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I am looking into partnering with IGDA in some undetermined way. It remains to be seen how they can help GDSE (and vice versa), but in exploring the options, I've come across a fairly important set of questions:

  • Are you (yes, you, personally, GDSE user) an IGDA member?
  • What do you get out of your membership?
  • If you aren't a member, why not? Is it the cash, or do you not have interest in joining?

Please enumerate every thought you've ever had about IGDA below. (Or, just leave some notes.)

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I was one of NJ's chapter coordinators for 2 years and have been a member for years. I'm friends with people on the board of the IGDA and coordinators throughout the US. The IGDA has, in the past, provided a good way for non-developers to interact with a tiny quantity of professional developers.

I have found, however, that official "get togethers" and knowledge exchanges tend to have significantly more students, indies, and wanna-be's than professional developers. As I run a professional only group, I have to say, none of us want to be constantly asked the same questions over and over again.

What we want is an environment of professionals talking to other professionals. That's really hard to do. Game development is like writing, everyone thinks they can do it/wants to do it.

It might seem exclusionary, but I've started a professional game programming get together in NYC. How do you find out where our location is? Well, a member has to invite you. How do you get invited? You need to know a member. Members currently are senior and above game engineers each with at least four shipped titles. Yeah, that's exclusion; but, we have more fun than we do at IGDA events and talk waaaay more shop.

In conclusion, the IGDA (and even, to a good extent, GDSE) is awesome for indies, students, and whatnot; but, for professionals, we really want a more focused environment.

Hope that helps!

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  • I'm not a member.
  • I haven't joined because I am unaware of any significant benefit that I'd get. None of the stuff on http://www.igda.org/join sounds useful.

Generally I don't see that IGDA actually does much of use.

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I have been a member in the past. I think I let my membership expire since I wasn't really getting anything out of it.

The local chapter here occasionally organizes meetings. Things like Q&A with lawyers on startups and Christmas parties. I've gone to a few parties. Not the meetings as much anymore since they've been taken over by students and not a small group of professionals.

As far as IGDA proper, I haven't really used any of their services. They've released whitepapers on Quality of Life in the industry that I've perused through. I think I got a free subscription to Game Developer magazine out of it. But that's about it.

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  • I am currently an IGDA member, I got a year membership for organising a site for Global Game Jam.

  • I honestly don't get too much out of the membership, but this is mostly because I haven't put much effort into exploring all that the IGDA offers. There is a ton of benefit to being an IGDA member, though. Much of it relating to discounts for gamedev tools and discounts for trips to gamedev conferences.

As for every thought I ever had about IGDA? Well, that could take a while...

So here's some notes: They're great for knowing what's going on in the world of game development, they help organise tons of events, it's more of a large group of subgroups (or, there's lots of individual subgroups within the main IGDA group. Most people working in the professional gamedev industry have membership via their studios. They're kind of sort of the closest thing to a workers union, without some of the downsides.

These are all just things off the top of my head, and I'm sure there's some people with more knowledge about the IGDA here, so post about it if you know about it!

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I am not a member. Like Kylotan, I don't see that they do anything I believe would be worth subsidizing with my money. As I wrote in an article a while ago concerning QoL:

In the end, I simply see a dearth of evidence sustaining the notion that the IGDA can act as a force-multiplier for the individual actions and opinions of its constituents. That’s not something I want my time, my money or (most importantly) my name associated with.

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  • I'm not a member. I was at one point through no choice of my own: they offer "studio partnerships" where a studio can get a membership for every employee at a bulk price. I believe there are many members who do not even realize that they are members because of this.

  • I don't see myself becoming a member. It seems more geared toward providing value for non-professionals than for professionals. They have not done a good job as an organization of communicating to professionals why they would be well-served to be a member.

  • For the record, I hear that some of the local chapters are quite well run and do go out of their way to provide useful services for professionals. The organization as a whole, though, does not seem to be very useful.

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Member and longtime volunteer for the IGDA Finland Chapter. Larger companies host seminars a few times a year, large and small games are presented at the monthly meetings. Paid membership is not required to participate, but logs of attendees are kept with an associated mailing list to encourage repeated activity. Despite the fact the focus of the association is stateside, and the politics of the organisation are distant to Europe, the clublike mentality to join forces and share knowledge is used to good effect.

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  • Used to be a member
  • Joined because that way we got cheaper tickets to GDC
  • Remained a member while I got game developer magazine through IGDA
  • Quit after this benefit was removed, as I had moved to a less-game development job and didn't see any other benefits give me any reason to stay
  • Never attended the local chapter meetings because they were always at an inconvenient time for me
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I have been a student member of the Albany, NY Chapter and the Washington, DC Chapter and I am planning on attending the Baltimore, MD Chapter events if they ever have one at a convenient time. Chapter to chapter it can be very different as far as whom participates, events organized, and opportunities/resources provided. (ex. some chapters charge non-members a fee for attending events, some chapters have more professional developers in regular attendance while others have more indie developers, varying levels of knowledge/skill, etc...)

People have mentioned the benefits of admission discounts and there is also a group healthcare program I believe.

Ultimately I am a member so that I am not barred from attending IGDA events, I feel that it is mostly a good source of networking possibilities, as well as a good way to stay connected with the development community. Membership a year, imo, isn't to expensive, I do enjoy getting the occasional random piece of snail mail, and the eNewsletter. I think if you are part of an active chapter it can be worth it, but it would be great to get the magazine again.

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I am a current member, plan on staying in when renewal comes up.

My main use is as a participant in the group health plan.

I've read some really good discussions on IGDA regarding quality of life and sane production methods.

However in general I find the SE forums are more expert, whereas IGDA forums have a lot more newbie posts (from what I have seen in my limited forum browsing to date)

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