|Formation||1994(as Computer Game Developers Association)|
|Founder||Ernest W. Adams|
|Focus||Computer Games and Interactive Media|
Chair of Board of Directors
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is a nonprofit professional associationwhose stated mission is to "support and empower game developers around the world in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers."
A professional association seeks to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession and the public interest. In the United States, such an association is typically a nonprofit organization for tax purposes.
The IGDA is incorporated in the United States as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. It has over 12,000members from all fields of game development. In recognition of the wide-ranging, multidisciplinary nature of interactive entertainment, everyone who participates in any way in the game development process is welcome to join the IGDA.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
A nonprofit organization, also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a shared point of view. In economic terms, it is an organization that uses its surplus of the revenues to further achieve its ultimate objective, rather than distributing its income to the organization's shareholders, leaders, or members. Nonprofits are tax exempt or charitable, meaning they do not pay income tax on the money that they receive for their organization. They can operate in religious, scientific, research, or educational settings.
—Ernest W. Adams, "Living the Dream: Let's Get Together", The Escapist .
Escapist Magazine is an American video game website and online magazine. First published as a weekly online magazine by Themis Media on July 12, 2005, The Escapist eventually pivoted to a traditional web journalism format and became well-known for a roster of popular video series.
The IGDA was founded in 1994 by Ernest W. Adams and was initially known as the Computer Game Developers Association (CGDA).Modeled after the Association for Computing Machinery, Adams envisioned the organization to support the careers and interests of individual developers, as opposed to being a trade organization, or an advocacy group for companies.
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is an international learned society for computing. It was founded in 1947, and is the world's largest scientific and educational computing society. The ACM is a non-profit professional membership group, claiming nearly 100,000 student and professional members as of 2019. Its headquarters are in New York City.
The need for a professional association for game developers was not apparent until the congressional hearings surrounding Mortal Kombat and other video game legislation became common in the 1990s. With legislation affecting the game development industry, the IGDA developed into a more organized voice for computer game developers as it merged with the Computer Entertainment Developers Association and grew from 300 members to over 12,000 members the next fifteen years.
In December 2012, Kate Edwards was appointed executive director after Gordon Bellamy, the previous executive director, moved on from the position in July of that year to join Tencent.
Kate Edwards was the executive director of the International Game Developers Association from December 2012 to June 2017. She is a geographer, writer and content culturalization strategist, most active in information-based cartography and video game content. Edwards spent over a decade working in various roles at Microsoft, creating the Geopolitical Strategy team and working to evaluate and manage geopolitical and cultural content in software products. After leaving Microsoft she founded Englobe as a consulting firm engaged in content culturalization and strategy, primarily for the video game industry.
An executive director is a chief executive officer (CEO) or managing director of an organization, company, or corporation. The title is widely used in North American non-profit organizations, though many United States nonprofits have adopted the title president or CEO.
Gordon P. Bellamy is an American video game executive. He has over 19 years of experience and leadership in the interactive entertainment industry. Gordon was the Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association from August 2010 until July 2012.
The association as of July 2014 has been working with the FBI to deal with the on-line harassment of developers;Kate Edwards had been approached by the bureau at San Diego Comic-Con International.
In September 2017, Jennifer MacLean was appointed interim executive directorafter managing the IGDA Foundation for more than a year. She was confirmed as permanent executive director in February 2018.
The Board of Directors is the governing body of the IGDA. In April 2019, the IGDA appointed Lucien Parsons as Chair of the Board of Directorsand Emily Greer as Vice-Chair.
Chapters are intended to provide an informal way to connect game developers within local communities. Chapters vary greatly in size and meeting attendance. They provide forums, for example, for discussions on current issues in the computer gaming industry and demos of the latest games.
Special Interest Groups , better known as SIGs, are intended to spark developer interest in a specific topics or disciplines. For example, the Game Education SIG has a stated mission "To create a community resource that will strengthen the academic membership of the IGDA while enhancing the education of future and current game developers." Some SIGs sponsor events, such as creating the Global Game Jam.
Committees are generally formed by the IGDA to conduct research into a subject, normally for a short period, leading to a single report. Some, however, are semi-permanent, and produce yearly reports. Some of these reports lead to gaming industry standards.
Aside from bringing game developers together, the IGDA focuses on the following issues present in the game development industry:
The IGDA, through its chapters and SIGs, organizes hundreds of events for members of the game development industry including chapter meetings and meetups. However, there are larger events that are organized that bring IGDA's international members together:
During the GDC 2013 a party was hosted by co-presenters IGDA and the start-up incubator YetiZen. The event featured at least three girls in white outfits dancing, one was in a shorter t-shirt, another in a furry outfit.Backlash over the presence of these female dancers resulted in the several people resigning in protest, most notably Brenda Romero from the IGDA's Women in Games Special Interest Group steering committee. On the day following the party IGDA Executive Director Kate Edwards issued an apology stating "We regret that the IGDA was involved in this situation. We do not condone activities that objectify or demean women or any other group of people."
On November 20, 2014 the IGDA added a link to "A Twitter tool to block some of the worst offenders in the recent wave of harassment" to their Online Harassment Resources web page.However, due to the method of the list's generation several IGDA members including the Chairman of IGDA Puerto Rico Roberto Rosario were added to the list of harassers. These errors resulted in the IGDA removing the link to the tool on November 22.
