Left Arrow News

Letter from the Executive Director – October 2020

7 Oct 2020

Greetings, IGDA and other members of the game industry,

As we begin to close out this tumultuous year that has been 2020, I thought it would be a good time to connect directly. You read my writing as statements and updates from our organization, but I wanted to talk with you on a more personal level.

Hundreds of you joined us for our IGDA 2020 Annual General Meeting where we discussed the progress of the IGDA over the last year and celebrated achievements of both individuals and Chapters and Special Interest Groups. Today, I would like to speak with you about our most recent efforts, upcoming events, and our overall goals for heading into this next year.

The IGDA’s mission is to support and empower game developers around the world in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers. This mission guides all of our initiatives and efforts, and that it is a mission that everyone in our industry can stand behind. The actualization of this mission is the most difficult challenge for the board and me– balancing the needs of new developers against established developers, determining the standards and stances to take while considering the wide and ever-changing range of development teams and projects, pursuing change in our industry while supporting the growth of those within it, etc.

I have spoken to countless members of the IGDA and those who have yet to join our ranks to better understand the needs and priorities of those within our industry. With these conversations, we have been able to clarify the direction of the IGDA into three simple pillars: knowledge, community, and advocacy. I believe each pillar is as important as the others in supporting your lives and careers, as each contributes to the growth, stability, and health of individuals, companies, and the industry at large.

I am thrilled by the launch of our Chapter and SIG Coordinator programs. Both of these leadership groups are helping IGDA HQ better understand and empower our Chapters and SIGs. We have ongoing goals for these programs, including improving feedback on Chapters and SIGs, increasing engagement, and better connecting our disciplines, groups, and regions.

Another renewed aspect of our efforts is our support for students and our Student Chapters. Students everywhere experienced severe disruption to their study and their lives as schools and universities had to move online. We wanted to empower students through our network and resources, and launched the eJam, virtual game jam with support from game development professionals, as well as renewed IGDA Student Member benefits, including Student Portfolio Spotlights.

This week the IGDA is also partnering with two great events- UNIDOS Online, an event from our Latinx in Gaming SIG, and The International Games Summit on Mental Health Awareness (TIGS). Both mental health and diversity and inclusion are so important to the health of the game industry and those within it. I highly recommend that you check out both events.

I also wanted to remind you all that my inbox is open to anyone with concerns and feedback about the game industry or the IGDA, or who need any assistance in general. It is truly my passion and my job to help everyone within the game industry, so do not hesitate to reach out.

Finally, I would like to thank each and every one of you for all of the ways you contribute to making the game industry the best professional community that I have ever had the pleasure of being part of. It is the kindness, acceptance, and selflessness of each of you that creates such a wonderfully supportive, creative, and inspiring environment. In these dark times, you are our light.

Warmest Regards,

Renee Gittins
Executive Director, IGDA


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