IGDA Criticizes Amazon Android App Store Terms

April 15, 2011 -

The International Game Developers Association posted a lengthy criticism of the recently launched Android App Store after its distribution terms and profit sharing requirements were revealed. The post, which was signed by "The IGDA Board of Directors," lists serious concerns the trade group has with the terms Amazon wants developers to accept before selling an app. Speaking to developers, the IGDA warned that Amazon reserves the right to control the pricing of games and the right to pay "the greater of 70 percent of the purchase price or 20 percent of the List Price."

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IGDA 2011 Election Results

March 24, 2011 -

The 2011 International Game Developers Association elections are over and the votes are in. This year’s votes did not manage to meet a quorum. Under the rules of the group, this gives the IGDA the right to hand pick its board members. The IGDA did say that member participation in this year's election was up 18 percent from 11 percent last year.

From the group's site:

"Since we did not meet quorum, the election was declared void and the Board this morning selected the new board members. As is custom, we decided to select the top five vote getters for the five available seats. Since one of the seats was only for a one year term (vacated by Gordon Bellamy upon taking the Executive Director position), the person with the fifth highest vote count was selected to that seat."

Selected to the four available 3-year seats:

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2011 IGDA Board Of Directors Candidates

February 21, 2011 -

The 2011 IGDA Board of Directors candidates have been revealed on the organization’s oficial site.

Each lists their biography, accomplishments, and what they believe they bring to the IGDA that is unique. If nothing else, it is an interesting read for non-IGDA members.

The list includes the following

 

 

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IGDA Frontman Gets Grilled

November 9, 2010 -

Gordon Bellamy, the Acting Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association, gets grilled by Gaming Business Review about his background in the industry, changes that are coming to the organization dedicated to developers, and a whole lot more.

Here is a small taste of the interview:

GBR: What are your thoughts on the industry right now? What are the biggest concerns for supporting and representing all the different types of game development from console, casual, social, mobile, MMOs, etc?

GB: My overall thought is that this is an amazing time in that there are lower and lower barriers to entry in developers getting their creative product to consumers.

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IGDA Gives the Gift of Warren Spector

October 14, 2010 -

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) chapter that can attract the most new members will get a special prize - a keynote by Junction Point founder Warren Spector. The most successful chapter of the interest group dedicated to game developers will get a speech delivered by the man behind the upcoming Epic Mickey game from Disney. The deadline for this challenge is Friday, November 19.

The global challenge (there are 81 IGDA chapters around the world) uses a point system: a Lifetime Membership ($600 each) generates 10 points, a two-year Core Membership is worth 5 points and a one-year Core Membership is 2 points and a Student Membership is worth 1 point.

Obviously, the goal of this special challenge is to generate interest in the group and rapidly swell its ranks. More information on the IGDA can be found at www.igda.org.

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IGDA Announces New Acting Executive Director

August 19, 2010 -

In late July it was revealed that International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Executive Director Joshua Caulfield was stepping down and the organization was looking for his replacement.

According to an IDGA blog post, they have found their man, at least temporarily anyway, as Gordon Bellamy will serve as Acting Executive Director. A member of the IGDA Board of Directors since 2009—and Chairman since March—Bellamy has a long career in the game development business, with stops at Electronic Arts, THQ, MTV Networks and Z-Axis. He was also formerly Executive Director for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) and is currently a Senior Producer of Emerging Media at yU+co.

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IGDA Looking for New Executive Director

July 26, 2010 -

International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Executive Director Joshua Caulfield (pictured) is leaving the organization in order to take a similar post with an association for architecture students.

IGDA Board of Directors Chairman Gordon Bellamy called Caulfield’s departure “amicable,” adding, “… we appreciate all the hard work and dedication Joshua has poured into being our Executive Director over the last year.”

The IGDA also noted that it is reorganizing its infrastructure in order to “better serve its members.” As part of its retooling, the IGDA created a committee system, with each committee—Membership, Policy/Advocacy, Events/Sponsorship/Partners, Technology, Marketing/Communications, Special Interest Groups and Chapters—chaired by a board member.

