In recent months Tim Langdell has been a name floating within the IGDA and game development focused websites on a weekly basis. If you have not been following you can read this piece in EuroGamer by Simon Parkin and this by Gamasutra's own Simon Carless.
However, this isn't about Tim or Edge or Mobigames. It's about you and the IGDA. To me, the IGDA and my membership with it has been valuable. The most valuable thing about it has been the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and because of those, I have participated in thought provoking discussions on game accessibility, game design, game writing and quality of life issues. I have become a better game designer/writer because of the other people I've had discussions with. I have worked colloboratively with others within the Game Accessibility SIG on presentations and that led to me speaking at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) a couple of times.
The exposure I received was breathtaking. One year, PBS KQED brought a camera crew to GDC to document the Game Accessibility SIG's efforts for their TV show, Quest. When the 10 minute piece (Video Games - Access for All) was broadcast on TV, I was shocked to find that the coverage focused quite a bit on my work in the game accessibility community. That has led to more contacts and opportunities for which I am very grateful. But it all started with my involvement in the IGDA.
While many are vocal that a membership to the IGDA does not offer them value, I have learned that it gives back what you put into it. The IGDA as a professional org is still young and still succeptable to influence from its members. That is why this hot issue regarding Tim Langdell is so important.
Corvus Elrod has created a petition and invites all members of the IGDA to voice their opinion on whether or not Tim Langdell should be removed from the IGDA board. Many feel that his actions towards Mobigames are in conflict with his duties as an IGDA board member.
Thanks to Corvus' self-initiative, he's giving anyone who is an IGDA member the chance to voice their opinion, anonymously. If you vote in the petition, you will have to enter your name and IGDA membership number, but he will not be pairing up your name/id # with how you voted. At a later date, he will present to the IGDA a list of all the people that voted and a list of how many YES/NO votes there are. No one will know how you voted if you choose to do so.
This is a chance for people who doubted the value of the IGDA to voice their opinion and to do something towards shaping the future of the IGDA. No matter which way you feel, whether you want Tim Langdell removed or to stay on as a board member, your participation will count for something. It will prove that future grassroots efforts can shape the IGDA.
Afterall, it gives back what you put into it. Make it what you want it to be. Corvus is showing us one way of doing that.