Since its inception in 1994, the IGDA has attempted to assist with many problematic aspects of the game industry, including quality of life, employee diversity, and academic relations. However, the perceived lack of response from the organization towards the recent exposure of a wealth of industry problems - including poor working conditions, sexist culture, and a lack of racial and gender diversity both in workplaces and the games themselves - has led many to question its relevance to game developers. The following page collects articles concerning the IGDA and its role in today's videogame industry.
According to their website, IGDA mission statement is as follows:
"To advance the careers and enhance the lives of game developers by connecting members with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues that affect the developer community.
This mission is carried out in the following key areas:
Advocacy: Make change in our industry by identifying and speaking out on key issues
Networking and Community: Connecting members with their peers, both geographically and functionally
Professional Development: Promoting constant improvement of our craft
International Reach: Expanding the global community of game developers"
In an attempt to better respond to the issues in the game developer community, as of April 1, 2014, they have added a resources section to their website that includes legal advice, harassment resources, and other subjects, such as women in games, quality of life and localization.
However, IGDA is not always seen positively by the game developer community and has had its share of controversy.
GDC 2013 Female Dancers
In 2013, IGDA hosted a party sponsored by YetiZan at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC). At this party, a group of female dancers in revealing clothing were brought out to the stage for entertainment.
From Forbes, attendee and student developer Alicia Avril voiced her opinion on the situation:
"On a stage at a crowded industry party, there were “at least three girls in white outfits–one was in a skimpy t-shirt one was in this weird furry get-up–dancing.” Beyond the stage, dancing among the crowd, were women on stilts. “I walked in there not expecting that sort of display."
In response to this, there were a handful of public member resignations, including major board members and local branch representatives, and other organizations, pulled their support for the IGDA.
Griffin McElroy on Polygon: Mar. 28, 2013: IGDA draws backlash, member resignations over female dancers at GDC party (update: IGDA responds)
2014 Harassment List
In response to the harassment and "doxxing" incidents in the game industry as a whole, particularly those against Anita Sarkessian, IGDA released a statement condemning harassment.
Christian Nutt on Gamasutra: Aug. 28, 2014: IGDA issues statement condemning harassment
However, along with this, IGDA released an auto-blocker on Twitter that will block any user who follows a certain number of "known" harassers as well as users who follow them. This list contained over 10,000 Twitter users from lawyers and academics to game developers that were now labeled as "online harassers".
Georgina Young on Tech Raptor: Nov. 22, 2014: IGDA names over 10,000 people that worst offenders of online harassment
Sylveria Shini on Destructoid: Nov. 22, 2014: IGDA blacklist
Many game developers who ended up on this list believed it was unfair and some were considering legal action. TechRaptor collected some of these responses.
Due to the backlash. IGDA has since removed the auto-blocker from their resources page.
IGDA Leadership Summit
In 2015 the IGDA launched the IGDA Leadership Summit. The 2-day event highlighted the theme of industry diversity.
- Kate Edwards on Venture Beat: Aug 27, 2015: Aim to lead: 2015 IGDA Leadership Summit
- Samantha Hautea on Flip the Media: Sept 7, 2015: Gaming's future needs bold, engaged leaders (IGDA Leadership Summit, Part II)
- Samantha Hautea on Flip the Media: Sept 3, 2015: Inclusivity and diversity for better games (IGDA Leadership Summit, Part I)
- Charles Cox on Gamasutra: Sept 8, 2015: Seeking home in a changing industry - IGDA Summit 2015
- Dean Takahashi on Venture Beat: Sept 15, 2015: Using creativity to make both meaning and money
IGDA on the Web
IGDA has been involved in the news and in blogs in a variety of other ways as well, both positive and negative. The following list will attempt to archive these postings.
Darius Kazemi (previous board member who quit over the GDC controversy) on his personal blog: Sept. 3, 2013: Some thoughts on the IGDA (or: why I quit)
Danny Cowan on Joystiq: Feb. 18, 2014: IGDA makes opposition statement to King's 'Candy' trademarks.