Caulfield said it was “time for the next step in my career.” He continued, ““I think the IGDA is headed in a great direction, and I look forward to helping to make this a smooth transition.”

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IGDA Pitching in to Help Kids Make Healthy Games

May 12, 2010 -

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in concert with Games for Health, will launch “game jams” in six U.S. cities, including Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, Orlando, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Albany, and Fairfax, on May 21st.

The jams are designed to leverage the capabilities of game developers in support of the Apps for Healthy Kids competition, which is part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. Developers, artists and local youth will gather to make game prototypes in just 48 hours.

IGDA Board Chair Gordon Bellamy said, “This unique partnership provides a fun way for our members to focus their creative energies towards the goal of the Apps for Healthy Kids competition. We’re looking forward toward generating some amazing entries for the contest.”

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Unofficial Guide to IGDA Board Elections Now Online

February 19, 2010 -

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is in the midst of electing new members to its Board of Directors.

The election features 23 candidates in the running for five seats. Terms are three years long. The election is now open and will run through February 28.

So, IGDA members, who should you vote for? Macguffin Games founder Scott Macmillan may be able to help you further shape your opinion.

While the IGDA website features position statements and answers to a series of common questions from each candidate, Macmillan feels that members of the IGDA should take it a step further and “read these statements, come up with questions, and get the candidates to answer them.”

So, this is exactly what he did; Macmillan’s blog offers his personal opinion on each of the candidates. He writes:

I realize that my assessments could be considered tough on the candidates, but I think that we simply must have a conversation about this stuff, and that we need to set a high bar.  I apologize for any personal discomfort it might cause to the candidates.

Additionally, some candidates have responded to Macmillan’s personalized questions with their own answers.

Macmillan notes that the IGDA has “had its share of wounds in the last two years.”  As a game developer himself—and IGDA member—he is obviously interested in the proceedings and hopes that his contribution will result in the election of “non-asshats.”


Digital Education Coalition Offers FCC Net Neutrality Comments

January 15, 2010 -

The Digital Education Coalition, comprised of The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), The International Game Developers Association (IGDA), the Media Education Lab at Temple University and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), has offered comments to the Federal Communications Commission in favor of Net Neutrality.

The document (PDF here) notes why net neutrality is important to coalition members:

The digital education community needs access to a wide variety of online content, which broadband service providers are currently able to block or filter. Further, members of the community need to transmit and access content such as videos, speeches and photos, which require large amounts of bandwidth. The only way to protect educational interests online is to prohibit content-based discrimination.


The group also seeks to persuade the FCC to require internet service providers to act more transparently and to disclose network management practices on their websites.

Members of the digital education community currently have limited access to the network management practices of service providers. Yet, this information is needed to help educators to plan their curricula, enable media literacy educators to teach about network transmissions and assist game developers in the creation of innovative teaching tools.


Disclosure: GamePolitics is a publication of the ECA.

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IGDA, Rockstar Reply to Allegations of Over Work

January 14, 2010 -

Both the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and Rockstar Games have issued responses to an open letter posted on Gamasutra which claimed deteriorating working conditions at the Rockstar San Diego studio.

Rockstar’s response came in the way of a comment on the original Gamasutra story, where user "Justwanna makegames" posted what appears to be an internal email from Rockstar to employees.

A few selections:

We do not agree with the allegations in the Gamasutra post (e.g. there has been no reduction in health benefits or ancillary benefits and perks (such as free dinners and massages etc), wage increases across the studio have kept track with cost of living increases, and anyone who feels they have been overlooked for a bonus for a game they worked on please contact HR to discuss as soon as possible).

Nevertheless, we do know that the team is working very hard right now, and we care deeply about the physical health and mental well-being of every single person on our team. We are committed to working through any issues anyone at the studio may have, and to providing support wherever possible.

