January 2008

Somewhere during my time in Japan and amidst my readings into the Japanese content industry, I noticed I began to start calling what I had previously called the “content industry” and “content industries”, the “contents industry” and even “contents industries”.

While this flows from the Japanese pronunciation (kontentsu), Japanese publications also refer to the industry and the products as ‘contents’.

After leaving Japan, I managed to drop this ‘s’ and began to find those ‘s’s glaring out at me from the writings of colleagues in Japan.

Yet, there could actually be some value in that extra ‘s’. Despite its grammatical awkwardness, the addition of an ‘s’ does at least distinguish the industry from the adjective ‘content’, which promises some value when introducing the concept to people for the first time. (‘So you are saying that the industry is very content?’ ‘No, I am saying that it is the content industry!’)

A very belated Happy New Year!

While nutting out a narrative on Australian game developers lobbying the government for support, in contrast with the Japanese game industry’s disdain for any state involvement, this one from the US was brought to my attention.

Video Game Industry Seeks Political Clout – New York Times

Capitalizing on its improved respectability, the video game industry intends to establish a political action committee to donate money to game-friendly politicians and candidates.

Mr. Gallagher said the PAC would probably donate $50,000 to $100,000 this year to national candidates, an amount he described as commensurate with similar committees associated with the film and music industries. Such political action committees are generally financed personally by industry executives rather than by corporations and under federal law are limited to giving $5,000 to each candidate per election.

Mr. Kotick described the new PAC as “a great first step” but he cautioned that the film and music industries would still enjoy far more sway in Washington than the game industry, not least because “people like Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen help raise millions of dollars for candidates.”