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 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

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


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:

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


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


Board Talk – Brian Robbins for March 2014

14 March 2014

robbins_160x160A 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.


Board Talk – Luke Dicken for February 2014

2 February 2014

dicken_160x160Hey all,

My name is Luke Dicken and I’m one of your directors here at the International Game Developers Association. I’ve been on the board for just over 9 months now and I wanted to take a moment to tell you a little bit about that as part of a new monthly post from one of us to hopefully give some insight into what happens behind the scenes.

“The IGDA” is often referred to as if it’s some sort of giant monolithic black-box entity, but that’s not really the case. The IGDA Board are the top layer of the organisation, and we’re the people who are nominally calling the shots. Once we figure out a high level of the “what” we should be doing, Executive Director Kate Edwards steps in to make it happen and figure out the “how”. Right now the board comprises 7 people and we’ve got a pretty diverse range of talents and experiences in terms of our backgrounds in the games industry. Developers, producers, designers and even a lawyer working in the industry are currently part of the board, and we all contribute in different ways. It’s important to remember that the Board isn’t paid – we’re volunteers just like the majority of the rest of the organisation. In fact, we only have two paid members of staff, Kate and Operations Manager Tristin Hightower.

With 7 people all on the board, the vast majority of what we do day-to-day comes down to discussion. We can’t all be pulling in different directions, so we talk things out through email and conference calls. Ideally we come to some sort of consensus on what needs to happen, though sometimes it just has to go to a vote and the majority gets their way. However what that means is that who is on the board is massively important, which is why the elections matter so much. I feel really lucky to be working alongside people who care about the organisation as much as I do, even though we don’t always agree on things.

So what sort of thing do we discuss? Well,let’s take one recent example that resulted in a big win – the website. When I first joined the board, there was a proposed contract in play for a website costing around $50,000. The board sat down to take a closer look at this proposed contract and in the course of that a few concerns were raised about issues like ownership, portability and maintainability. We spent a lot of time talking it out and ultimately decided to go for something very different instead. We went from the vote to change course in early May to having the new site up and running – at a significantly lower cost – on 1st October, not quite 5 months later. Of course very little of the actual work was handled by the Board, we determined what we wanted to do and Kate and Tristin worked to figure out the best way whilst reporting back on their progress. It was a great team effort and highlights just what we can achieve when we all pull in the same direction!

As the first board member to be elected from outside of North America, one of the big things I find myself doing regularly is representing the non-US point of view. It’s hard because it’s very easy to slip into a US-centric approach when thinking about the games industry without even meaning to. It’s something I feel that the IGDA has done in the past and it’s something I’m having to work hard to avoid myself. I’ve been a chapter leader for IGDA Scotland now for over two years, so I try to remember to get some distance and look at things from the point of view of our chapter, rather than simply the Board view – and also to look at it from the perspectives of other chapters around the world whose different circumstances mean they have different needs.

There’s still an awful lot of work to do though. The organisation has a long and checkered history with as many lows as there highs, but what I’d really like you to take away from this post is that whatever you think of the IGDA, the people involved are trying very hard to make a difference!

Yours in service,
Luke Dicken