Illinois – Chicago| 12 Sep 2020
Greetings from Chicago!
I bear tidings of deep dish pizza, ketchup-less hot dogs, and video game development.
The IGDA Chicago Executive Board has been extremely busy in 2020. Individually, we’ve been spending 2020 much the same way you have; holding it all together. Collectively, we’ve done our best to pull together and help our community do the same. It has taken a lot of hard work and a lot of patience, but we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel that is 2020.
We wanted to take a moment and share some of what we have accomplished this year and what we plan to do next.
Chicago’s Year in Review (so far)
At the start of the year we partnered with DePaul University to host a Global Gam Jam site and we packed the house! With over 100 jam participants, we saw some very high quality games made by our community’s talented students.
In February, world events took a turn and our best laid plans were put on hold. By March we were in crisis mode, and at a time when we usually help our community prepare for conventions like GDC, this year we were helping them cancel their plans and transition to learning and working remotely.
Our chapter did its best to embrace a new virtual reality as stay-at-home orders placed most of us under house arrest. We ramped up our Twitch streams and doubled down on Discord engagement. In place of a planned in-person community roundtable, we hosted our first Discord AMA in March with GGJ Co-Founder Susan Gold.
We had great success with our first Discord AMA. Our community was enthusiastic to engage each other in a new virtual space and we became optimistic that a digital transition would be possible, and in some ways, extremely beneficial to our community. A virtual partnership with a local industry night a week later proved to be an even bigger success and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
By May we were accepting social distancing as a new normal, not an exception. We hosted a second Discord AMA, this time with legendary designer and film-maker Josh Tsui. We had to cap the questions on our audience. They could have asked Josh questions about his days at Midway, Mortal Kombat, Studio Gigante, Robomodo, and his film Insert Coin all night!
The start of the Summer for Chicago, like many other cities in the US, was marked by civil unrest. Our home became a national stage for political demonstrations and widespread civic engagement. IGDA Chicago responded to the situation by hosting a virtual panel to discuss how the game industry can be better in regard to diversity, inclusion, and representation.
For IGDA Chicago, August has been a month of administration and recuperation. We came together for our Q3 Executive Board meeting and planned out the beginning of our Fall programming. We’re very excited to be releasing these details soon, and we hope that you will join us for what comes next.
Stay safe and take care of each other.
The IGDA Chicago Executive Board