A video game developer is a software developer that specializes in video game development – the process and related disciplines of creating video games. A game developer can range from one person who undertakes all tasks to a large business with employee responsibilities split between individual disciplines, such as programming, design, art, testing, etc. Most game development companies have video game publisher financial and usually marketing support. Self-funded developers are known as independent or indie developers and usually make indie games.
The Game Developers Choice Awards are awards annually presented at the Game Developers Conference for outstanding game developers and games. Introduced in 2001, the Game Developers Choice Awards were preceded by the Spotlight Awards, which were presented from 1997 to 1999. Since then, the ceremony for the Independent Games Festival is held just prior to the Choice Awards ceremony.
The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is an annual conference for video game developers.
Mark Evan Cerny is an American video game designer, programmer, producer and entertainment executive. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Cerny graduated from The College Preparatory School and attended UC Berkeley.
Robert "Bob" Bates is an American computer games designer. One of the early designers of interactive fiction games, he was co-founder of Challenge, Inc., which created games in the 1980s for the pioneering company Infocom. After Infocom's dissolution in 1989, Bates co-founded Legend Entertainment to continue publishing games in the Infocom tradition, but with added graphics. He has designed, written, or produced scores of games, including Unreal II (2003), Spider-Man 3 (2007), and Eric the Unready (1993), listed as Adventure Game of the Year by Computer Gaming World magazine and also included on the 1996 list of "150 best games of all time". In 1998 he wrote the award-winning game Quandaries for the U.S. Department of Justice. He has twice been the chairperson of the International Game Developers Association, which honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. Bates has written extensively about game design and development in works such as the 2001 book Game Design: The Art and Business of Creating Games, which is commonly used as a game design textbook in college courses. From 2011–2014, Bates was Chief Creative Officer for External Studios at Zynga. He continues to work as an independent consultant with various publishers in the games industry.
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Brenda Louise Romero, previously known as Brenda Brathwaite, is an American game designer and developer in the video game industry. She was born in Ogdensburg, New York and is a graduate of Clarkson University. Romero is best known for her work on the Wizardry series of role-playing video games and, more recently, the non-digital series The Mechanic is the Message. She has worked in game development since 1981 and has credits on 49 game titles.
Jamil Moledina works in the videogame industry doing business development. He was born in Mombasa, Kenya, raised in London and Los Angeles, and now lives in San Francisco. He works at Google as the Games Strategic Lead for Google Play, managing games curation strategy for key partners on the default Android store, as well as curating the games portfolio for Daydream, Google's VR platform. He was previously the CEO of Wormhole Games, the makers of "Tank Nation." Prior to that he was VP Business Development for Funzio, the makers of "Crime City,", through their acquisition by GREE. Moledina previously directed business development at the EA Partners studio of Electronic Arts, where he created and managed the EA Arthouse initiative to sign and publish indie downloadable games such as "Shank" and "DeathSpank." He also served on the Board of Directors of the International Game Developers Association, the professional association of the game industry.
Jason Della Rocca is the former executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA): Della Rocca supervised the daily operations, outreach initiatives, and membership programs of the organization from September 2000 to March 2009. After leaving the IGDA following his 9-year involvement with the company, Della Rocca founded Perimeter Partners, a consultancy that provides strategic level guidance and expertise to companies and organizations in, and around, the game industry globally. More recently, Della Rocca cofounded a hybrid incubator/accelerator for independent mobile game startups called Execution Labs. In the summer of 2013 he was appointed to the advisory board for the ICT practice of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada's foreign and trade ministry.
Jennifer MacLean is the Executive Director of the IGDA since September 2017. From 2009 to 2012, she was Chief Executive Officer at 38 Studios, an independent game developer.
Marc Mencher is an American executive in the video game industry, who has written multiple articles and books about gaming careers, such as the 2003 book Get in the Game: Careers in the Game Industry. He is best known as co-founder and CEO of the recruiting agency GameRecruiter.com, and is a frequent contributor to game developer trade magazines and websites such as Gamasutra.
Robin Hunicke is an American video game designer and producer. She is a professor of game design at UC Santa Cruz and the co-founder of Funomena.
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Elonka Dunin is an American video game developer and cryptologist. Dunin worked at Simutronics Corp. in St. Louis, Missouri from 1990–2014, and in 2015 was Senior Producer at Black Gate Games in Nashville, Tennessee. She is Chairperson Emerita and one of the founders of the International Game Developers Association's Online Games group, has contributed or been editor in chief on multiple IGDA State of the Industry white papers, and was one of the Directors of the Global Game Jam from 2011–2014.
Virtual Fairground (2008–2011) was a Dutch video game developer from Amsterdam. In 2008 it acquired the Dutch Flash development studio Flashclub to serve as main development outfit. Virtual Fairground created Club Galactik (2010), a Flash based virtual world and MMO based on an international animated television series called Galactik Football. With the game Virtual Fairground targeted a younger audience.
Michael Todd is a Canadian independent video game programmer and designer. He is an active member of the Toronto video game developer community, and an advocate for mental health awareness within the profession.
Mark A. DeLoura is a video gaming advocate and an author. He served as the Senior Advisor for Digital Media for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), he was Editor in Chief of Game Developer magazine, and he has held various gaming-related positions at major companies including Sony, Nintendo, Ubisoft, THQ, and Google.
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