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.


Comments

Re: Where Does the IGDA Go From Here?

 The IGDA is a professional association (like IEEE), which is different from a union and from a trade association.

A union represents employees when they are in contention with employers (negotiating labor contracts, etc).

A trade association is made up of businesses and represents them in certain industry-wide manners but mostly focuses on collaboration between businesses on things like industry-wide standards.

A professional association is a group that represents the individual people who belong to a certain profession -- as such, it often straddles the line between union and trade association!

Re: Where Does the IGDA Go From Here?

I have seen worker unions in Australia, and believe me they are horrible even at their best intentions.

There is nothing more worse than Left wing extremeists and Right wing extremeists and then you have Union extremeists.

Once you have all 3 of them, then you are in deep trouble when you try your best but you get constantly bullied and harrassed by people who don't even work on your site.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Where Does the IGDA Go From Here?

The IGDA is a trade association that wants to act like a union.  They did a lot of good things to push the quality of life issue 4 or 5 years ago by exposing it to the public so everyone had to face the reality of the problem.  Since then though, honestly it seems like there's been a lot of wheel spinning.

I remember the big question of that GDC when they first did the quality of life white paper the big question was should we unionize.  While I said back then that the obvious choice for a union would have been to form it around the IGDA, I remember quite a few people who didn't see them a capable of acting as a union.

I definitely think internally the remaining IGDA board members are concerned about the future of the IGDA.  I had to let my membership lapse this year because the dues came too close to Christmas, and a couple months ago I actually got an email from one of the board members asking me why I hadn't renewed.

Re: Where Does the IGDA Go From Here?

I personally really hope the IGDA never turns into a union. I think that would be really bad for the oranization.

I like how they are working towards the same goals as a union might, but without the threats of striking and the obscene demands. The IGDA wants to make life better for game developers and get them the recognition they deserve. They just want to do it through negotiation and debate, not threat of loss of income.

Unions did a lot of good when workers had very little rights and little political clout. But I don't think the games industry is in such a position at this time.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
NeenekoWell yes, that is the 'free market', but the market is only a small piece of a much larger system. The market does not always do the constructive thing.04/14/2014 - 2:06pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician