Where Does the IGDA Go From Here?

With the recent departure of longtime executive director Jason Della Rocca, the International Game Developers Association appears to be at a crossroads.

Della Rocca’s replacement has not yet been named. David Edery writing for his Game Tycoon blog, notes that the organization seems to be yet again hung up on the competing issues of quality of life vs. profit making. Edery writes:

I’m going to sidestep the question of whether or not the IGDA should be taking a hard stand on quality of life issues… That is, frankly, a much less important question than this: what exactly is the IGDA supposed to stand for, and who does it represent?

As Edery notes, many IGDA members are game industry employees and independent contractors while others are monied studio owners. Even the term game developer is used both individually, to describe workers and collectively, to describe studios. Edery wonders where the IGDA is headed:

If one takes for granted that the IGDA should derive its funding and authority from individual professionals as opposed to entities… then the obvious and most important question becomes: how can the IGDA attract enough individual members and funding to legitimately pursue its agenda…

Today, someone might be forgiven for thinking she has little reason to join the IGDA. Our industry’s most prestigious publications and conferences are operated by other organizations. Government lobbying is coordinated primarily by the ESA. And the IGDA’s membership benefits… are relatively limited in scope…

GP: At the most basic level, Edery seems to be asking: Is the IGDA a labor union or a trade association? The larger implication of that question, clearly, is whether game industry workers should unionize.

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