I decided to run for the board of the IGDA this year. As part of that process, I was asked to write a “candidate position statement” and answer some questions, all of which I have copied below. (This material is also available on the IGDA website.)
If you are an IGDA member, I would really appreciate your vote. The poll is open now and closes on February 28th.
Candidate Position Statement:
I am running for the IGDA Board because I believe the IGDA is faced with a vital problem: many people in our industry can’t see why they should join or actively participate in the IGDA. It’s easy to understand why. First, our industry’s most prestigious publications and conferences are operated by other organizations. Second, our government lobbying is led primarily by the ESA. And lastly, the tangible benefits of IGDA membership – other than the recent health insurance offering – are unclear to many people. I believe that lack of progress on these fronts will jeopardize the IGDA and undermine its ability to tackle issues its members care about, such as quality of life and credit standards.
We — that is, *all* game developers, not just the large companies that comprise the ESA’s membership — need an organization that represents our interests and enhances the creative and business opportunities available to each of us. But we will never reach that goal without first building an organization whose value to potential members is self-evident. When people can’t see the value in paying $48 bucks for an annual membership, you know something is wrong.
If elected, I will focus on increasing the tangible value of IGDA membership. I’d like to ensure that content from the excellent IGDA Leadership Forum is freely available to all members, not just those who can attend the event. I’d like to enhance the ties between the IGDA and GDC to the extent that it benefits IGDA members. I’d like to grow programs, such as the IGDA’s webinar series, that bring useful business and legal information to IGDA members worldwide. And lastly, I’d like to explore the creation of additional benefits like the IGDA’s new group health plan; for example, a group legal plan.
In my time as portfolio manager of Xbox LIVE Arcade and as a consultant, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many game developers. What has differentiated those that succeed from those that struggle is a combination of skill, luck, access to information, and the ability (and opportunity) to promote themselves. The IGDA can’t give developers luck, but it *can* open their eyes to common stumbling blocks, teach them about business, enhance their networking opportunities and help improve their skills. It can reduce the financial burdens that developers face and arm them with the tools they need to succeed… and increase its own legitimacy in the process.