2017 Board of Directors Election – Voting Opens for Members

We’re very happy to announce that the nominations for this year’s Board of Directors election are in, with a total of 5 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 Zoe Sams, Steven Taarland and Timea Tabori.


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.  You are welcome to join us for the Annual General Meeting and Marioke, where we will announce the election results and celebrate the past year.

To cast your vote, please fill out this form. You can vote for as many or as few as you choose.
Please return your votes ASAP, the deadline is 23:59 GMT on Sunday the 12th of November. Votes received after that time will not be counted. The results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting on the 17th November.

Even if you can’t vote, we encourage you to read the candidate statements to get an idea of where things might be going in the future:

  • Andrew Graham
  • Matthew Barr
  • Malath Abbas
  • Jaime Cross
  • Andrew Macdonald

You can learn more about our election process by reading our 2017 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 info@igdascotland.org.

  • Sunday 12th November
    • Deadline for votes
  • Friday 17th November
    • New board members to be announced at Annual General Meeting

Introducing your 2017 election candidates:

Andrew Graham

AndrewGrahamHello! My name is Andrew Graham, I am 22 years old and I have just graduated in the ‘Computer Games Design’ course from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Currently I have been working on creating a game called ‘Rebound’ with some friends and I am looking for future work within Scotland’s industry.

I am Glasgow based and try to represent myself at every IGDA event that I can, often offering to volunteer to help out any way I can. I have always felt a warm welcome within the IGDA community and wish to offer my services in the coming years and future of the community within Scotland.

Matthew Barr

Matt BarrHello! I’m a lecturer at the University of Glasgow, where I set up and currently run the Game Studies course. I also teach at Glasgow Caledonian University, where I’ve led modules including Game Narrative and Game Preproduction and helped out with other modules including Game Design.

Academics do occasionally do useful stuff. Outside of teaching I have lots of experience of organising events, which I think would be helpful in this role – I’d like to see some more Glasgow-based IGDA events! While I’ve also helped out at things like the Global Game Jam at GCU, I’m particularly proud of the Game Think events that I ran in 2015 and 2017 (with a third planned for 2018). These are a bit like academic conferences but with all (OK, most) of the formality stripped out. They feature short talks from everyone including game devs, students and established games researchers, followed by the obligatory trip to the pub. They’re opportunities, like the IGDA Scotland events, us to get together and talk about our work, and find ways to collaborate.

Back on the more academic side, I run a game studies journal that gives students from any background the chance to publish their work on an international platform. We also run an initiative that sees game dev students paired up with more confident writers to collaborate on articles that document exciting new game development work. I feel games development sometimes gets overlooked by academia, and I’d like to change that.

My research is about how video games can develop useful skills such as critical thinking, adaptability and communication skill. Games are good for you! It must be true, because it’s been on the news. I should also mention that I’m currently Vice Chair of British DiGRA (the Digital Games Research Association), and I’d hope to be able to strengthen ties between the games development and research communities.

Finally (too many words, I know – did I mention I was an academic?), I’d like to stress my emphasis on inclusivity. Whether it’s going out to schools as a STEM Ambassador to convince young girls that games are a viable career for them, or simply making sure my games dev students are included in the academic discussion, inclusion is important to me. As a Board member, I’d love to be able to contribute to IGDA Scotland’s already exemplary work in this area.

Thank you for your consideration!

Malath Abbas

Malath AbbasServing on the IGDA Scotland board for the past two years has been a great experience and I would like to build on this by serving for a second term. I would continue to contribute through my experience of running a commercial creative business and board membership, tap into my network of contacts and represent small scale and experimental games design and development.

I am a passionate game maker and believe wholeheartedly in the medium of games as well as the talented and skilled community of fellow developers. I am an independent game designer, artist and producer working on experimental and meaningful games as part of Biome Collective- a co-working space for independent game designers and digital artists that I co-founded in Dundee. In the past year I have also helped establish Arcadia, a festival of independent games in the form of conference, exhibition and workshops. With the support of a number of partners including We Throw Switches, BAFTA Scotland and IGDA Scotland we were able to attract world renowned game designers including Brie Code to Scotland.

