Developers looking create games for the "public good" can now apply for a grant of up to 200,000 USD.
The United States National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has made video games eligible for artistic funding, making the digital medium a recognized art form under US law. The NEA is a government program that funds projects that "enhance the public good," and allows artists to apply for a grant of up to 200,000 USD.
Game developers can apply for grants through "The Arts and Media" category. The category was originally named "The Arts on Radio and Television," but it has been amended to incorporate satellite, web-based, and interactive mediums. According to the NEA's official guidelines:
"Projects may include high profile multi-part or single television and radio programs (documentaries and dramatic narratives); media created for theatrical release; performance programs; artistic segments for use within an existing series; multi-part webisodes; installations; and interactive games. Short films, five minutes and under, will be considered in packages of three or more."
Game developers looking to take advantage of the program will be competing against artists in a number of other media, but it's still fantastic news for anyone who wants to see video games grow culturally as well as commercially. Similar programs are already available to Canadian developers, and it's nice to know that more artistic game projects will be sponsored throughout North America.
The deadline for a 2012 grant is Sept. 1.