IGDAF @ GDC 2017: Making the Industry Stronger and More Diverse

It’s been a bit more than a month since the conclusion of another amazing GDC, and now that we’ve all had time to reflect, recover, and marvel at the amazing experiences we shared, the IGDA Foundation wanted to share the impact of our efforts at GDC.5D4_7621

Our GDC programs included the IGDA Scholars (for the 16th year!), Women in Games Ambassadors, and our newest program, Next Gen Leaders.  Each of these programs helps us create a better industry for game developers by supporting the best and brightest students seeking to join the industry and actively encouraging the inclusion and retention of under-represented minority game devs.

Our programs touch a broad range of participants and volunteers: 135 students, developers, mentors, speakers, and supporters directly engaged in our efforts at GDC 2017.  We accept less than 10% of the talented students and game developers who apply to our programs, and we strive to give every participant a unique, life-changing experience that supports their personal and professional growth.

5D4_7607We made a difference in the lives of those participants: according to our post-GDC survey, 100% of IGDA Foundation participants would recommend their program to a friend our colleague, 83% believe their program made it more likely they’ll find or continue a career in game development, and 90% feel more positively about game development thanks to their experience with the IGDA Foundation.

We can also see the impact of our programs through the success of our alumni:  IGDA Foundation program alumni and current year participants delivered 28 sessions at GDC 2017, arguably the most prestigious and in-demand professional speaking opportunity in our industry!  

We’re also making progress on our goal of supporting an industry that reflects the diversity of the people who love and play games.  Across all of our programs, 77% of our participants identify as female, 40% are people of color, and 40% identify as LGBTQIA.  

Copy of 5D4_7616These programs wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our sponsors and supporters.  We offer a heartfelt thank you to Intel, Xbox, the Bigglesworth Family Foundation, Double Fine Productions, and Zynga for their financial, experiential, and logistical support of the IGDA Foundation.  And we couldn’t provide our programs without Meggan Scavio and the GDC team, who not only create the pre-eminent conference for game developers each year but who generously donate GDC passes for our participants.

We’re looking forward to GDC 2018 and the chance to impact even more students and developers!  And in the meantime, we’re actively planning to expand the efforts of the IGDA Foundation to make an even bigger improvement to the lives of game developers.  If you’d like to get involved, we’d love your help!  You can reach me at jen@igda.org.

Posted in Foundation News.