Scholarship Deadline Extension: Executive MBA at The Berlin School of Creative Leadership

The Berlin School of Creative Leadership has extended the application deadline for the IGDA Foundation Diversity Scholarship to November 16th. The scholarship winner will receive tuition support for the incredible Berlin School Executive MBA in Creative Leadership program starting March 2016 in Berlin.

We are thrilled to be partnering with The Berlin School of Creative Leadership in preparing the next generation of game industry leaders for success.

“The Executive MBA in Creative Leadership is a master’s degree for professionals in areas of business and industry where creativity sets the standards. The program is designed for those with significant professional experience looking to develop further as leaders and carry through purposeful and imaginative change in their fields. Throughout the intensive module residencies and thesis preparation, degree candidates work together with veteran international faculty members as well as industry thought leaders committed to fostering creativity in business.”

Please help spread the word about this wonderful scholarship opportunity by tweeting, posting on Facebook, and otherwise sharing the news!

For more information on applying, visit The Berlin School of Creative Leadership’s informational page here:


Trustee Steps Down

Tom_Buscaglia-IGDA_Board_HeaLast month the IGDA Foundation Board of Trustees got its annual new appointments. Before we introduce our new Trustees, it felt appropriate to take a moment to recognise Tom Buscaglia, who has stepped down from his role with the organization.

Tom is one of the founders of the IGDA Foundation, and has served as a Trustee for the past 9 years, 8 of them as Chair. Tom’s unwavering belief in the mission of the IGDA and the IGDA Foundation has been a shining example through the years. His guidance saw the growth of the Foundation from initial idea to an actual charity, and he has been instrumental in ensuring our long term stability as Treasurer during this past year, our most active and successful to date. Tom continues to hold a seat on the IGDA Board of Directors as Chair Emeritus.

On behalf of all of us: Tom, thank you for your service to the game development community!

Intel Scholars in Action

This has been an especially exciting year for the IGDA Foundation! In addition to our talented group of IGDA Scholars, we also launched our IGDAF Intel Scholars Program to send an additional 29 women to GDC. These impressive young women met with industry leaders and attended talks and networking events. Intel Scholar and recent Cogswell College graduate Cara Ricci writes:

I will never have enough good things to say about my fellow scholars; they were supremely intelligent, funny, driven, accomplished, talented, and so, so caring.

Zoë Sams, an MSc student at Bournemouth University, adds:

My week in San Francisco was one of the most empowering, important, and fun experiences I’ve ever had. I realised that the industry I love is welcoming and that people are so willing to help you learn.

You can read more about the IGDAF Intel Scholars’ experiences here. The IGDA Foundation is incredibly grateful to Intel for their support, and we’re proud to be sending more and more students to major industry events around the world—scholarships to GDC Europe and Gamescom were recently announced. These talented and innovative young scholars are the future leaders of our industry. We are excited to see where they go from here!


IGDA Scholars Report Back From GDC

This year’s IGDA Scholars have reported back from a great GDC! We were excited to send 18 talented students to the annual Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco where they met eminent developers for private Q & A sessions, worked one-on-one with industry mentors, and toured Bay Area games studios. This year, we we also delighted to offer travel stipends courtesy of our recent partnership with Intel. Stacey Mason, a PhD student at UC Santa Cruz and one of this year’s GDC Scholars, writes of her experience:

I can say with total sincerity that being an IGDA Scholar has changed my life. From meeting some of the incredible people behind my favorite games to invaluable advice from my mentor, the scholars program has provided me with so many opportunities that I will never forget.

Congratulations again to this year’s GDC scholars!


Molly Proffitt and Cat Wendt Recognized by the IGDA

mollycatluke-1The IGDA Foundation is proud to showcase two of our program leaders, Molly Proffitt and Cat Wendt, who were recently recognized by the IGDA for their philanthropic contributions to the organization and video game industry at large. Both received MVP Awards from the IGDA for their efforts.

Molly Proffitt is the Program Lead for the IGDA Scholars program and the Chair of the Atlanta chapter of the IGDA. Molly oversees operations in making sure scholars all over the world are able to attend GDC, E3, GDCE and Gamescom. She works tirelessly to pair scholars with industry mentors, organize Q&A panels, schedule booth tours, and create other opportunities for them.

Cat Wendt is co-chair of the IGDA Women in Games SIG, and she headed the inaugural IGDAF Intel Scholars Program this year. Under her lead, the IGDA Foundation was able to send 29 talented women scholars to GDC (thanks to Intel’s generous support). Cat has also been a long time contributor to the IGDA more generally, helping out across the board, especially with graphic design. In fact, the Foundation’s logo is one of her designs!

The IGDA Foundation is incredibly proud to work with such talented people, and we thank Molly and Cat for all of their exceptional work.

Humble Bundle Helps Support the IGDA Foundation

Co-Op-2-Weekly-Logo-1We are thrilled to announce that the IGDA Foundation is being featured as a recipient of proceeds from this week’s “Co-Op 2 Humble Weekly Bundle”. We are honored to be included and our gratitude goes out to the folks at Humble Bundle for making us a part of their program! We’re also very thankful for Monochrome Inc, developer of Contagion, who specifically requested our participation as their charity of choice.

