The plot thickens! The International Game Developers Association has disavowed yesterday's email calling for the removal of Tim Langdell from its Board of Directors, saying it was not an official communication and that the organization has nothing to do with any of the content or links provided.
An email went out to members of the IGDA yesterday, calling for a special meeting of the group's membership to vote on the removal of Tim Langdell from its Board of Directors. Langdell was elected to the Board in March 2009 but many members feel his litigious antics in defense of his "Edge" trademark and his willingness to invoke the name of the IGDA as part of his crusade has brought the group into disrepute.
But while the email appeared to originate from the IGDA and its sentiment may be widely shared, IGDA Executive Director Joshua Caulfield issued a statement today saying it was not an "official IGDA communication" and that at the moment, the actual author is unknown. "That email address was spoofed, and the communication was not an official IGDA communication," Caulfield said. "It is my hope that this was done by someone simply overzealous about their cause, and not for more destructive reasons."
That may not be quite accurate, though. Anyone who joins the IGDA, even with a free membership, has access to the "member contact form." IGDA volunteer and Orbus Gameworks President Darius Kazemi wrote on his blog that he believes a group of people opposed to Langdell's presence on the Board of Directors simply divided the member list between them and used those contact forms to send the message.
"Nobody obtained email addresses through dubious means," he wrote. "It's like sending a message via Facebook messaging... These messages were not sent in an unethical or illegal way. If anything, the messages are a consequence of the rather poor state of the current IGDA website."
In the end, it may not matter how or where the messages originated, as it accomplished what it was sent to do. Awareness of, and outrage over, Langdell's behavior has been bolstered and the petition it linked to, launched in mid-July by IGDA member Corvus Elrod, is legitimate. Regardless of whether or not anyone gamed the rules to get the message out, it got out, and Langdell's position on the IGDA Board of Directors appears increasingly precarious as a result.