Tom Buscaglia Elected Chair, IGDA; Justin Berenbaum, Jon Grande, Anne Toole Join Board

16 April 2014

MOUNT ROYAL, NJ ‐ 16 April 2014 – Tom Buscaglia was elected chair of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) during the April 2014 board of directors’ meeting. Also elected to officer positions were Jon Grande, secretary, and Ed Fries, re-elected treasurer. Dustin Clingman becomes chair emeritus.

Justin Berenbaum, Jon Grande and Anne Toole also joined the board in April as first‐term members.

Buscaglia, who returned to the board for a third term starting in 2013, said, “I think we have a great team this year which should make my tenure as IGDA chair that much easier. I look forward to a productive and fun year ahead for the IGDA.”

A new chair and new trustees were also appointed to the IGDA Foundation for 2014.

“As one of the founders of the IGDA charitable foundation, I am pleased to see Luke Dicken stepping up to take on the role I am vacating, foundation chair,” said Buscaglia. “As a charity by developers for developers, the IGDA Foundation has the potential to accomplish great things, not just for IGDA Members, but for everyone in the game development community.”

Dicken, who will now take over as chair of the foundation, was appointed to a 3-year term on the board of trustees while Fries was appointed to a 2-year term.

IGDA’s complete list of 2014‐2015 Directors:

  • Tom Buscaglia (Chair) – The Game Attorney
  • Jon Grande (Secretary) – Chief Product Officer & General Manager, Tap Slots Inc.
  • Ed Fries (Treasurer) ‐ Former VP, Microsoft Studios
  • Dustin Clingman (Chair Emeritus) – CEO, PlaysTogether
  • Justin Berenbaum – VP of Business Development & Strategic Relations, 505 Games
  • Luke Dicken – Founder, Robot Overlord Games
  • Sheri Graner Ray – Founder, Zombie Cat Studios
  • Sheri Rubin – Founder, Design Direct Deliver
  • Anne Toole – Writer, The Write Toole

Visit www.igda.org/directors for more information.

About the International Game Developers Association (IGDA)
In its 20th year, the International Game Developers Association is the largest non‐profit membership organization serving individuals who create video games. The IGDA is committed to advancing the careers and enhancing the lives of game developers by connecting members with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues that affect the developer community. For more information on the IGDA, please visit www.igda.org.

About the IGDA Foundation
The IGDA Foundation supports the mission of the International Game Developers Association, “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,” through educational, scientific and charitable works. For more information on the IGDA Foundation, please visit foundation.igda.org.

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Board Talk – Dustin Clingman for April 2014

14 April 2014

2014 marks my 15th year as a professional in the Game Industry. How time flies! Nearly my entire career, I’ve been a volunteer for IGDA. I was advised by the late Erick Wujcik that being a member of the (then) CGDA was the responsibility of all developers. He told me it was our obligation to “pay forward” the help we receive throughout our careers. I joined up and tried to help as much as I could to honor Erick’s advice and his memory.

I’m very proud of the things that the IGDA has been able to accomplish during its first 20 years. Thousands of lives have been touched and improved by the hard work of countless volunteers around the world. It would be very easy to be satisfied with the fruits of those labors, but in truth it’s not enough.

We are a young industry full of bright and creative minds. The fact that we make so many poor choices is baffling at times. It’s time for our industry to define ourselves through bold choices and deliberate actions before the opportunity is permanently forfeited.

For as much as the IGDA has accomplished, there is still much yet to do. To be specific, there are two specific subjects that I believe require a massive shift in focus from the IGDA and its Membership immediately.

The IGDA needs to more actively combat racism in the game industry! We need to ask our Membership to publicly decry racism and to oppose it anywhere in our industry. We need our Industry Partners to also publicly align with our mission to stamp out this foul behavior anywhere it may be found.

The IGDA needs to actively fight against misogyny in the games industry! We need to provide education and training to arm our membership as to what steps to take to improve working conditions for women around the world. We need our Industry Partners to vocally oppose misogynistic behaviors on any level in their organizations and help provide resources to advance the cause of women in the game industry.

These causes are worthy of our time and focus. They represent some of the most important next steps in our Industry’s maturity. It is my sincere hope that we continue to see the IGDA’s leadership on these issues.

This month concludes my term as Board Chair. As I reflect upon my term, I’m personally humbled to have worked with the thousands of volunteers who make the IGDA operate. We’re blessed to have an outstanding Board of Directors and an amazing Executive Director in Kate Edwards.

The future is bright, let’s claim it together!

Dustin Clingman
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GDC, New Board Year, Minutes, Announcements and More – 31 March 2014

31 March 2014

Hello IGDA members!

It’s the end of March. Elections are over, GDC has passed, and a new board year is about to start. So many great things are happening and so we wanted to give you a quick recap:

GDC:
IGDA had a great GDC week filled with 20th anniversary celebrations, roundtables, social gatherings, great talks, and more. Keep an eye out on our weekly IGDA Insider to hear some of the recaps and to learn more about our GDC Vault discount in case you weren’t able to attend or were there but missed some talks!

