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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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About the IGDA

Q: Who runs the IGDA?
A: The IGDA is governed by its members, who elect the Board of Directors to represent the interests of the membership. The Board has control over key aspects of the IGDA, and matters decided by the board include budgets, new committees, member programs, and other matters. The Board hires the Executive Director who is responsible for the daily operation of the organization and execution of the organizational goals as defined by the Board, which includes hiring Staff.

Q: What is the legal status of the IGDA?
A: The IGDA is an independent, non-profit membership association and is recognized as a 501(c)6 tax-exempt organization by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and as a mutual benefit non-profit association under California-state law.

Q: Is the IGDA a union or guild?
A: No. The IGDA is an independent non-profit professional association. The IGDA cannot become a guild or a union.

Q: Is the IGDA a trade association?
A: No. The IGDA is an independent non-profit professional association focused on individual game developers. Trade associations like the ESA, BIU, etc. are focused on supporting game companies.

Q: Does the IGDA own or run the Game Developers Conference (GDC)?
A: No. While the earliest form of the conference was created by the Computer Game Developers Association (now the IGDA), the GDC is wholly owned and operated by UBM Tech Web. The IGDA maintains a strategic partnership with UBM in regards to activities at the GDC, but does not have any direct control or authority over the conference.

Q: Does the IGDA own or run its own events?
A: Yes. From 2007 to 2011, the IGDA ran the Leadership Forum events that highlighted issues around elevating management and leadership practices in the game industry. There were followed by the IGDA Summit from 2011 to 2013, an event co-located with Casual Connect. In 2015, the IGDA is launching the new Leadership Summit event to once again focus on issues around leadership at all levels and in all its forms in the industry, whether someone is in management or not.

Q: Does the IGDA compete with other developer-oriented organizations?
A: No. The IGDA works to advance the careers and enhancing the lives of game developers worldwide. While we are the only global association for game developers, we have active partnerships with many regional/local developer organizations around the world. Some of them have even become the IGDA chapter for their locale, as they desire to be better connected to the global developer community. We welcome existing developer-focused organizations to partner with us on improving the industry for everyone.

Q: Does the IGDA organization include gamers and consumers?
A: While the IGDA wholeheartedly appreciates anyone who plays video games and/or supports the work of game creators, our organization was created to focus solely on those individuals who create video games.

Q: How many members are in the IGDA?
A: As of 1 September 2016, the global paid membership of the IGDA was around 9,000 individuals.

Q: How can I contact someone from the IGDA?
A: Visit the Contact Us page for details.

Q: I would like to do a media interview with Kate Edwards and/or someone from the IGDA. How can I arrange this?
A: Please email press [at] igda [dot] org.

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Membership and Benefits

Q: What are the benefits of membership?
A: The main benefit of membership is knowing the you are developing your career and personally contributing to the betterment of the game development industry by supporting the IGDA's mission. The tangible benefits include discounts and special offers on industry events, books, products and services. Be sure to explore the list of member discounts. Members also receive a membership card and gain access to the member directory, and the ability to post their own member profile. See IGDA.org FAQs for more information on IGDA.org specific features.

Q: Is there a minimum age for membership?
A: Membership is open to anyone interested in game development, at any age. However, many benefits of membership are age restricted. Industry events often restrict access to minors, so member discounts on these events will not apply. Additionally, IGDA Chapters may hold events in venues with age restrictions.

Q: I have a great idea for a new member benefit. What should I do?
A: Please use the Contact Us form to submit your recommendation. We welcome such suggestions and are always working to arrange new benefits for our membership.

Q: I signed up to be an IGDA member, but I haven't received my membership card - where is it?
A: IGDA HQ processes membership card production in periodic batches in order to minimize costs, not on a per person basis when each member signs up. Typically, you should receive your IGDA membership card within 90 days of signing up for your membership. Meanwhile, if you need a copy of your membership card, you can print one out at any time from your Member Profile after logging into your account on the IGDA.org website. 

Q: Does the IGDA help developers who are seeking employment in the United States?
A: The IGDA is recognized by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) as the sole peer organization for game developers. As such, one of the benefits of being an IGDA member is that we will provide an advisory letter for O-1 and H1-B visas for employment in the United States. This typically happens after you have an offer of employment from a U.S. company, and then their immigration lawyers seek our input.

