|Formation||1994(as Computer Game Developers Association)|
|Founder||Ernest W. Adams|
|Focus||Computer Games and Interactive Media|
Chair of Board of Directors
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is a nonprofit professional association whose stated mission is to "support and empower game developers around the world in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers."
The IGDA is incorporated in the United States as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. It has over 12,000 members from all fields of game development. In recognition of the wide-ranging, multidisciplinary nature of interactive entertainment, everyone who participates in any way in the game development process is welcome to join the IGDA.
--Ernest W. Adams, "Living the Dream: Let's Get Together", The Escapist.
The IGDA was founded in 1994 by Ernest W. Adams and was initially known as the Computer Game Developers Association (CGDA). Modeled after the Association for Computing Machinery, Adams envisioned the organization to support the careers and interests of individual developers, as opposed to being a trade organization, or an advocacy group for companies.
The need for a professional association for game developers was not apparent until the congressional hearings surrounding Mortal Kombat and other video game legislation became common in the 1990s. With legislation affecting the game development industry, the IGDA developed into a more organized voice for computer game developers as it merged with the Computer Entertainment Developers Association and grew from 300 members to over 12,000 members the next fifteen years.
The association as of July 2014 has been working with the FBI to deal with the on-line harassment of developers; Kate Edwards had been approached by the bureau at San Diego Comic-Con International.
In September 2017, Jennifer MacLean was appointed interim executive director after managing the IGDA Foundation for more than a year. She was confirmed as permanent executive director in February 2018.
In April 2019, Renee Gittins succeeded as Executive Director.
Chapters are intended to provide an informal way to connect game developers within local communities. Chapters vary greatly in size and meeting attendance. They provide forums, for example, for discussions on current issues in the computer gaming industry and demos of the latest games.
Special Interest Groups, better known as SIGs, are intended to spark developer interest in a specific topics or disciplines. For example, the Game Education SIG has a stated mission "To create a community resource that will strengthen the academic membership of the IGDA while enhancing the education of future and current game developers." Some SIGs sponsor events, such as creating the Global Game Jam.
Committees are generally formed by the IGDA to conduct research into a subject, normally for a short period, leading to a single report. Some, however, are semi-permanent, and produce yearly reports. Some of these reports lead to gaming industry standards.
Aside from bringing game developers together, the IGDA focuses on the following issues present in the game development industry:
The IGDA, through its chapters and SIGs, organizes hundreds of events for members of the game development industry including chapter meetings and meetups. However, there are larger events that are organized that bring IGDA's international members together:
During the GDC 2013 a party was hosted by co-presenters IGDA and the start-up incubator YetiZen. The event featured at least three girls in white outfits dancing, one was in a shorter t-shirt, another in a furry outfit. Backlash over the presence of these female dancers resulted in the several people resigning in protest, most notably Brenda Romero from the IGDA's Women in Games Special Interest Group steering committee. On the day following the party IGDA Executive Director Kate Edwards issued an apology stating "We regret that the IGDA was involved in this situation. We do not condone activities that objectify or demean women or any other group of people."
On November 20, 2014 the IGDA added a link to "A Twitter tool to block some of the worst offenders in the recent wave of harassment" to their Online Harassment Resources web page. However, due to the method of the list's generation several IGDA members including the Chairman of IGDA Puerto Rico Roberto Rosario were added to the list of harassers. These errors resulted in the IGDA removing the link to the tool on November 22.