Nearly $A40.9 billion dollars of interactive video games were sold in 2002 according to the Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA). That’s more than the worldwide box office takings for the film industry in the same year. In Australia, the story is similar: Australians spent $825 million in 2002 on games software and hardware, which increases annually and 88 per cent of homes have a device for playing computer or video games (according to http://www.igea.net/)
It’s big business and a lot of minds and talent go into the making of games and other digital narrative channels. The success of Fee Plumley’s recent project, reallybigroadtrip and Writing Australia’s Digital Writer in Residence (a project managed by SA Writers Centre) and today’s announcement of the new SA made game Hexiled (which saw more than two million plays in ten days) is confirmation that South Australians are hungry to make headway in the digital industry.
The maturing infrastructure to support this field means that richer digital stories are being produced and will only continue to expand. As sophisticated digital stories start to infiltrate the industry, it’s time for people to up skill to meet the demands and quality of the market. It’s imperative people develop their skills in an expanding and progressive and quite limitless arena and get a national competitive edge, whilst the rest of the sector are still learning. It also bodes well for attendees’ employability or self directed employment.
A two day intensive masterclass is being held in Adelaide, called The Digital Writers Room, which will be presented by award winning transmedia writer/designer/director, Christy Dena.
This masterclass is aimed at writers working in the digital space, especially those working with interactive stories, gaming, experimental narratives and other digital, collaborative writing projects, and those interested in participatory theatre and interacting with audiences. Modelled on a TV writers’ room, this special lab will give the lonely digital writer the rare opportunity to develop their work with peers, in a collaborative setting.
‘Not only will participants get to meet people in the industry, it’s a unique opportunity to be in a room full of similar people with complementary skills – this is where new projects and collaborations are often born. Who knows, in a year from now we may be hearing about an innovative product that began in The Digital Writers’ Room,’ said Sarah Tooth, Director, SA Writers Centre.
For more information visit www.sawriters.org.au