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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.

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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.

Board of Directors – Call for Nominations 2017

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We are delighted to announce that IGDA Scotland’s 2017 Board of Directors Nominations are now open!

This process is an important way for the members of the organisation to have their say in who is going to run things. It’s also an opportunity to make changes to the chapter’s leadership in ways that represent your interests as a game developer; and finally, they’re also an excellent way to get more involved with the chapter yourself, and help shape our future.

We have 4 seats available on the board and successful candidates will join our current board members; Timea Tabori, Steven Taarland and Zoë Sams.

We’re especially looking for candidates to help represent Glasgow in our events.

The key dates for the election process are as follows:

  • Wednesday 20th September
    • Call for nominations opens.
  • Friday 20th October
    • Nominations close (open for 4.5 weeks).
    • Must be an IGDA member by this date to participate in the vote.
  • Monday 23rd October
    • Distribution of Election Materials to members.
  • Sunday 12th November
    • Deadline for votes (Accepting votes for 3 weeks).
  • Friday 17th November
    • New board members to be announced at Annual General Meeting.

Nominations
In order to nominate yourself as a candidate for election, you must be an IGDA member in good standing with voting rights (i.e. a professional member, not a student member), must agree to be bound by the IGDA Scotland Bylaws, and also have read the 2017 Election Procedures Policy.

To nominate yourself, please fill out our nomination form here before 23:59 on Friday the 20th October to let us know you wish to stand. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch at info@igdascotland.org.

Voting
To vote for board members you must have a current IGDA membership which does not expire before the 12th November 2017. If you are not already a IGDA member you can become one here.

DYW Looking for Games Professionals to Engage with Schools

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Developing the Young Workforce are looking for games industry professionals to engage with schools, teachers and pupils in order to build a better understanding of games industry career paths and opportunities.

Developing the Young Workforce is a Scottish Government strategy which aims to help young people get the right skills and experience to move from education into employment. There are 21 regional DYW groups who are helping implement this strategy, working locally to meet the needs of their region.

DYW brings education and business together to support local young people and the local economy, through better informing  young people about the world of work and helping create skills pipelines and address skills shortages.

DYW groups work to connect business and education, and can facilitate a variety of engagement opportunities. This could range from offering visits and talks at your work space, to supporting team challenges, offering CPD to teachers so that they can offer their students the best possible learning experience, to giving advice on interviews. DYW work closely with employers and education to make sure every approach is flexible and tailored to meet their needs.

If you are interested in working with young people, teachers or lecturers local to you, let them know or connect with your local DYW team. http://www.employabilityinscotland.com/developing-young-workforce/

Women’s 10k run in Glasgow for SpecialEffect

Looking for a fun way to spend a Summer Sunday afternoon AND help raise money for charity?

Our friends at SpecialEffect have just five places left on their running team for the hugely popular Great Women’s 10k in Glasgow on Sunday 4th June! Get in touch now to reserve your space and enjoy the incredible atmosphere of the largest women’s only running event in Scotland, while raising vital funds to help support our work with disabled gamers across the UK. Contact Tom Donegan via events@specialeffect.org.uk

More info about the event can be found here.

 

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SpecialEffect enable severely disabled people to use computers in any way possible – using whichever part(s) of their body that work best – by adapting technology to their individual needs. It’s so important they can join in with family/friends, to be included and not left out. This can hugely benefit rehabilitation, mental wellbeing, self-esteem and quality of life – and much needed FUN!

We specialise in Eye Control Technology. Imagine: You wake up after an accident. You can’t move anything except your eyes. And you can’t speak. Through eye-movement alone, we help people operate a computer so they can communicate and regain a little independence – giving them a voice when they don’t have one of their own.

We feel very honoured to work with such extraordinary, inspiring people who in the most testing of circumstances, somehow display such fortitude, courage and resilience. Every day we’re moved by their exceptional character, which inspires us to keep doing everything we possibly can to enable them to get the most out of life in their own particular situation.

Tom, a young lad we helped wrote simply: “I just want to thank you for giving me my life back.

GDC 2017 AI Scholarship and Next Gen Leaders Program now open!

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The IGDA Foundation has announced two more scholarships for IGDA members.

First is the Eric Dysband Memorial AI Scholarship. This scholarship is available to full-time undergraduate, graduate or doctoral (or similar) students, or former students who graduated in the 6 months prior to the event they are applying for. Applicants with an interest in AI should apply, and they will in addition to the benefits other GDC scholars receive they will also have access to AI mentorship and an invitation to the AI Programmers Dinner and AI Game Programmers Guild, as well as an invite to the AI Summit at GDC.

Applicants can apply here. The deadline is the 8th of January.

Second is the new Next Gen Leaders program in association with Microsoft. Unlike other scholarships, this program is targeted at current game devs with 3 to 10 years of experience. This program is not tied to any discipline, but also looking to include those who identify as an under-represented minority. In addition to a GDC pass, they will receive workshops, mentorship and additional networking opportunities.

Applicants can apply for the program here. The deadline is also the 8th of January.

Both programs have a travel stipend available for successful applicants. Good luck!

Meet our new Board of Directors

We hope you had a great night yesterday at our AGM and Social if you came along. We certainly had a fantastic night, so thanks to everyone who helped to make it happen. We recapped what we achieved in 2016 and we’re really proud that we have put on or assisted with a total of 15 events this year! We think that’s a great year and we hope you could make it along to some of these events and enjoyed them too.

We shared our annual report during the AGM and you can review the slides below.

 

We also had a great time doing our game themed pub quiz! You can view our written questions below (we also had a picture and music round). How many can you get right?

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We have also announced the results of our recent Board Elections! We had 6 candidates applying to fill 3 available seats. We were really excited to announce the winning candidates: Zoe Sams, Steven Taarland  who will be joining the Board and Timea Tabori who was reelected to remain on the Board for another 2 years.

Our Board for 2017

 

We would also like to say a huge thank you to our outgoing Board members who have worked with us over the past years – Alice Rendell, Jon McKellan, Bert McDowell and Mark Hastings.

 

Thank you again for everyone involved in the Elections and the AGM. Keep an eye out for news about upcoming IGDA Scotland events in the New Year!

October Analytics Meeting Recap

In October we were in the Dundee Makerspace in the Vision Building where we heard from our guest speaker, Luke Dicken, about the what, why and how of Analytics. Luke was visiting us all the way from San Francisco and it was great to hear him share his expertise and fascinating insight.

We hope you enjoyed the discussion, but in case you missed it, you can catch the recording right here!

We look forward to seeing you at our AGM next week!