Project status: Completed

Videogames worldwide are a major industry sector that sources contributions from numerous production hotspots, including Australia. Despite major challenges, especially the inherent limitations of remaining a fee-for-service sector, there are opportunities for growth in the wider interactive entertainment sector, in innovating in areas such as broader sources of talent, new storylines and modes of engagement with the user base, and in coordinating better the diverse inputs (programmers, artists, designers, community and business strategists).

Employing research methods never used in this sector before, the project will identify existing and potential new sources of innovation in the Australian interactive entertainment industry.

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Australian Research Council - Linkage Scheme



Research leader
Research team
QUT External collaborators

Dr Jason Potts

Dr Karen Pearlman

Bridget Jones

Kerrin McNeilShainiel Deo

Morgan Jaffit

Michela Ledwidge

Tom Crago

John Sietsma

Organisational unit
Lead unit ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Start date
1 July 2011
End date
30 June 2014
Research areas
Videogames, Innovation, Interactive Entertainment, Media Studies


Dr John Banks
Email: ja.banks@qut.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 3138 8764



Games and interactive entertainment are flagship digital industries of the present and future which no advanced economy and digitally-enabled society can afford not to engage with. Apart from their evident popularity, and proven growth and export potential, they have provided many models and templates for educational technology. The project will assist the local games and interactive entertainment sector to source international good practice models, to identify potentially new sources of innovation such as arts practices not traditionally associated with these industries, and contribute a richly detailed case study providing evidence for why the creative industries should be an integral part of the national innovation system.

This project aims to address a significant gap in knowledge in academic research, policy thinking and industry practice about the sources and processes of innovation of the Australian games and interactive entertainment industry. It will contribute to the sustainability of this industry sector by analysing existing and potential sources and processes of innovation beyond what is currently acknowledged as innovation within traditional policy frameworks, which is predominantly technology based R&D.

Sources of innovation may include broader input of talent, new ideas and storylines and modes of engagement with the user base in the context of the sector broadening its application domain from games as such to the broader, emergent field of interactive entertainment. Processes may include better coordinating the very diverse inputs (programmers, artists, designers, producers, community and business strategists) required for success in this sector as it undergoes change due to digital convergence, and rapid evolution of technologies and taste cultures. A particular focus of attention will be identification of the potential role of artists as innovation catalysts within games and interactive entertainment workplace cultures. The study tests the case of the artist as a ‘site of innovation’ within the games industry. It draws on arts practices and content not currently associated with the game industry - from fields of literature, visual arts, performing arts and media arts. The implications for education and training for the games industry and artists forms a key part of this project.



Australia Council for the Arts

Australian Film Television and Radio School

Hoodlum Pty Ltd

Tantalus Media Pty Ltd

Halfbrick Studios Pty Ltd

Defiant Development

League of Geeks

Mod Productions

Publications and output

Banks, J (2012) 'The iPhone as Innovation Platform: Reimagining the Videogames Developer' in Hjorth, L, Burgess, J, and Richardson, I (eds.) Studying Mobile Media: Cultural Technologies, Mobile Communication, and the iPhone. New York: Routledge. 155-72.

Banks, J and Cunningham, S (2013 - forthcoming) 'Games and Entertainment Software' in Towse, R and Handke, C.  eds. Handbook of the Digital Creative Economy. London: Edward Elgar.