This is part of an email to Darius Kazemi regrarding a blow up on one of the IGDA forums as a result of a former IGDA Board members touting the value of working his employees liik dogs, but paying them like princes and the perceived failure of the IGDA to publicly criticize him for his statement….
You know when someone gets elected to the Board they are not issued a cape or any superpowers. Most just want to help out…sure, some want to pad their resumes or feed their egos…but for the most part the board is very dedicated to the org as a whole. But that does not mean that they are the stooges of the members or have to do what a few vocal people think they should.
Here are a few of the more urgent issues the board is presently addressing….
A diminishing membership, both individual and studio affiliate
Operation loss and diminishing cash reserves
Replacing the Executive Director
Launching the new web tech
Continuing and expanding our stand alone conferences
Implementing a marketing and communication plan (we have none)
Launching the IGDA Magazine
QOL Surveys (both Studio and individual)
Managing our relationships with other conferences (like the whole China GDC/GDC China cock-up)
The moving forward with the IGDA Foundation
Finding sponsorship funds to do all this stuff…
I am sure that this list is incomplete…that’s just off the top of my head. Right now every member of the Board is putting tons of time into the IGDA without thanks or compensation…I am not bitching here…but I have spent most of my office time since I got back from GDC on IGDA stuff…and I know that Bob Bates has done nothing else as well. And we all have to make a living on the side.
So, if you think you’re frustrated with the IGDA, you have no idea. The IGDA as an independent entity is less that 4 years old (since the CMP spin off). We have one employee (well we should, but right now we don’t) who is the Executive Director. We also have Talley Group, the Association Management Company that handle the back end. The rest is all volunteer efforts..from the Board chair on down…some more than others (I don’t want to even guess at the actual monetary value of of my investment of time into the IGDA over the past 8 years.)
The Board usually meets by phone for 90 minutes every month or two and has a face to face two day retreat annually to try to set priorities and make action plans. Not a great deal of bandwidth there is there? I am not asking for any appreciation here..but perhaps a little understanding of the inherent limitation of a member funded volunteer organization…we can only do what we can do….
Darius, I know you do a great deal for your chapter…I ran one for 5 year myself…but doesn’t it sort of irk you when someone shows up at a chapter meeting and tells you how your chapter is a stupid waste of time and sucks? And then tells you how to run the chapter because they have a special bone to pick…and they know better then you do how to run things…I’ll bet that engages you in a positive manner to make changes and to prioritize their issues…well maybe not. In fact this sort of attitude does just the opposite. I actually had one of the fucktard’s on the forum string tell me I should resign from the Board because I am such a failure?!?!?! WTF is up with that?
The Board does not do a very good job of engaging its volunteers…but those who want to bitch about the Board need to think about this same issue…the Board is also volunteers and telling them that they are failures, should quit, and are not doing their jobs does nothing…at least nothing positive. It just makes me wonder, “Is doing something positive even on the agenda here?”…or is it just telling others how they should live their lives because you know more about what’s good for them than they do…Bah! What arrogant bullshit!
I was raised a socialist. I took the the streets the day after Kent state, I am the “man of the people” on the Board. And in my heart I agree with the position regarding QOL expressed by the most vocal of those posting on the thread. But that said, I do not think it is the place of the IGDA to tell anyone, employer or employee how to work. If someone believes in a high QOL, then they should work someone where that is the standard. Everyone gets to vote with their feet! If they want to work long hours, for whatever reason, that is their decision. This effort to turn the IGDA into a moral police force “that knows better what’s good for you than you do,” is lame as shit. And as much as I believe in QOL, I will have no part in it…
The IGDA QOL effort must be one of education of employees and enlightenment of management (a carrot, not a stick!), not one of sanctions or anything else like that.