Why Does Nobody Know the IGDA?

by Darius Kazemi on January 3, 2006

in Uncategorized

I love the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). I’ve been a member for three years now. They’re the non-profit professional organization for game developers, along the lines of what IEEE is for electrical engineers. The IGDA is still a little bit in the up-and-coming stage, but has released excellent white papers in areas like quality of life and online games, and has also done a lot of work on developer advocacy and anti-censorship. One of their other lofty (and admirable!) goals include the formalization of the production process. You can read more about the organization in their summary page.

If you are an aspiring game developer, you should join (some more reasons why are on the linked page). There’s cut rates for students, a measly $30! Do it!

But the real reason I’m posting here is that I wore my IGDA T-shirt to work today for the first time. And people who have been in the industry for one, three, eight (!) years have asked: “What does that stand for?” It’s disheartening.

I think the reason this happens is you get people who really want to make video games. They finally get a lucky break, and they enter the industry, and they think, “Hey. I’m done. I’m in.” And they’re not thinking about the future of the industry, and they’re not thinking about professional development. And even if they are thinking about that, it doesn’t occur to them that there might exist an organization that cares about those very same things.

One way to solve this is to have a corporate ambassadorship program. Word of mouth. If I went around to everyone at my company and spoke of the virtues of the IGDA, I bet I could convert about 10% of the people I talk to. I also bet I could convert about 30% of the people I talk to if I were given recruitment materials by the IGDA. Pamphlets to put in the lunch room? A “Proud IGDA Member” plaque for my cubicle? Even just a sample form letter I could send out would be awesome.

Maybe the IGDA already has such a program, and I’m out of touch?

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