In a post on its website, the IGDA wrote:

In any studio, the IGDA finds the practice of undisclosed and constant overtime to be deceptive, exploitative, and ultimately harmful not only to developers but to their final product and the industry as a whole. While our research shows that many studios have found ways to preserve quality of life for their employees, unhealthy practices are still far too common in our industry.

More:

Events like these raise the awareness of quality of life issues in the industry and among the public.  The IGDA has made clear its stance on excessive uncompensated overtime, and this instance represents an opportunity for reflection across the industry.

Additionally, MTV reached out to a former Rockstar New York employee who verified the claims made by Rockstar San Diego staffers.

The unnamed ex-employee even went so far as to compare Rockstar New York to the “Eye of Sauron” when it comes to dealing with other Rockstar studios:

Basically you'd have a studio working without guidance or milestones for nearly two years and then Rockstar NYC would suddenly pay attention to the project, making major changes as if out of the blue.

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Alleged Trademark Troll Resigns From IGDA Board

September 1, 2009 -

After months of controversy, Tim Langdell has resigned from the executive board of the International Game Developers Association, reports Develop.

Langdell, accused by some of being an abuser of the trademark process, explained his reasons for stepping down in a post on the IGDA's forum:

My great fear, then, is that this vocal minority [of critics] -- most of whom are not IGDA members -- will continue their negative attacks on the IGDA... It seems nearly certain they will continue to generate even more negative press for the IGDA... causing substantial drain on IGDA board volunteer and staff resources and time, which is not in the interests of either the IGDA or its membership...

I make this decision not because I have done anything wrong... but because I must make this decision between concluding a process that will show I did no wrong, and having that process irreparably damage the IGDA, I cannot permit the latter to happen...

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Alleged Trademark Troll and iPhone Developer Trade Volleys

August 12, 2009 -

The Tim Langdell saga continues...

By now, most readers are familiar with the controversy surrounding IGDA board member Tim Langdell, considered by many to be an abuser of the trademark process.

Perhaps the most frequently-heard complaint against Langdell is that in May of this year he persuaded Apple to remove the best-selling iPhone game EDGE from the App Store by claiming that the MobiGames title violated his trademark on the word "edge."

In the interim a movement to oust him from the IGDA board has taken hold, with more than 2,000 members of the group signing a petition to that effect.

Langdell has now fired back, disputing various allegations in an open letter to MobiGames and posting the text of various e-mails.

Pocket Gamer UK, however, has news of a response from MobiGames. There is a good deal of finger-pointing from both sides and it sounds as if this one will need to be worked out before a judge.

Partially Via: Kotaku

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Petition to Remove Controversial IGDA Board Member Garners Required Signatures

August 6, 2009 -

The Tim Langdell saga continues...

Develop reports that a petition to remove the controversial Langdell from the board of directors of the International Game Developers Association has garnered far beyond the 1,200 signatures required by the organization's by-laws. More than 2,000 IGDA members reportedly signed the petition against Langdell, who is regarded by many as a "trademark troll" - an abuser of the trademark process. The vote should trigger a special meeting at which members could vote to remove Langdell from the IGDA board.

IGDA member Corvus Elrod, who devised the petition, told Develop:

It's true, we've got the signatures we need. But now the hard work really begins, as we convince the board to take it seriously and the entire membership to take a stand and vote.

Meanwhile, The Escapist recounts an e-mail flap involving the ongoing Langdell situation. While new IGDA Executive Director Joshua Caulfield disavowed an e-mail circulated to members this week calling for Langdell's removal, Orbus Gameworks President Darius Kazemi believes the messages are legitimate:

[Kazemi] believes a group of people opposed to Langdell's presence on the Board of Directors simply divided the member list between them and used those contact forms to send the message.

"Nobody obtained email addresses through dubious means," he wrote. "It's like sending a message via Facebook messaging... These messages were not sent in an unethical or illegal way. If anything, the messages are a consequence of the rather poor state of the current IGDA website."

To view the e-mail, click here.