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IGDA.org

Q: How do I update my contact information?
A: You can update your contact information by logging into your account at IGDA.org. Once logged in, you will be taken to your profile for updates and edits.

Q: I lost my password. What should I do?
A: Use the Forgot your password? tool to reset your password. If you no longer have access to the email address associated with your account or if you do not receive the password reset email within 24 hours, please use the Contact Us form to contact our membership support team for assistance.

Q: I lost my username. What should I do?
A: The Forgot your password? tool can be used to gain access to your username. The email provided to reset your password will also contain your username. If you no longer have access to the email address associated with your account or if you do not receive the password reset email within 24 hours, please use the Contact Us form to contact our membership support team for assistance.

Q: I lost my IGDA member number. What should I do?
A: Your IGDA membership number can be found at the top of your IGDA.org profile.

Q: How do I manage my profile's privacy settings on IGDA.org?
A: Some fields of your profile can be made visible to other members of the IGDA. When logged into IGDA.org, IGDA members find your profile either through search or by clicking on your name from a forum or community.

When editing your profile, many of the fields have lock icons. These icons control the privacy of the field with which they are associated.

The Members Only icon () indicates that IGDA members logged into IGDA.org can see this field on your profile.

The Private icon () indicates that this field on your profile is not visible to IGDA members.

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The IGDA Community

Q: How can I get involved in the IGDA?
A: There are many ways you can get involved with the IGDA. First and foremost, you can join the organization as a member and take advantage of the associated benefits. If you'd like to also help as a volunteer in a local Chapter or a Special Interest Group (SIG) in your field, visit our Community section and discover Chapters in your area and/or SIGs in your field. Also, IGDA HQ often has tasks that require volunteer support. Watch IGDA.org to find out about potential opportunities.

In addition, the IGDA Foundation often seeks help for the IGDA Scholars program in the form of mentors, chaperones and donors.

Q: What community features are available with my IGDA membership?
A: Your IGDA.org account gives you access to

  • IGDA Chapter and SIG Communities,
  • IGDA Forums,
  • Membership History,
  • Connect and Message other IGDA members*,
  • Share Your Social Networks,
  • A Printable Membership Card,
  • and more.

You can also add your resume to your profile and in the future be able to search for other IGDA members*.
Click here to dive in and explore the community features available on IGDA.org.

* Subject to individual privacy settings.

Q: How can I get in touch with the organizers of my local Chapter or a SIG?
A: Visit the appropriate IGDA community page (Professional Chapters, Academic Chapters, Special Interest Groups) and locate the information for the Chapter or SIG in question. If no information is available, please use the Contact Us form to request information.

Q: Who can attend IGDA Chapter meetings?
A: Anyone interested in game development is welcome to attend an IGDA Chapter meeting. IGDA membership is encourage but not required. Note that some Chapters may hold events in venues with age restrictions and some Chapters may host occasional meetings for members only, or may charge a nominal fee for non-members. Please contact your chapter for details.

Q: What's the difference between an Academic Chapter and a Professional Chapter?
A: Academic Chapters serve students, faculty, and professors at a specific school, college, or university.

Professional Chapters serve all individuals -- from student to professional, indie to AAA -- interested in game development in a specific geographical region.

Q: What is a Special Interest Group (SIG) and what does it do?
A: An IGDA Special Interest Group or SIG is a group that is focused on a particular function within the game industry, or a particular identity or affinity. While Chapters are the main IGDA focus in specific locales, the SIGs are the main IGDA focus across jobs and identities. For functions, our SIGs include a variety of areas, including Production, Writing, Localization, QA and so on. For affinities, our SIGs include Women in Games, LGBT, Blacks in Gaming, Jewish Game Developers and so on.

Q: How do I start a Professional Chapter?
A: Visit the IGDA's Chapter community page for information on starting a Professional chapter.

Q: How do I start an Academic Chapter?
A: Visit the IGDA's Chapter community page for information on starting a Academic chapter.

Q: How do I start a Special Interest Group (SIG)?
A: Visit the IGDA's Special Interest Group (SIGs) community page for information on starting a SIG.