A huge thank you goes out to our staff and volunteers who make our presence at GDC possible – the org thanks you for all your hard work at pulling off a successful IGDA at GDC!

Election and Board Member Transitions:

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in our election and helped us to reach quorum! Two new board members were elected and a third one was appointed and they start their terms tomorrow! Read our elections recap post for more details.

Meeting Minutes:
Several meeting minutes have been posted and are available for review on our main IGDA site. Due to a technical issue we do not have any meeting minutes for December 2013, but a placeholder was put in the minutes section as we do have the pre-meeting updates available.

January and February 2014 meeting minutes are now live on the site and March’s meeting minutes will be up once they are approved in the April board meeting.

Board Talk:
Have you seen our new blog post series called Board Talk? You can check out Luke Dicken’s first post in the series here and Brian Robbins’ second post in March here. Outgoing Chair Dustin Clingman will be up next in April with his post.

Meeting Announcement and New Officers:
Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, 10 April where we’ll approve the March minutes, talk about the various projects, programs, and services the IGDA is working to create for you, and hold officer elections. Since a new board year is starting the elections for the Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer positions will be held. The election for the Vice Chair position is done 6 months after the start of the term. We will do a full release regarding the new board members and officer elections in late April/early May.

As always you can reach out to the board member working in your area of interest via email by using the contact info located on our About page – your questions, suggestions, and support are always welcome!

Yours in service,
IGDA Board of Directors

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2014 IGDA Board Election Results – 24 March 2014

26 March 2014

Another year has passed and another IGDA Board of Directors election has concluded. We are very happy to announce the results for the 2014 IGDA Board of Directors election.

Total Ballots Submitted: 787
Anne Toole – Total Votes: 592
Jon Grande – Total Votes: 259
Justin Berenbaum – Total Votes: 212

We met quorum!! Quorum this year was set at 594 ballots (10% of all voting eligible members) so we passed it and then some as this year saw an increase in the total number of ballots submitted. We want to thank all of our members who turned out to vote and got engaged with the organization.

Since we met quorum, the election was certified by the Board and Anne Toole and Jon Grande were confirmed as the two elected board members.

The Board of Directors is comprised of 6 elected seats with an additional 3 seats that can be appointed by the board at any time. With two seats appointed seats still unused the board also reviewed Justin Berenbaum’s background and skill set and made the decision to appoint Justin to one of the open seats and we’re happy to announce he has accepted the appointment.

This means that all three members will take their seats on 1 April and will serve a 3-year term. We’ll be updating the About the Board pages on our website and Blog shortly.

Please join us in congratulating Anne, Jon, and Justin as well as thanking our outgoing board member Brian Robbins and Dustin Clingman whose term is up, but as Chair will transition to the Chair Emeritus role and serve in a special ex-officio seat for one more year.

Yours in Service,
IGDA Board of Directors

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Board Talk – Brian Robbins for March 2014

14 March 2014

A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a hiring manager from a large company in the game industry when they started lamenting about the “privileged” kids that were applying for positions in games today. His main complaint was that almost all of them were asking questions about what quality of life was like at their studio, and trying to understand how much they crunched, and if it would be expected of them. Apparently most of them had heard it could be really bad and wanted to know if that was true. This manager hated that fact, and felt that everyone “needed to put in their time” before they started getting so full of themselves to think that they wouldn’t need to crunch. To him crunching was almost a rite of passage. He even went so far as to indicate that he wanted to hire people willing to work hard, not “babies” that were so concerned about the amount of hours they put in.

This, more than anything else I can think of, illuminated just how far this industry has come since I joined the IGDA board, and how far we still have to go. On the one hand, I think it’s awesome that young people just getting into the industry are paying attention and asking about quality of life. Awareness and education is a huge step in getting this industry to move away from that destructive practice.

On the other hand, it is obvious that we still have a long way to go when hiring managers think someone is “a baby” for asking about how many hours they will be expected to work and whether or not a studio crunches. It’s particularly appalling to me that not only are there still people who think crunch is okay but that they are offended when someone feels so “privileged” to ask about it as part of the interview process. While I personally believe (and have the data to back me up) that crunch does not enhance productivity and is bad for the studio, the individual and the final product, I still think that it’s up to each individual to decide what they are and are not willing to do. I don’t like studios that crunch, but the ones that try to hide it from prospective employees are doing an even greater disservice to themselves and showing a complete lack of respect for their potential employees.

When I joined the board 4 1/2 years ago I had plans to transform this industry into one that treated its workers with respect, and celebrated their lives in and outside of work. I hoped that we could make issues like crunch and quality of life a thing of the past. While we still have a long way to go the fact that even students are asking about it shows how far we have already come.

This is my final month on the Board of Directors and I’d like to close by thanking all of our members, volunteers, supporters and staff for everything you have done to push the mission, vision and values of the IGDA. The IGDA is truly a volunteer association, and it is all of you that make this organization what it is.

Thank you!

Brian Robbins
Board Member Oct 2009 – March 2014, Chair August 2010 – March 2012, IGDA Foundation Trustee 2010-2014.

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