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Petition Underway to Remove Controversial IGDA Board Member

July 22, 2009 -

The recent controversy brewing around the aggressive trademark defense tactics of game developer Tim Langdell has sparked a petition to remove him from the executive board of the International Game Developers Association.

GamesLaw reports that game writer Corvus Elrod is the creator of the online petition. Elrod hopes to obtain signatures from at least 10% of the organization's members. If so, he will present the petition to the board "and force them to call a special meeting of the membership to vote on Tim Langdell’s removal."

Dan Rosenthal, editor of GamesLaw, comments on the increasingly unpleasant situation:

This is obviously a huge issue, especially for a very troubled IGDA. There have been recent questions in mainstream blogs and those of several high profile industry members questioning what exactly IGDA is providing to its members. The trademark issue further fans the flames of allegations that IGDA isn’t doing enough, and it’s being talked about by key industry figures...

Rosenthal mentions that he hopes to discuss the Langdell/IGDA situation at his Legal Issues in Gaming panel at the upcoming PAX 2009.

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Former IGDA Boss Reacts to the New Guy

July 6, 2009 -

Jason Della Rocca, who stepped down in April following a nine-year stint as executive director of the International Game Developers Association, offered his impressions about the hiring of his successor, Joshua Caulfield.

On his Reality Panic blog Jason writes:

My parting advice to the IGDA board was to hire an association professional - and specifically NOT a game person... Ultimately, what the IGDA needed (and part of the reason why I left) was someone who has real experience with leading a non-profit association, who can be a partner with the board of directors, can drive forward on governance issues, rope in wide ranging stakeholders, understand the financial/legal landscape and membership models, etc, etc...

Good luck Joshua, the community is watching!

Jason, who had many accomplishments as IGDA boss, once rather memorably spurned the opportunity to debate with Jack Thompson.


IGDA Names New Executive Director

July 2, 2009 -

Following months of seraching, the International Game Developers Association has named a new executive director.

Gamasutra reports that Joshua Caulfield (left) will replace Jason Della Rocca, who departed earlier this year. Caulfield's background is in trade association management, not gaming, His previous gig was as the Executive VP of the American Machine Tool Distributors Association. He does, however, enjoy games:

I'm an avid gamer. I'm clearly not a game developer, and there's a big difference there, but I do understand the medium. I play a lot of games; I have a group and we play a lot of MMOs. I'm quite familair with the industry from a gamer's perspective. So that helps a lot...

 

I have most of the consoles, and I pull them out when I have a little alone time, but my true love is MMOs on the PC. I'm generally an RPGer. My group just got off a stint on World of Warcraft, where I play a Shadow Priest. I play the backup healer, because if the main healer goes down, your backup healer better be ready.

We're right now playing Guild Wars, and I'm playing a Monk, so I'm a healer again. I tend to do the support role a lot.

Caulfield expects to maintain a lower public profile than Della Rocca, with the IGDA board taking on the public interface role. Caulfield also talked about his vision for the game developers' organization:

The IGDA's mission has remained very much the same: That is, to support the professional game developer -- specifically, I believe, to serve individuals to create video games, to enhance the lives of game developers, to connect developers with their peers, and so on...

There are a lot of differences between a union and a professional association. I really can't say whether this industry needs a union or not, because I don't know enough about the individuals of this industry yet.

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Help Wanted: IGDA Seeks New Leader, Must Love Games

May 6, 2009 -

With the post-GDC departure of longtime executive director Jason Della Rocca, the International Game Developers Association is seeking a replacement.

For those who are interested - or merely curious - a lengthy job description is available on Gamasutra:

[IGDA] is looking for an influential leader to carry out the organization's strategic plans and take responsibility for achieving its short and long-term goals, work closely with the IGDA Board of Directors, volunteers and a small "virtual staff", the Executive Director will take an entrepreneurial approach to setting strategies and organizing operations to maximize the fundraising potential of the IGDA...

GP: Applicants should enjoy airline food. According to ad, about 20% of the time the IGDA executive director will be on the road.