Q: How do I provide feedback regarding my local Chapter or a Special Interest Group?
A: Feedback regarding your local Chapter or a SIG should be directed to the leadership of that Chapter or SIG. Feedback can also be sent to IGDA HQ regarding a Chapter or SIG. Contact chapters [at] igda [dot] org for Chapter feedback or sigs [at] igda [dot] org for SIGs. If you wish to submit feedback anonymously, please use the Contact Us form.

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General Industry Information

Q: Where can I find information about the IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey?
A: Please visit the Developer Satisfaction Survey page for more information about this research and to access the various reports that have been released to date.

Q: I'm looking for statistics on the game industry. Does the IGDA have any statistics to share?
A: Beyond the information collected in the IGDA's Developer Satisfaction Survey, the following resources are also available:

Q: How much can you earn in the game industry? What is the average salary of people making games?
A: Beyond the information collected in the IGDA's Developer Satisfaction Survey, check out the 2014 Gamasutra Salary Survey for a comprehensive breakdown by job type.

Q: Where can I read about game industry news?
A: Some of the major industry news outlets include the following:

Q: What are the main annual industry events? Is there an events calendar listing these?
A: The IGDA partners with many major events that can be found in our Events calendar. In addition, these sites also list many of the other industry events:

Q: Where can I find a listing of game companies?
A: Unfortunately, no one source has a comprehensive listing of game companies worldwide. The following sites are a good place to start:

Also, if you're looking for companies within a specific locale, you're likely to have success by contacting the industry trade association for that region, such as the ESA in the U.S., TIGA/Ukie in the U.K., BIU in Germany, and so forth.

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Getting Started In The Industry

Q: Is the IGDA hiring? Can I get a job with the IGDA?
A: As the IGDA isn't a game development company and we maintain a small operational staff, we rarely have frequent job openings. Unfortunately, we do not have any openings at this time.

You may wish to check to see if there is an IGDA Chapter in your area to get involved in your local developer community. You may find opportunities in your back yard!

Q: I'm really interested in working in the game industry. How do I get started?
A: There are many paths into the game industry - it depends a lot on where you are, what you want to do, your ability to network effectively, and so on.

Instead of relying on one single resource for guidance, the IGDA suggests looking across a range of resources that can help enlighten on potential paths into the game industry. Here are some links that can help:

The best advice the IGDA can give you for starters is to a) figure out what area of game development interests you the most, b) research the skills are required to achieve that type of job, and c) take every possible opportunity to work on games, even if creating them yourself.

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Miscellaneous

Q: I have a great idea for a game! Can the IGDA help me find investors and/or other people to help me create it?
A: As a non-profit professional association, the IGDA is not positioned to act as a source of funding for your idea and our staff do not have the time to act as a business-to-business connector. We strongly encourage you to get involved in the IGDA community and through that interaction you may find the help you're seeking.

Q: Can the IGDA fund my idea/project/event?
A: As a non-profit professional association, the IGDA is not positioned to act as a source of funding for your idea/project/event. If you are crowdfunding your game or project on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, approved projects can be added to our branded IGDA pages. This opportunity is a free member benefit for projects created by IGDA members.

Q: Can the IGDA market my game?
A: As a non-profit professional association, the IGDA is not positioned to act as a marketing agent or social media manager for your project/event. Consider connecting with the IGDA Marketing Special Interest Group to see if someone may be available to help you with marketing.

The IGDA does have a handful of opportunities to highlight a game and/or company if appropriate.

  • Crowdfunding your project on Kickstarter or Indiegogo? Approved projects can be added to our branded IGDA pages. This opportunity is a FREE member benefit for projects created by IGDA members.
  • IGDA Studio Affiliates can have promotional copy included in the IGDA's weekly mailer for FREE.
  • Ad space is available for purchase in the IGDA's weekly mailer.
  • Dedicated mailers can be purchased for delivery to opt-in IGDA members.

Q: I'm being harassed in a game I'm playing online, can the IGDA help me?
A: As a non-profit professional association, the IGDA is not positioned to act as an arbitrator, legal agent, and/or policy enforcement body for consumer-facing games run by private companies. If you are being harassed, we recommend you first contact the company and address the issue with them directly. We also suggest reviewing the IGDA's Online Harassment Resource for additional options you may wish to pursue to resolve your situation.

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