The IGDA, Tim Langdell, Elections & Me

Please note that in the following post I am speaking only on behalf of myself, and not on behalf of the IGDA or the IGDA's SIG on Alternate Reality Games, which I currently chair. 

There's a lot of excitement going on right now at the IGDA. Most of it is around the legal actions of Tim Langdell, an IGDA board member, and the fallout thereof.

I'm personally torn on all of this. On the one hand, from where I sit, yes, it does look like Edge Games is engaging in some shady business practices. Yes, this kind of publicity could make the IGDA look bad. On the other hand, Tim Langdell's history of vigorous copyright protection was already in progress when he was elected. And yes, Tim Langdell is an active board member, doing visible work in an attempt to benefit the IGDA's membership. 

And as a complicating factor, as much as I sympathize with the cause of ensuring that the members of the board are personally and professionally representing the interests of the membership with their conduct... at the same time, I'm reluctant to associate myself with this cause because of a (very) few ardent adherents whose actions are sometimes... well... a little unprofessional.

So I haven't really taken a stand on this issue to date. Yeah, I'm a chicken, and I kind of hate politics, you know?

But there is one place where I feel like I can make some kind of difference, and that's in the IGDA board election process. IGDA voters aren't really given a lot of information on the candidates come election season; you have a paragraph of text to choose from, all of which universally extol the virtues of freedom of expression and freedom from censorship, quality of life for game developers, and building community. 

You might as well be drawing straws.

I'm trying to get the ball rolling on a Voter Guidance Committee to look for ways to improve the voter experience for IGDA members. How do we get relevant information on board candidates to the voters? What is that relevant information?

To that end I'm trying to arrange an IRC meeting to start talking through these issues, so that we have a plan and processes in place well ahead of the next election. If you're an IGDA member and you're interested in participating, fill out the When Is Good survey so I know when to make the meeting. Stay tuned, I'll announce when the meeting is scheduled for, plus instructions on how to participate, on Thursday night.