And I, For One, Welcome...

Big things have been afoot at the Circle K, my friends. Or at the IGDA, anyway.

The big news is that we had an election for the chairmanship! The SIG has spoken! Accordingly, I'd like you all to welcome the magnificent Brooke Thompson, who is my successor as the IGDA ARG SIG chairman. Brooke is a transmedia designer with a long track record of high-profile work in the field, and even better, of diligent and selfless volunteer service. I'm sure she's going to do an excellent job.

Thanks for stepping up, Brooke! Let's all give her a round of applause and some moral support, shall we?

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2010 ARG SIG Survey Results

Remember way back in February when I asked you to participate in the first-ever IGDA ARG SIG demographic and salary survey? Well, the results are in! Woo!

I've put together a pretty slideshow giving you the full results, but if you want my witty analysis (or the Excel document upon which my pretty slideshow is based) you'll have to see the post at ARGology. Thanks for your help, guys!

2010 IGDA ARG SIG Survey

View more presentations from Andrea Phillips.

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Take Our Survey, Please!

Over at ARGology, I've posted a link to the first-ever ARG community demographic survey, which has an added-on salary survey for those of us who participate in making ARGs for money. But please, take the survey even if you're a player who's never remotely wanted to make an ARG. The information on who ARG players are is just as important!

We're going to be very open about the results from this survey. I'm hoping to get a rough picture of who ARG players are, who ARG developers are, and hopefully also get some public information out on what kind of rates ARG professionals are charging. This should help freelancers like me judge if their quotes are in line with the rest of the field, and help employers with a ballpark in budgeting, so hopefully a net good all around. 

Please, go and take the survey now! And help spread the word to other ARG players and creators. The more participation we get, the more reliable our data will be. Thanks so much!

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Minutes of the IGDA Voter Guidance Committee Meeting #1

For those of you who are interested, here is a log of the proceedings at tonight's meeting of the IGDA Voter Guidance Committee. A summary of the ideas and our conclusions follows, and apologies if I've misrepresented anything. It's been a long day.

As an introductory sidebar, we discussed creating a barrier to entry for candidates to cut down on the number of people on the slate -- for example, by requiring candidates to get signatures from supporters. The idea was reasonably popular, though the number of signatures various parties felt was appropriate varied from 10-100.

The core problem, though, is getting information to voters on who the candidates are and what they represent. The current statements by candidates doesn't provide sufficient information, and voters don't seek out additional information on their own.  

We could create a base set of questions (perhaps 10-15) that all candidates must answer. These could either be the same set every year, or solicited from membership annually, perhaps in the newsletter. This idea met with wide approval.

We could have a forum for conversation with candidates, though there were concerns that this could require too much of a time investment from candidates; so perhaps with one thread per candidate. Concerns the forum would be high-volume or populated with trolls; this would require even-handed moderation. Another possibility is creating specific panels on these forums.

The Writer's SIG is starting a journalism initiative that could research/vet candidates and report on their findings. This would solve the problem of getting information from candidates that is not mere self-representation, but there is concern that an internal effort along those lines from the IGDA could be a matter of legal liability. A summary of how this would work will be presented to the Board, who will look at it from the legal perspective.

We could do a real-time Town Meeting, as a group or per candidate, in which candidates answer questions from members. This could be recorded on something like ustream. Concerns that this presents a participation barrier to members in disparate time zones and might be difficult to implement.

We could do a press conference, through forums or a podcast, in which we offer game-industry publications the chance to ask the candidates tough questions. Concerns this would be logistically difficult to implement and appears inaccessible to voters.

We could also do a roundtable or real-time debate of all or several candidates on a podcast, or record video statements from each candidate to post online. 

Suggestion that we could get the Localization SIG involved in translating election materials.

Sheri Rubin very helpfully summarized our next steps and solicited volunteers.

  1. Andrea will create the edits for the procedures manual to incorporate they'll have a base set of questions to answer along with their statement
  2. Brian (maybe) will take the initiative on determining what those questions are (either by committee or polling the igda membership via the forums or survey with notice in the newsletter)
  3. Corvus is going to work on a proposal for the journalism initiative to do research on the candidates
  4. Andrea will create the edits for the manual to state that they will be getting researched
  5. TBD, someone needs to take on the task of determining the best ways to get the info Corvus's group digs up out to the voting membership (pending BoD review of legal question)
  6. TBD, someone needs to take on the task of creating the forums for the candidates with Joda and looking into the online transcripted chat/video sessions with each candidate (pending feedback on these ideas from BoD and interested members)
  7. Sheri will go talk to Tom with the Loc sig about getting things translated

And that's a wrap, folks. Have a great night!

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IGDA Voter Guidance Committee Meeting: Aug. 13

This is verbatim the email I just sent to the IGDA SIGS-admin list, announcing the Voter Guidance Committee date and time:

OK! The results are in, and it looks like the most-convenient time for the most people is:

Thursday, Aug. 13, at 6:30pm Eastern time. That's 3:30pm Pacific time, and 10:30pm GMT.

We'll be holding this meeting on IRC. For those of you with an IRC client already, we'll be on server irc.chat-solutions.org on channel #voterguidance -- or for the sake of simplicity, you should be able to click this link for an in-browser client: http://embed.mibbit.com/?server=irc.chat-solutions.org&channel=%23voterguidance

If you plan to attend and you haven't used IRC before, I highly advocate trying to pop in once before the meeting to make sure everything works properly for you. I'll be on the channel from now until the meeting, though mostly idle, going by the nick of Andrhia. If you have any trouble connecting or otherwise need technical help, do feel free to email me about it: andrhia@gmail.com

Thanks, and please spread the word. :)

Let's just take a moment here to cheer for the IGDA, an organization where somebody like me, really just a nothing-special average member, can suggest something like this and get nothing but support instead of getting shut down. The IGDA: It's a great place, seriously. Now let's all help make it even better.

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