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Where Does the IGDA Go From Here?

April 27, 2009 -

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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New Game Industry Advocacy Group Launches

April 16, 2009 -

A new video game advocacy group has been stepped onto the scene.

The Entertainment Media Council, created last year, but officially launched this week, is led by CEO Morgan Ramsay (left). Ramsay formerly served as head of the San Diego chapter of the International Game Developers Association.

A press release on the EMC website offers some details of the group's mission:

Entertainment Media Council is pursuing a broad agenda for advancing the interactive entertainment business in the United States.

“With interactive entertainment in the midst of a sea change, the need for a navigator is more pronounced than ever,” said Morgan Ramsay, president and chief executive officer at Entertainment Media Council. “We are embarking on a mission to solve the most challenging problems facing the industry today.”

Entertainment Media Council will harness the collective intelligence of an inclusive assembly of entrepreneurs and corporate leaders to support and focus on entrepreneurship, organizational innovation, social responsibility, environmental sustainability, professional diversity, and globalization.

As to video game industry experience, Ramsay's LinkedIn Profile says that he "held roles" at Sony Online Entertainment and SCEA.

Gamasutra reports that EMC will seek start-up capital from corporate sponsors and private investors.

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Longtime Head of Game Devs Group Bows Out with GDC Rant

April 2, 2009 -

As GamePolitics reported last month, Jason Della Rocca, executive director of the International Game Developers Association, announced that he would leave the organization at the conclusion of last week's Game Developers Conference.

With GDC now over, Jason has moved on.

Yesterday was his last official day with IGDA and Jason took the opportunity to post his final GDC rant on his Reality Panic blog. His comments seem to betray a certain amount of pent-up frustration with the game development community:

Serving the IGDA for the past 9 years has been extremely rewarding and challenging. I helped to get a lot done, but somehow feel that I failed the community.

Sorry for not having the leadership skills to beat the barriers of participation inequality. Less than 1% of the IGDA membership are truly active in driving the org forward... Sorry for not overcoming your general apathy and laziness.

Sorry for not doing a better job of roping in all the snipers from the sidelines. Turns out you are all pretty damn good at bitching and complaining and being critical. But then you don’t actually do anything about it and you don’t get involved...

Sorry for not getting you to be more serious about the profession of game development... This is a real art and science. We need to be way more deliberate and control the path the profession takes as it evolves into the future.

Most of all, sorry for not doing more to help you realize your power! ...You are all having a massive impact on society. You are transforming the world day-by-day without even realizing it.

Oh well, f* you, it’s not my job anymore!

Sorry.

What's next for JDR? He told GamePolitics via e-mail:

I'll be doing my own thing. Short version is that I'll primarily be doing economic development consulting for international governments working to build their local game development cluster/industry.

GP: Jason is a great guy and we wish him the best, going forward.

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IGDA's Jason Della Rocca Says He's Moving On

February 2, 2009 -

Jason Della Rocca, executive director of the International Game Developers Association, has just dropped a game industry bombshell:

He's moving on.

Della Rocca, who has headed the IGDA for eight-plus years, posted an announcement a short while ago on his Reality Panic blog:

It has been a wonderfully rewarding and stimulating 8+ years that I’ve served the IGDA, and it is now time for me to go. There are three key elements to my departure:

   1. There are some exciting personal opportunities that I want to pursue that simply require me to strike out on my own and step away from my role as the IGDA’s executive director. (Watch for more specific news on this after GDC, and no, I’m not starting a game development studio.)
   2. After 8.5 years of service, I won’t deny a certain amount of, uh, fatigue.
   3. Given the maturation and evolution of the IGDA, I’m not sure if I’m actually the “right guy” anymore…

Regarding #3, while I believe that my particular skills and strengths suited the needs of the IGDA along the way, the org has grown to the point where different styles of leadership should probably be explored.

