We’re extremely proud to announce that the nominations for this year’s Board of Directors election are in, with a total of 7 candidates running for 4 open seats and the opportunity to directly shape the chapter’s future. These new directors will serve for up to 2 years, and join existing board members Andrew Macdonald and Brian McDonald.
This also means that the voting phase of the election process has begun, where IGDA members (with voting rights) can have their say on how the chapter is led, and the chance to decide who best represents their interests. This is a remarkable improvement over our very first election last year, which was more of a formality with no real contest. The results of the election will be announced at the Annual General Meeting and Social on 19th November from 19:30 at The Admiral Bar in Glasgow, which you are welcome to attend! It will be a great chance to meet the new board members and celebrate how far the chapter has come over the last year. We are still seeking a sponsor for the AGM! If you can help, please contact email@example.com.
You can learn more about our election process by reading our 2014 Election Procedures Policy. If you’re an IGDA member with voting rights (i.e. not a student member), you should have been emailed about how to cast your vote. If you think you’re eligible to vote, but haven’t been sent voting instructions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tuesday 18th November
- Deadline for votes
- Wednesday 19th November
- New board members to be announced at Annual General Meeting
- Free tickets available on Eventbrite: http://igdas-2014-11.eventbrite.co.uk
I’m currently a full-time programmer at Guerilla Tea in Dundee, having graduated from Abertay University in 2013. Whilst studying I was an elected officer and trustee of the Students’ Association, representing students on a range of matters at local and national scale whilst also assisting in the day to day running of the Association. With this base of experience I’d like to stand for the Board of Directors in the IGDA Scotland Chapter.
I’ve had the fortune of following the Scottish chapter of the IGDA almost since its inception in 2011 and it has grown to be a strong part of the Scottish games development community. If elected I would be looking to support the tremendous effort of existing board members in the running of day-to-day operations of the chapter.
However I would also like to continue the push for some longer term planning, particularly in line with the formalisation effort going on at an international level currently. It is my belief that if the chapter were to receive an allocation of the IGDA membership funding it would enable us to create greater incentives for membership within our local area and to increase our presence amongst the local community of developers and the general public. This in turn increases the opportunity for IGDA Scotland to become a democratically accountable, advocacy body for Scottish developers.
Alongside this I believe projects like the jobs board could flourish at this time with the strong backing of an IGDA Board, allowing us to make ourselves useful at a much earlier stage. Combining this with our existing connections in the gaming universities in Scotland would allow us to forge stronger mutually beneficial links between student developers and companies. Finally, the core strength of the IGDA is, surely, in it’s ability to get people of every description networking together – I am strongly in favour of utilising our unique international network to facilitate these communications and knowledge transfers on a wider scale.
These are lofty goals and subjects that have been discussed plenty of times in the past, it would be wrong to suggest that these things would happen overnight, depending as they do upon circumstances outwith the chapters control but with my past experience and training, and my personal dedication to this industry I believe I am the right person to assist in leading the chapter forward. Thank you for your consideration.
My experience with IGDA will probably sound familiar to a lot of you. I first joined in 2004 when I was just starting my first Games Development course and at the time it seemed like a great idea, a way to connect with experienced developers from around the world… And then in 2010 I let my membership lapse because I kept asking myself “What’s the benefit of being a member?” and not getting a good enough answer.
Since then IGDA has made some good progress and this year I decided it was time to come back and see what I could do to help. As the only international games industry organisation IGDA has a fantastic opportunity to help developers and champion the causes that really matter to us.
I passionately believe in IGDAs mission to advance and enhance the careers and lives of developers and its efforts to advocate on issues that affect the community. I’m running for the board because I believe I can help IGDA continue its progress to becoming the foremost organisation and association for Games Developers.
With all that said, I would appreciate your support in achieving my vision for the IGDA. If I’m fortunate enough to join the Board my priorities will be as follows:
- Continue to broaden IGDAs offer to Developers by finding additional tangible benefits for members.
- Work to increase cooperation with other industry organisations and educational establishments to organise a wider variety of useful and relevant events in Scotland.
- Ensure that IGDA regional and national bodies work together to create opportunities and events that support members in all chapters.
The IGDA Scotland chapter has grown in stature within the organisation itself and is being looked at from around the world as a model to follow.
As a developer in Scotland I have seen support for the local IGDA chapter has been increasing slowly after the chapters reformation, though this increase of support / attendance has mainly remained within the academic and student community. Unfortunately the chapter has struggled to attract and retain a core set of professional developers that could help it grow into a more stable and sustainable chapter.
I have been a professional in the industry for over 14 years and directly involved in the local development community by setting up and running the BertWednesdays Dundee group over last 10 years. This was created to provide a social environment for professionals and aspiring developers to connect.
I’m running for the Board because I believe that I can help bridge the gap between the IGDA chapter and the professional community and provide an insight / advice to the board from an alternative perspective.
My name is Stephen McGroarty and during the past year and a half in which I have volunteered for IGDA Scotland I have played a fairly small role within the chapter: helping organise and run meetups, writing blogs, and other smaller contributions; but I would love the opportunity to do so much more! Beyond my involvement with IGDA, I’m a software engineering intern at Codeplay Software, a founding member of the UWS Games Dev Society, a mentor at CoderDojo, and a STEM ambassador. The latter two are projects aimed at teaching school children and young people about technology and programming. These projects are issues I hope to bring into focus at IGDA Scotland: outreach.
