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Some words from Ernest Adams

Some words from Ernest Adams

Some words from Ernest Adams


I'm hearing a very disturbing claim about the Orlando chapter of the IGDA. Some of the members there are saying that the chapter is segregating the members into "pro" and "student/amateur" groups and not allowing the latter category to belong to certain Facebook groups, nor to attend certain meetings despite being paid-up members of the organization.

Let me say very loudly and clearly that this violates the spirit in which I founded the IGDA. The IGDA was founded upon the principle that you are a game developer if you say you are a game developer. There are no barriers to entry besides paying your dues, and if you HAVE paid your dues, you are entitled to all the rights and privileges of any other members -- even if it is a less-expensive student membership. If you want to belong a private club that is only open to special people, go join the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. Do NOT do this in the name of the IGDA, because that isn't what the IGDA is about. I set it up to be inclusive, not exclusive.

There are two reasons for this principle. One is that the industry badly needs newcomers, because it's only 6% female and 2% black and our products and our working conditions suffer because of our lack of diversity. The IGDA was founded in part to help newcomers get into the business and the best way to do that is to let them mingle with more experienced professionals. If you're a professional and you don't like students and newbies, you joined the wrong organization.

Secondly, any segregation into an in-group and an out-group is divisive, creates bad feeling, harms morale, and ultimately results in people leaving the organization. Our growth has been pathetically slow and we cannot afford to lose anybody on account of such a profoundly unwise and ungenerous policy.

I don't know the full story, but if what I'm hearing is correct, I am angry and distressed to learn that the IGDA has moved so far from its bedrock values. This is not acceptable and it must stop.

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Last changed by Malte Kosian on 14/07/2012 at 16:31

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  • Network name

    IGDA Hamburg

  • Your host is

    Malte Kosian

  • Created on

    22/06/2012

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    33

  • Language

    English