Entertainment Consumers Association president Hal Halpin offered praise for Della Rocca:

The departure of Jason Della Rocca from his post as head of the IGDA isn’t just a loss for the association, it’s a loss for the sector as a whole. I am honored and privileged to have worked with him and can’t say enough about his tireless efforts and steadfast dedication to his members. I wish him luck in his new career and believe that we all owe him a debt of gratitude for the change that he was able to foster, the fruits of which we all enjoy.

GP: Jason is truly a class act; he will be missed at IGDA. We wish him the best of luck, where ever he lands.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

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IGDA Founder Frets About Obama's Effect on Video Games

December 1, 2008 -

Will Barack Obama take on the video game industry once he is sworn in?

That remains to be seen. The President-elect's plate is mighty full, of course, with more critical issues like the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, healthcare, homeland security and the formation of a coherent energy policy.

But in a lengthy, impassioned column for Gamasutra, longtime video game designer Ernest Adams, co-founder of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), worries that games may eventually appear on Obama's radar:

I don't entirely trust [Obama] on this issue. Obama is a centrist who believes in bringing parties together and trying to find compromises that both can live with. That's great when we're talking about the tax code or immigration policy. It's not great when we're talking about the First Amendment...

He's no hardcore apocalypticist who believes that the End Times are imminent and video games are a sign of man's depravity; nor is he such a bleeding heart that he thinks that game content must be federally-controlled for the sake of the children. However, he will undoubtedly be lobbied by people who do believe such things. The question is, will he stand up to them and tell them to get stuffed? I'm not sure yet...

 

My greatest hope lies not with Obama or the Democratic Congress, but with the judges that Obama will appoint. He has the power to influence the judiciary for many years to come, and I strongly doubt that he will appoint anyone who is likely to whittle away at the First Amendment. Politicians are easily influenced by moral panics; judges less so...

In addition to his game design experience (primarily with the Madden series), Adams is an author and a professor.

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Do Gamer Advocates Need to Be Gamers?

August 30, 2008 -

Toward the end of a Games, Politics & Policy panel I was moderating at PAX yesterday, a guy in the audience asked a question that was really more of a challenge. He wanted (demanded?) to know whether each of the four panel members and myself as moderator played games.

As it turned out, we did. Everyone explained their own gaming habits. I mentioned that I've reviewed games for more than a decade for the Philadelphia Inquirer and that if it's out there, I've probably played it. The questioner seemed satisfied.

But that particular question stuck with me after the session. The more I thought about it, the more frustrated I became.

The panel, you see, was packed with experts who work hard to make the gaming scene better. At least two attorneys were seated at the table. Jennifer Mercurio works on policy and legislative issues for the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA). Bo Andersen heads the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), which represents video game retailers. Both spoke passionately about the First Amendment rights of game creators, game sellers and game consumers.

Also on board were Jason Della Rocca, executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and Alex Quinn, head of Games For Change. Jason workes tirelessly on behalf of the people who make the games we love. Alex spearheads a movement to exploit the power of games in positive ways.

As it turns out, they all game to some degree, but - so what? Do you need to have a level 70 WoW character to be a good advocate for games? If I blow my knee out playing softball, do I care if the orthopedic surgeon has a catcher's mitt at home? No. I just want her to use her professional skills to patch me up.

And so it is with our panelists. I retrospect I feel that the question was insulting, although probably not intentionally so. What I wish I had said to the guy was: Sure, it's good to play games in order to understand their context, but professional expertise on issues like the First Amendment, Fair Use and Net Neutrality transcends the game space. And, as a gamer, it's comforting to know that skilled people are fighting on my behalf. Whether they are also fighting the Horde on WoW is not so important to me.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

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New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to Signing

July 18, 2008 -

There is a good deal of buzz this week surrounding video game-oriented legislation passed overwhelmingly last month by the New York state legislature. New York Gov. David Paterson (left) must decide by July 23rd whether he will sign the bill into law or let it die.

