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FDP application in the Bundestag: "Germany is a gaming nation"

“Germany is a gaming nation”: With this justification, the FDP parliamentary group calls for the federal government to significantly increase its support for computer games.

Update from October 18, 2019 (6 p.m.): The FDP application was the subject of today's Bundestag session. Together with other motions, the document was referred to several committees (culture and media, law and consumer protection, transport and digital infrastructure, digital agenda and budget committee) for further discussion.

Message from October 18, 2019 (11 a.m.): On October 16, 2019, FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Lindner submitted a motion to the German Bundestag on behalf of his party (printed matter 19/14059), which contains 14 demands with a view to the German computer games industry.

In it, the FDP calls for the establishment of "sustainable games funding at the federal level" and the opening of film funding for video game production. Planned total volume: 110 million euros. At the same time, this would mean that responsibility for the computer games industry would have to change from the Ministry of Transport to the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, Monika Grütters (CDU). A corresponding application had already failed a few weeks ago in the budget committee. The industry association Game rejects the FDP idea.

In the same application, the FDP refers to the statements made by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), who, in the wake of the Halle attacks, had called for “closer observation of the gamer scene” and was sharply criticized for this. The federal government is called upon not to place the gaming scene under general suspicion of serving as a “breeding ground for extremist ideas” and thereby frivolously damaging the image of an entire scene.

The other FDP wishes read like the political basic program of the industry association. Among other things, the following is required:

  • the better integration of youth protection and youth media protection
  • the further development of the German Computer Game Award into a "top award with an international beacon character"
  • the end of the 50% participation of the game industry in the prize money of the German Computer Game Prize, which has been customary up to now
  • the recognition of eSports, as provided for in the coalition agreement
  • the rapid expansion of broadband in order to "supply both gamers and game developers with low-latency gigabit networks"
  • covering the need for skilled workers through suitable measures
  • the modernization of the trade fair presence of the federal government and a "uniform and appealing umbrella brand communication"

Thomas Hacker, media policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, was in charge of this application. “The gaming scene is an important component of national and international culture and it is impossible to imagine life without it as a cultural and economic asset. The games industry needs appropriate framework conditions in order to continue to be successful in Germany ”, Hacker told GamesWirtschaft. “In addition to the actual entertainment sector, games are also interesting for education, medicine and business. We have to get better here. "

With the document, the FDP is increasing the pressure on the federal government with regard to computer games funding in the 2020 budget, as it did a year ago. The Bundestag's budget committee must answer the question of whether and to what extent the subsidization by the final meeting on November 14, 2019 of the German game studios will be continued. For 2019, 50 million euros were available.

The positions of the leading budget politicians from the CDU / CSU, SPD, Greens and FDP on this issue can be found here.

The FDP application is part of the “Smart Germany” campaign, which declines the subject of digitization for many areas of life (“Germany needs an update”). In this context, the Free Democrats renew their call for a “Federal Ministry for Digitization”. So far, there is only a corresponding authority in Bavaria and Hesse, but not at the federal level.