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"Games for Good" - ITN/IDGA Programme

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Just got this in my email:




I'm going to need to do some more research before I personally decide how vested I will be in this, but I figured I should at least spread the word for others to look in to it as well.  Something smells "off" right now, but I'll try to look a little deeper, just in case that's my own paranoia talking.

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IGDA has members from a large swath of game companies and indie studios, and it's more a behind-the-scenes organization, so overall I would say it is a good thing.  Like any socially-aware initiative its effectiveness will depend upon the people behind it and their fortune in getting people to buy in.  Larger corporations will draw their feet as always, but are likely to have at least some devs who listen.  (A prime example is someone awesome like Raph Koster who has been at companies big and small and has a general mentality of trying to uplift everyone).


The real importance is that there are tons of smaller teams where such a thing can have a big impact, on top of raising awareness in general, and perhaps inspiring someone to make a push in a positive direction.


(I's not as if the games industry doesn't have its litany of problems on the backside.  I'm for anything that tries to focus on the positive in the hopes that it establishes a good mindset.  Of course there will be fluff and starry-eyed individuals without a sense of reality that get involved, but that's true of any social movement.)

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The phrase 'raise awareness' sets off my bullshit detector. When a big charity says they're collection money to 'raise awareness', it usually means they're plowing the money back into more fundraising.

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I've been a card-carrying member of the IGDA since the early 2000s, @Siouxsie.  The organization has certainly had its ups and downs over the years, with changes in leadership happening a few times.  Their Code of Ethics is pretty good . . . on paper.  There have been concerns throughout the years, though, that the IDGA failed to meet the standards they set for themselves, from time to time.  Lately they've been on the backfoot, far as I can tell.  

But I'll freely admit; I've not really been fully engaged with the industry in a professional capacity since around 2012/'13ish.  So I may be totally out of touch.


Likewise, @Kyksie, I'm not a fan of "charities" or not-for-profits that exist solely to "raise awareness" . . . but this Games for Good initiative doesn't appear to be a fund-raising endeavour.  At least not in the typically overt fashion from what I'm seeing.  My concern is that I'm still unsure if this is a legitimate extension of the advocacy side of the IGDA, or if it's more of a lobbyist angle.


Positivity is all well and good, but you can't address systemic problems by ignoring them with good public relation efforts.  Still . . . drawing otherwise unengaged people in by making them interested in the beneficial aspects of games may be helpful.  After that, we may be able to make efforts to engage those people on the more urgent issues too.

We'll have to see how this shakes out.


But, in the meantime, sharing information with one another on the topic is a great way to keep an eye on things.  Sort of like the benefits of Free Press, and all that, even if we're not necessarily holding ourselves to any form of journalistic integrity.

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Ah, you're more aware of them than I understood.  I apologize for not realizing that.  I agree they've had their ups and downs, but then you're also going to be familiar with the industry in general and it's myriad problems with enlightenment.  (While I'm a hobbyist dev at best, I have several friends in the industry, and probably as many that have left it.  Their stories are not encouraging.)


If it is just a PR thing, then I fully agree, but I would like to believe that it is sincere.  Probably because they so desperately need it.  And I wasn't willing to let my cynical nature cloud my post.


Sharing is great though.  My news has slowed to a trickle these last four or five years since my old gaming board went nuts, and I never joined the diaspora over to Broken Toys.

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So, looks like NC was only included there in a perfunctory capacity, as ITN only seemed to be addressing activities taken by Arena.Net employees.  And, on the surface of it, all seemed fairly up-and-up.

So, as a piece of positive messaging for (what I believe is) their target demographic (non-gamers), the video and the Games for Good initiative seems to be hitting their listed goals well enough.


I just wish the IGDA would take a firmer stance on the hard-hitting issues internally.  I "get" wanting to play nice with corrupt powers-that-be when you're teetering on a razor's edge of viability . . . but too much sunshine and smoke getting blown up people's asses only does harm in the long term.  At some point, you need to cash in on the goodwill and make a play at real progress.  

Of course, in all fairness, when the IDGA made their big push for unionization in the game industry back in the mid 2000s, it fell apart pretty spectacularly.  Maybe they're afraid of a repeat misstep.  But if not RIGHT NOW, when has there ever been a better time to push?  -After- the court decision on actiblizz gets handed down?  I don't like to be pessimistic, but I'm still worried that whole thing is just going to get buried under a rug.  That is, unless someone (the IGDA, maybe?) really digs their heels in and makes DAMNED sure that the problems actually get addressed.


 . . . 



I'm still bitter.

I'm still passionate about game development; I just can't return to it while things continue to be the way they are right now.

Homecoming stirred a lot of shit up for me, heh.  But I'm glad for it.  I see so much potential for good here.

Here's to hope springing eternal, eh?

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