In a story broken by GamePolitics on June 24th, we reported that the NY State Senate passed, by a 61-1 vote, Sen. Andrew Lanza's bill which:

  • requires that games carry a rating
  • requires games consoles to have parental controls
  • establishes a 16-member advisory council on media violence

While the various segments of the video game industry have taken no unified position to date, the Binghampton Press details opposition to the bill from some unusual corners.

Grover Nordquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, said:

This is a feel-good piece of legislation that really doesn't so anything.

GP: That's certainly true (see: NY Video Game Bill Barks, Doesn't Bite)

Robert Perry of the New York chapter of the ACLU, added:

This bill would have the state regulating constitutionally protected speech. The courts will not permit that.

GP: Since the bill doesn't restrict content or sales based on content, we're assuming that the ACLU's Perry is referring to the requirement that games be labeled with a rating, which they already are on a voluntary basis.

Derek Hunter of the Media Freedom Project said:

The bill is unnecessary. The video-game industry is praised as the best at policing itself. They have a great ratings system.

Adam Thierer, writing for the Tech Liberation Front, calls the bill "unnecessary, unworkable, and unconstitutional" in an open letter to Gov. Paterson.

Meanwhile, Jason Della Rocca, executive director of the International Game Developers Association, has apparently issued an alert to IGDA members based in New York, calling upon them to contact the Guv in opposition to the bill.

The key piece of the puzzle will be whether the ESA decides to challenge the law's constitutionality. The game publishers' trade group, busy with E3 this week, has not said what it plans to do in that regard. Their most likely response will be to wait and see whether the Governor signs the bill into law. In the meantime they have urged VGVN members to write the Governor in opposition.

Comments made by the Entertainment Merchants Association, however, give the impression that video game retailers believe they can live with the law's provisions:

The bill is unnecessary and seeks to solve a problem that does not exist. But we do not anticipate that video game software retailers will have a problem complying with its requirements. (It is important to note that NY law already requires DVD packages to display the rating of the movie.)

 

IGDA Elects New Board Members

March 21, 2008 -

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has added new board members for the organization's 2008-2009 term.

An IGDA press release notes that Brenda Brathwaite (independent game designer and professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design ), Mark DeLoura (video game technical consultant), and Tim Train (Studio General Manager, Big Huge Games|THQ) are its new board members. They join Tom Buscaglia (aka The Game Attorney), who returns for another term.

New IGDA chair Jennifer MacLean (VP at Curt Schilling's 38 Studios) remarked:
 

As the largest organization of game development professionals in the world, the IGDA advocates for a community of over 16,000 members on critical issues such as quality of life, career development and diversity.

As Chair of the Board of Directors, I'm tremendously excited about working with my fellow board members to create a lasting impact on the lives of game developers and to continue to grow the IGDA as a significant force in the ever evolving game industry.

 

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Bully Debate... Teacher: Gamers Don't Get It... Developer: Teachers Should Play the Game

March 13, 2008 -

The debate over Bully: Scholarship Edition continues to rage, primarily in Canada.

There, Mary-Lou Donnelly, head of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, pens an op-ed slamming the game in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. Among her points: Gamers just don't get it:
 

Reporters, newspaper editors and game promoters have tried to downplay the game, saying that teacher organizations are overreacting... One accused teachers of not giving students enough credit to distinguish between reality and fantasy. Another said that teachers had missed the boat because the game could be used as a teaching tool against bullying...


 

Clearly, the creators and promoters of the game just don’t get it... A game such as Bully: The Scholarship Edition, which reduces bullying to a mere lark... contributes nothing positive to youth culture. Indeed, it contradicts everything that educators are trying to accomplish...

Well, here’s a hard fact: Bullying is never fun! 


Meanwhile, game developer Clint Hocking, writing for his Click Nothing blog, has issued a challenge to the educators who are protesting Bully:
 

Since I haven't even played Bully - and probably neither [have the teachers who are protesting it], I wonder if we even can contribute anything? Ought we enter into debate about public access to media that we have not even engaged ourselves? That seems unethical to me...