If you are a fan of the work we do here at the IGDA Foundation, or are just a big fan of Contagion – or any of the other great games in this bundle, please check out this week’s Humble Bundle.

We’d also love it if you could help us to spread the word about this. Please tweet, post on Facebook and however else to spread the word and help us raise awareness – and raise some money! Every ounce of support helps us in our mission to enrich the careers of emerging and established game developers through our programs, student event scholarships, mentoring, and community grants.

The 2015 Eric Dybsand Memorial AI Scholarship

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2015 Eric Dybsand Memorial AI Scholarship is John Edward Armstrong from the University of Bergen in Norway. Our panel of judges felt that John’s enthusiasm and interest for AI, combined with his service to his local community made him an exceptional candidate for this award. Read more about John below!


John Armstrong is a masters student at the University in Bergen, Norway. He is a programmer, currently working for the games startup BitSquad, on it’s Bismuth project. Though the past years, he has been an active member of the Norwegian Gamemakers Guild, through which he has helped lead and organize events such as Konsoll (an annual game developer conference) and the Bergen Game Jam. In addition to games he is also a board member of the programmers group Kompiler, which seeks to help connect and educate programmers within diverse fields of software development.

In addition to an All Access pass to the conference, John will receive a welcome fitting to the memory of Eric thanks to the AI Game Programmers Guild. Mentoring, introductions to the AI community, invitations to events and even being pointed out as part of the AI Summit – John is in for a once in a lifetime experience!

Congratulations John, we’ll see you at GDC!

Intel and the IGDA Foundation

10923512_10101126002544281_6217694044707256925_nThe IGDA Foundation is proud to be a part of the Intel diversity initiative recently unveiled by CEO Brian Krzanich. Intel’s strong commitment to this cause will undoubtedly help enact positive change in the industry, and the IGDA Foundation is committed to supporting this aim.

As a result of a generous grant from Intel, we’re excited to share with you information about new initiatives we will be able to support as well as new programs that we are launching in the coming year.

The first of these is the “Intel Scholars” program. For fourteen years, the IGDA has operated the IGDA Scholars program, supporting some of the best and brightest students in our industry. It has been instrumental in launching the careers of a number of prominent individuals who have positively impacted game development. With the help of Intel, we now are proud to launch another initiative called “Intel Scholars,” which will operate in addition to the IGDA Scholars program. In its inaugural year, this program will enable thirty talented women to attend the 2015 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and have a once in a lifetime experience. We’re thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to these extraordinarily talented and deserving women, who are all students pursuing degrees related to game development.

We’ll have more announcements in the coming weeks and months about the exciting new things we are working on. Thanks so much to Intel for their commitment to diversity! Our gratitude also goes to GDC – their support over the years has made the success of these programs possible!

From the Chair – The First Six Months

FoundationHeadshot-150x150It’s been around six months since I took over the mantle of Foundation Chair from Tom Buscaglia and what a ride its been! I’ve been honoured, intimidated and overwhelmed in equal parts, and a significant portion of the time has been spent familiarising myself with our history and what it really means to be a charity -and how that differs from the experience I’ve got with non-profits in general. There is a very steep learning curve here but a very enjoyable one!

One of the most significant challenges we face is one of PR. Recently the Ice Bucket challenge united people around the world and from all walks of life to raise awareness and funds for ALS, and whilst the IGDA Foundation may have more niche appeal, this has certainly provided an amount of food for thought as to how we might try to emulate that success. In recent months we’ve made great steps forward in terms of our messaging – most notably by revamping this website but also developing other streams like a Donor Newsletter, a Twitter account and our brand new Facebook page, but we are still a long way from our “viral moment”.

But regardless, it remains an exciting time for the IGDA Foundation! We’re emerging from this changeover period stronger than ever and with an incredible Board of Trustees to lead us forwards. Our current projects go from strength to strength, and we’ve got so many great ideas for excellent projects that we can’t wait to raise support for.

But we can’t do it alone, we need each and every one of you to join us in working together to provide support for game developers around the world. If you could make a donation, that would be so greatly appreciate but regardless, please keep in touch through social media and let us know what you think we should be doing.

Yours in service

Luke Dicken
Chair, IGDA Foundation

James Burns, IGDA Foundation Scholarship Recipient at Full Sail University, Graduates

We’re delighted to inform you that after years of effort, the recipient of the IGDA Foundation Full Sail Scholarship graduated from his program earlier this month.

James Burns was awarded this scholarship in 2012, and has since been hard at work with his studies, getting exceptional grades as we have previously posted. On September 5th, his efforts were rewarded when he not only graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Game Development, but was also named as class Salutatorian!

James had this to say about his experience: “Thanks to Full Sail and the IGDA Foundation giving me a chance at my dream, I have all the knowledge to pursue the career I want in game development!

We’re very proud of James and all he has accomplished to date, and we can’t wait to see where he goes and what he does next!

Please join us in congratulating him, either in the comments here or directly on Twitter where he is @TheRandomosity