We have a great game development community here in Scotland, but currently IGDA only plays one part in the larger community. We have a great community for networking, a chance for students to learn about their industry, and a place for developers to support each other. We can build on this, I feel we need to increase our roles as advocates and specialists of Game Development in Scotland. We have already taken part in such projects including the running and organising of both the Radio One Games Expo and UWS’ Games West event. These show that we have the prestige, within and outwith the industry, to act as advocates.
This is the direction I would like to see the chapter take. I’m frequently asked by enthusiastic schoolchildren how they can get into the game industry. We as a chapter are missing something in terms of marketing our amazing industry to young people. I would love to combine both my links with the games industry with my connection to the STEM program to allow IGDA to fill that gap. We have an opportunity to advocate our industry to the future programmers, artists, and designers.
The things we do already, the talks, the jams, are great! Through community engagement and partnerships with like minded organisations such as, universities, colleges, student organisations, companies, we can run even more events and target a wider range of the industry. We should expand our role in the community: If someone wants to run an event IGDA Scotland should be the first organisation they turn to for help and support. We should be advocates of our community to those outside it and advocates for positive change within our community for those inside it.
I have only been in Scotland for a few months but in that time I have already become aware of the vibrant, close-knit and supportive gaming community that exists here. Soon after arriving I realised that not only was it a place in which I could personally flourish, but that I also have a lot to give back to the community. Over the last few years I have been working on issues of diversity, not only involving game content but within the industry as well. For me this incorporates all types of diversity issues including, race, gender, sexuality and everything in between. Where possible I try to highlight the current problems that are plaguing our industry, whether that is through my writing, pro-diversity groups or on the games I am designing. When necessary I provide options and feasible solutions to tackle these issues. I believe the game industry is very behind in this regard and after meeting those involved with the IGDA Scotland and spending time within its community, I am convinced that it is the perfect platform to make positive steps regarding these issues. I am certain that this chapter can really make some influential steps on the issue of diversity, and I am confident that if I were on the Board of Directors I would be able to help facilitate some of these necessary changes to benefit the gaming community as a whole.
I have a very personal connection to the IGDA organisation as they gave me my first big opportunity in the industry. In 2008 I was accepted for one of the IGDA Scholarship programmes which sent me to GDC, San Francisco. Six years later I am working as a game designer for Kobojo, on their most recently announced game Zodiac. This project has allowed me to work directly with ex-Final Fantasy developers, some of the very people whose games inspired me to become a designer all those years ago. In many regards it is a dream position for me and because of that I feel like I have even more to share and give back to the games community. With the knowledge and experience I’ve gained, I now feel that I am in a good position to work with the IGDA and to help them on their future missions.
An IGDA Scholar at GDC 2013, chapter volunteer for the past year and a half and awarded the Most Valuable Person award for 2013 in recognition for my efforts during this time – IGDA Scotland means a lot to me and I am passionate about continuously improving its presence and reach. The chapter has grown and developed a great deal over this time and has offered a great selection of events and services to developers including hosting talks by the likes of Richard Lemarchand, Ed Fries and organising events like GamesWest and the regular monthly meet-ups as well as launching the RiftShare program and the IGDA Scotland Jobs Board.
If given the opportunity to join the Board, I would like to work together with my fellow Board members on the following three key areas.
Inclusivity – I think the chapter does a fantastic job catering for its audience, and I’m hoping to continue this trend while advocating for more diversity and better inclusivity of different groups at the same time. We have a great community here with people from various backgrounds – indies, students and those in academia, established developers from larger companies, hobbyists and people from other creative sectors. I think it’s important to reach out to and involve everyone, regardless of identity, background, experience or particular area of interest. I am hoping to take part in the discussion about ensuring we welcome and provide something of value for all of these groups and more.
Relevance – we can’t be inclusive without first becoming more relevant to the audiences we want to attract and include. I hope to work with my fellow board members as well as chapter members and those not regularly attending the monthly meetings to highlight trends, needs and requirements to better tailor the content and services we provide in order to develop and sustain a tighter knit and collaborative community across the country.
And finally, Sustainability – I talk about sustaining a community, but the very first step on that road is ensuring we sustain the chapter itself. I’m looking to continue the work and effort to secure a more secure and reliable funding and revenue stream to help grow and strengthen the chapter and through it, the community itself.
I’m Amanda Wilson; I’m a lecturer teaching Computing at Glasgow Clyde College & West College Scotland. My background is that I’ve always had a huge interest in Games-based learning, which has been the focus of my PhD research at the University of the West of Scotland. I’ve spent 3 years working with primary schools developing ways to enhance the delivery of the curriculum within Scottish schools using game design. I’ve also worked with a range of high school programs.
My work in this area was the main catalyst for me to create the Mini Game Jam – a day for children to work together (and across different schools). They received advice from industry professionals and academics who all volunteered to help put on this amazing event twice in the past two years.
As a member of the IGDA Scotland Board, I would be enthusiastic in developing these relationships further, and deepening the connection between education establishments from Primary right through to university and the industry. Our chapter is uniquely positioned to facilitate this process, which is important not just for the benefits it provides education but also for ensuring that the future of our workforce is coming through from the start with the mindset and tools knowledge that we need them to have, and with a firm understanding of the career potential of our sector.