Instead, I am going to invite [the teachers] to examine it with me, and to enter into a critical discussion of its merits and the difficulties it may or may not pose to students and to teachers... I extend an open invitation to play Bully with me, and once we have all finished we can collectively engage in an informed dialogue about the merits or failings of the game.


Jason Della Rocca, executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), debated Ms. Donnelly on CBC last Sunday (video here). Della Rocca writes about the Bully controversy on his Reality Panic blog:
 

The teachers are missing a prime opportunity to make progress... I’d argue that teachers could have leveraged Bully to both better understand the social politics of high school (by embodying a troubled teen) and open a much needed dialog with students about bullying...


 

While some argue that Bully could have been an even more scathing critique of school life, the challenge is that many simply do not look to games for meaningful social commentary (like The Breakfast Club, for example)...


 

Ultimately, we all want to stop bullying and built safe/effective schools, and there’s no doubt that games can play an important role in that effort. We’ll see what happens next…

 

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MaskedPixelanteIt's a bunch of people whining about boycotting/pirating Trails in the Sky FC because XSEED didn't license the Japanese dub track, which consists of about 10 lines per character.07/29/2014 - 11:27am
Sleaker@MP - devolver Digital issued a twitter statement saying they would replace the NISA pledge.07/29/2014 - 10:57am
E. Zachary KnightIs that a discussion about RIAA member music labels?07/29/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://steamcommunity.com/app/251150/discussions/0/43099722329318860/ In this thread: Idiots who don't understand how licensing works.07/29/2014 - 9:20am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/28/gaymerx-in-dire-straits-after-nis-america-allegedly-backs-out-of/ NISA backs out of GaymerX support, but it seems like the only people crying foul are GaymerX.07/29/2014 - 6:30am
Papa MidnightIt's not bad so far, but I am honestly not sure what to make of it (or where it's going for that matter)07/28/2014 - 9:44pm
Matthew Wilsonis it any good?07/28/2014 - 9:36pm
Papa Midnight"Love Child" on HBO -- anyone else watching this?07/28/2014 - 9:27pm
MaskedPixelanteNah, I'm fine purple monkey dishwasher.07/28/2014 - 4:05pm
Sleaker@MP - I hope you didn't suffer a loss of your mental faculties attempting that.07/28/2014 - 3:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOK, so my brief research looking at GameFAQs forums (protip, don't do that if you wish to keep your sanity intact.), the 3DS doesn't have the power to run anything more powerful than the NES/GBC/GG AND run the 3DS system in the background.07/28/2014 - 11:01am
ZenMatthew, the 3DS already has GBA games in the form of the ambassador tittles. And I an just as curious about them not releasing them on there like they did the NES ones. I do like them on the Wii U as well, but seems weird. And where are the N64 games?07/28/2014 - 10:40am
james_fudgeNo. They already cut the price. Unless they release a new version that has a higher price point.07/28/2014 - 10:19am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, It most likely is. The question is whether Nintendo wants to do it.07/28/2014 - 10:12am
Matthew WilsonI am sure the 3ds im more then powerful enough to emulate a GBA game.07/28/2014 - 9:54am
Sleaker@IanC - while the processor is effectively the same or very similar, the issue is how they setup the peripheral hardware. It would probably require creating some kind of emulation for the 3DS to handle interfacing with the audio and input methods for GBA07/28/2014 - 9:30am
Sleaker@EZK - hmmm, that makes sense. I could have sworn I had played GB/GBC games on it too though (emud of course)07/28/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, the DS has a built in GBA chipset in the system. That is why it played GBA games. The GBA had a seperate chipset for GB and GBColor games. The DS did not have that GB/GBC chipset and that is why the DS could not play GB and GBC games.07/28/2014 - 7:25am
IanCI dont think Nintendo ever gave reason why GBA games a reason why GBA games aren't on the 3DS eshop. The 3DS uses chips that are backwards compatable with the GBA ob GBA processor, after all.07/28/2014 - 6:46am
Sleakerhmmm that's odd I could play GBA games natively in my original DS.07/28/2014 - 1:39am
 

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