I have built a network of local and international contacts through attending national and international conferences and festivals including, GDC, IndieCade, e3, Amaze and GameCity. This circle of contacts extends beyond the games sector and includes art & culture, public service (local and national government), press and private sector contacts.

Over the next two years I would like to continue to focus on diversity, collaboration and a work life balance. Our community needs to continue to embrace diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity and creative content. Collaboration leads to innovation, new ideas and connects us to new art forms and disciplines. I am also a strong advocate of an equal work and life balance, which needs to be encouraged in our community in order to combat the crunch mentality.

Our community has great opportunities at hand. The combination of the scale of Scotland, the wealth of expertise and heritage and flow of new talent coming through world leading educational institutions means we have much to offer the medium and international community. The opportunity can help us grow, develop and more importantly be creative. I hope IGDA Scotland will continue to spearhead this collective endeavour.

It would be an honour to serve again to strengthen and grow IGDA Scotland to better meet the needs of the community.

Jaime Cross

Jaime CrossDuring my past 2 years on the board IGDA Scotland has gone from strength to strength: running and supporting dozens of events across several different fields, enhanced our links with the education sector, and built a working relationship with Creative Scotland to assess the needs of the games industry in Scotland to develop meaningful support going forward. It is a testament to the board, its past members, its partners and its volunteers in how IGDA Scotland has grown.

However, IGDA Scotland is also in a period of transition and as a returning board member I would value the opportunity to progress this further and build a foundation for the future. Our current goal is to stablise our position by becoming an incorporated charity. This will allow us the opportunity to grow and develop both strategically and financially, and provide tangible and worthwhile benefits for you. I work to establish support opportunities for mid-career professionals, such as both field specific and general professional development workshops. This will in turn will help to create peer networks that can provide local support and the sharing of best practice principles. I will continue to support our themed monthly meetups that provide opportunities and insights for attendees at all levels, as the information shared has proven invaluable.

As part of a long term plan for growth, I would like to improve our links with education providers and other creative industries in Scotland. I believe that these collaborations will help raise the profile of the Scottish games industry as an integral part of the country’s arts, culture and scientific sectors, and allow for the cross pollination of ideas and working practices that will be a positive driving force for the future. Additionally, I would like to run IGDA Scotland events and meetups outside our current triangle of cities to support the whole of Scotland as much as possible, and build a network of volunteers to help deliver this.

Finally, through IGDA Scotland I would seek to recognise and address issues around diversity within our industry, and help to ensure everyone has a safe and inclusive experience with the Scottish games sector.

Thank you for your consideration.

Andrew Macdonald

Andrew MacdonaldLooking back at my tenure on the chapter’s board, I cannot be more proud of just how much our community has grown and changed over the last four years. More recently, in addition to running, supporting, and collaborating on more events than ever; we have also established a strong relationship with Creative Scotland to discuss the current state of the sector, and help create meaningful support influenced by the industry itself. This has been an incredibly empowering experience, which has opened many doors for us while staying true to our developer-driven roots. Behind the scenes, we are also undergoing one of the biggest and most important changes in our history: incorporating as a non-profit charitable organisation.

Formalising the chapter has always been one of my main personal goals, even before I first considered running for election. Although it has been on the board’s backburner as far back as 2012, it has only been in the last year that achieving this has felt truly within our grasp. We have come a long way as an organisation to reach this point, but signing the paperwork is only the beginning, and I am excited to help see things through as a board member returning for a 3rd term.

Since graduating from Abertay University in 2015, I have been working as an IT consultant for several charitable organisations providing employment support to the disabled, while continuing my passion for game development and industry advocacy in my spare time. If re-elected, I would seek to ensure the chapter’s long-term stability as a registered charity over the next two years with the following aims:

  • Establish a strong chapter membership, securing greater financial independence for us while providing tangible and meaningful benefits for developers.
  • Streamline our event processes to allow us to visit each city more regularly.
  • Utilise our reach and build on our work with Creative Scotland to monitor the Scottish games industry continuously, and advocate for the commission of a full sector review.
  • Continue to promote diversity and provide opportunities for new talent and under-represented groups within our industry; but also take a firmer and more pro-active stance on current issues and events.
  • Expand upon our work to showcase Scottish developers by better acknowledging our dedicated volunteers, speakers, and community supporters.

Comments are closed.