not only England)
      Introversion (Like you said, Darwinia, Uplink, Defcon, Multiwinia)
      Free Radical (Timesplitters, as you say now Crytek UK)


      Creative Assembly (Total War)
      Lionhead (Fable, Black and White)
      Sports Interactive (Football Manager)
      Bizarre (Project Gotham, Blur)
      Codemasters (Operation Flashpoint 2, Overlord)
      Eidos (Main Branch, too many games to mention)
      Rebellion (AvP)
      Realtime Worlds (Crackdown, APB)
      Rocksteady (Arkham Asylum)
      Splash Damage (Brink)
      Travellers Tales (Lego Games)

      Plus a lot of indie studios.

      That took me about five minutes of wiki browsing to find out.

  12. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Dante said:
    (Scotland is not pushing it, the UK is not only England)

    I’m sure many Scots would beg to differ.

    Well, thanks for the list, as… uninspired as it is.

    • CMaster says:

      Scotland is in the United Kingdom, has been for a long time, and actualy formed the Union by a Scottish king taking the English throne. Many Scots would indeed like to see an independent Scotland, but almost certainly not a majoirty.

      The fact that you see a list of developers and many of the credited games being “Game of the year” type stuf as uninspiring is really odd. The UK has a big games industry and has for along time. No, it isn’t the US, but in terms of worldwide sales, has often been competing with Japan (can’t find figures for any of these, unfortunatley though).

      Of course, it will be interesting to see if any of the winners in this sort of thing are those inclined towards political donations and playing that networking, money-sharing game.

    • corbie says:

      We are fine with the UK.

      It’s when we get referred to as part of England we get uppity and start burning our trousers. :-)



    • TeeJay says:

      “I’m sure many Scots would beg to differ”

      It isn’t a ‘matter of opinion’ whether Scotland is part of the UK (alongside Wales, England and Northern Ireland) – it is a *fact*. Reading wikipedia will bring you up to speed on the history:

      “…On 1 May 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created by the political union of the Kingdom of England (which included Wales) and the Kingdom of Scotland. This event was the result of the Treaty of Union that was agreed on 22 July 1706, and then ratified by both the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland each passing an Act of Union in 1707. Almost a century later, the Kingdom of Ireland, already under English control by 1691, merged with the Kingdom of Great Britain to form the United Kingdom with the passing of the Act of Union 1800. Although England and Scotland had been separate states prior to 1707, they had been in personal union since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when James VI King of Scots had inherited the throne of the Kingdoms of England and Ireland and moved his court from Edinburgh to London…”

      Whether Scotland *should* continue to be unified with England/Wales/NI or should separate and become independent again is a different issue to wether it *is* at the moment (hint: it isn’t).

  13. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    The fact that you see a list of developers and many of the credited games being “Game of the year” type stuf as uninspiring is really odd.

    I see them as uninspiring precisely because they’re “Game of the Year type stuff”.

    • CMaster says:

      So you don’t like indie games, you don’t like critically acclaimed games, you don’t like commerically sucessful games. What do you like?

    • Lilliput King says:

      Isn’t it obvious? He likes games that aren’t critically acclaimed, haven’t sold well and are made by a big studio.
      Man knows what he likes, apparently. Personally I just like games if they’re good.

  14. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Aren’t critically acclaimed and commercially successful the same thing nowodays?

  15. Dante says:


    Next question?

  16. Magic H8 Ball says:

    What is your Social Security number?

  17. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Why my monocle simply fell off my eye in embarassment, good sir.

  18. Katsumoto says:

    Heh, can’t believe you said including Scotland in the UK is “pushing it”. Is this a bit like referring to Hawaii and Alaska as “the freak states”? :D At least England, Wales and Scotland form a contiguous landmass! And there are of course regular ferries to Northern Ireland ;).

    • Klaus says:

      I have spoken to natives of Hawaii who seem to believe that Hawaii is a country on it’s own.