IGDA Head Leaves on a Critical Note


Jason Della Rocca, who announced he would be leaving his position as head of the International Game Developers Association at the end of the 2009 Game Developers Conference, has wrapped up his tenure with some rather vitriolic remarks posted on his blog.

The comments are a “rough” transcript of his “mini-rant” at GDC, in which he suggested IGDA members may not be taking their responsibilities as seriously as they should. While he says on his blog that he wasn’t feeling “particularly vengeful” with the remarks, he obviously was forced to deal with a number of frustrating moments during his nine years with the organization.

Serving the IGDA for the past 9 years has been extremely rewarding and challenging. I helped to get a lot done, but somehow feel that I failed the community.

Sorry for being too focused on the nuts and bolts, with my head down in execution. I just didn’t spend enough time on the big picture vision stuff. It’s scary, and easy to avoid when you’re just “busy” doing stuff.

Sorry for not having the leadership skills to beat the barriers of participation inequality. Less than 1% of the IGDA membership are truly active in driving the org forward. Sorry for not doing a better job building up a strong pipeline of community leaders and volunteers. Sorry for not overcoming your general apathy and laziness.

Sorry for not doing a better job of roping in all the snipers from the sidelines. Turns out you are all pretty damn good at bitching and complaining and being critical. But then you don’t actually do anything about it and you don’t get involved. Sorry for not bringing critics under the tent and getting them to work at improving things.

Sorry for not getting you to be more serious about the profession of game development. You are no longer a bunch of hacks. This is a real art and science. We need to be way more deliberate and control the path the profession takes as it evolves into the future.

Most of all, sorry for not doing more to help you realize your power! Both, collectively as a profession to tackle industry issues, and as creators of culture. You are all having a massive impact on society. You are transforming the world day-by-day without even realizing it.

Oh well, f* you, it’s not my job anymore!

Della Rocca told GamePolitics that he’ll be “doing [his] own thing” now that he’s left the IGDA. “Short version is that I’ll primarily be doing economic development consulting for international governments working to build their local game development cluster/industry,” he said.

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