8 September 2007 - Speech By Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive / Director-General (Telecoms), Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore As Guest-Of-Honour At The Singapore Games Creation Challenge, Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Speech By Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive / Director-General (Telecoms), Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore As Guest-Of-Honour At The Singapore Games Creation Challenge on 8 September 2007, Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Mr Chan Lee Mun, Principal & CEO, Nanyang Polytechnic,
Mr Daniel Tan, Director, School of Interactive & Digital Media, Nanyang Polytechnic,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon.


1. I am really happy to be here at an event dedicated to games. While I cannot claim myself to be a gamer, I do have a keen interest in games and I do play some of them. Unfortunately, my age and slow response handicap me every time I play these games with my son. He, on the other hand, has previously won some awards in games competition, until I made him spend more time on his studies. Now. I leave it to him to manage his time between work and play. After all, infocomm has become a pervasive part of our lives in all aspects.

2. Digital gaming has come a long way. The first handheld electronic games were introduced in the early 1980s, when most of you were not even born yet. I remember a device called the Game and Watch made by Nintendo. It was called Game because it featured a single game on the LCD screen and most titles had a 'GAME A' and a 'GAME B' button. It was also called Watch because it had a clock and an alarm. Pretty simple but it gave us a lot of fun then.

3. Today, digital games have evolved dramatically. Powerhouses like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, to name a few, offer a slew of power-packed games and multimedia features all for the promise of giving gamers a truly engaging time of fun and entertainment.

4. Fun aside, games content and technologies are increasingly being adopted for purposes beyond pure entertainment. "Serious Games" are now being used in fields as diverse as military training, therapeutic rehabilitation, product marketing, and public awareness. Games have become the Media-of-Choice for the New Generation. Leading-edge community interactivity, rich digital media, and revolutionary visualisation technologies commonly found in today's games will be integrated in how we work, live and play.

Unleash Your Infocomm Potential Through Games

5. This buzz has gotten more intense with Singapore playing host to major games and industry networking events, such as the World Cyber Games Grand Finals. This week we host the Games Convention Asia (GCA) 2007, one of the world's largest digital interactive gaming conventions, for the first time. I am sure all of you could feel the excitement as you would have practically spent the past five days battling out at the National Infocomm Competition's (NIC) Singapore Games Creation Challenge (SGCC). We have promised to make NIC 2007, Singapore's largest infocomm competition, more exciting than ever. And we did.

6. You will be pleased to know that the Asian Games market is expected to grow to $23 billion by 2009 (according to PricewaterhouseCoopers). This simply means - gaming is serious business now. Realising its potential, Singapore is gearing up to nurture a talented pool of infocomm professionals such as game developers, network designers, software programmers, solutions architects and project managers to help us realise this vision. Indeed a career in digital games is something worth planning and considering. Imagine getting paid to play games!

7. I was told that the first intake of NYP's Specialist Diploma in Games Development will be graduating soon and that more than half of the graduates will be carving out a career in digital games. This is a great boost to the Digital Media and Entertainment sector. Some of you might have already seen their projects at the NYP booth. So, if you are enthralled by their work and eager to step out to create a game of your own, I urge you to consider taking up an infocomm course and making games development your career.

8. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the School of Interactive & Digital Media for producing the wonderful and vivid animation clips at PM Lee's National Day Rally Speech this year. This presentation of the 'condo-like' public housing estates of the future had won praises by many for its excellent visualisation and detailed features. Well done!

Singapore to be a Digital Media and Entertainment Capital

9. In establishing Singapore to be a digital games hub, IDA's iN2015 masterplan has initiatives to help the game development community access the latest game technologies and resources by leveraging on wired and wireless connectivity. In anticipation of future demands of higher computing power, Singapore will put in place by 2012 a next-generation broadband network that can offer end-user speeds of 1Gbps and beyond.

10. Today, we see predominant growth of new companies in the games space like local creative talent Tyler Project and premium studios Electronic Arts and Lucasfilm Animation. Home-grown companies like Activate, Infocomm Asia Holdings and Playware Studios are also innovatively using infocomm technologies to drive Singapore's games industry forward at a rapid pace. Singapore has been working closely with other Asia-Pacific countries to develop the games industry in the region. We are certainly building up to transforming Singapore to be a Digital Media and Entertainment capital.


11. With a future-proof infrastructure and expanding gaming talent, I am confident that it will not be very long before we have our very own world-class game developers and designers producing the likes of World of Warcraft, Dead or Alive or CounterStrike.

12. On this note, I would like to thank Nanyang Polytechnic once again for co-organising the Singapore Games Creation Challenge with IDA. Congratulations to all the participants for your fantastic work. Thank you.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023