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IGDA NEWS

Action Requested: ICANN Domain Name Rules May Jeopardize Privacy
IGDA
The IGDA regularly monitors issues that may affect game developers, and we'd like to inform members about a serious issue regarding the privacy of WHOIS information for business-related web domains. ICANN, the internet domain authority, has proposed changes to their existing WHOIS policies that would force the exposure of private owner information for any domain used for commercial purposes. These changes are primarily being sought by U.S.-based entertainment companies for the purpose of pursuing potential trademark and IP violations.

If approved, the changes would remove any privacy protections for commercial domains, regardless of the company's size. Thus, for example, a solo independent game developer with a company website for their projects would have their personal address and contact information exposed with no means to hide such information from public access.

ICANN is currently inviting public feedback on the proposed changes. If you feel these changes may negatively affect your situation, we strongly encourage you to review the proposed changes and please take action to provide feedback to ICANN before 7 July 2015!
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IGDA @ E3 2015 — That's a Wrap!
IGDA
The game industry converged on Los Angeles in June to once again participate in the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and once again the IGDA was there right in the midst of it! With great thanks to the ESA, the IGDA is provided a booth space in the West Hall lobby area for performing outreach to anyone interested in the organization and our mission. As usual, our Executive Director Kate Edwards was there to meet and greet visitors, hold meetings with partners and studios, with academic institutions, and of course, any IGDA members. The IGDA volunteers had a lot of interaction with attendees and did a great job representing the organization.

On the evening of 17 June, the IGDA held its annual Networking Event in the basement room of the historic Figueroa Hotel. In a relaxing atmosphere with a Moroccan theme (and without any blasting music!) industry professionals gathered to catch up with one another, connect, network and just enjoy a break from the hectic event schedule and exhibition floor. Some attendees have described the IGDA Networking Event as "easily the best evening event at E3", and this year was highlighted by a giveaway of high-end keyboard hardware, thanks to a generous donation by Razer.

The IGDA Scholars also had a great time at E3! Check out the Storify at this link: http://bit.ly/1CC1hym

If you or a student you know would like to be part of the IGDA Scholars program, there is still time to apply to be a Tokyo Game Show/CEDEC scholar. Applications close Monday, 6th July Japan Standard Time. Apply today at http://scholars.igda.org/how-to-apply

The IGDA greatly thanks its sponsors who supported our activities at E3 this year, including Intel, Tripwire Interactive, GTL Media, Birthplace Management Group, QED, BluBox Games, Razer, and the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers (NAVGTR).

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Early Registration for IGDA Leadership Summit available through 15 July
IGDA
Registration for the 2015 IGDA Leadership Summit, taking place in Seattle just two days following the PAX Prime event – 2-3 September, is open with early registration rates ending 15 July. Enjoy the Seattle summer and be ready to be challenged by diverse, dynamic speakers in both a keynote lecture and workshop-style learning environment.

This year's event is bringing together a great group of dynamic, diverse speakers to explore forms of leadership, areas of application and provide hands-on guidance for navigating tough issues.

The event's roster of speakers is currently being finalized but includes the following well-known voices in and around the game industry:
  • Scott Crabtree, Chief Happiness Officer, Happy Brain Science
  • Meg Gaiser, CEO & Founder, Contagious Creativity and former CEO of Her Interactive
  • Rami Ismail, Chief Executive - Business & Development, Vlambeer
  • Sheri Graner Ray, CEO & Founder, Zombie Cat Studios, and author of "Gender Inclusive Game Design"
  • Alan Wilson, CEO, Tripwire Interactive
  • Kiki Wolfkill, Executive Producer, 343 Industries
  • Indie Legal Workshop, with Tom Buscaglia (The Game Attorney) and Jay Moore

The IGDA Foundation is also reprising its Charity Dinner during the Leadership Summit. More information will be available in upcoming weeks. Note that a separate registration is required for that event. Learn more and register now at http://www.igda.org/event/IGDAFoundationCharityDinner2015.

For more information, please visit IGDA Leadership Summit website. Space is limited so make your travel plans as soon as possible with special discounts on flights and accommodations (special rates on the event hotel are valid only to 2 August).

Those interested in supporting this important event can sponsor for as low as US $500! Contact sponsors@igda.org for more information.

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Event Highlight: IGDA Games User Research SIG's #GamesUR Conference
Making games better through playtesting and understanding players: #GamesUR is Europe's first games user research conference

IGDA
'Games User Research' is a catch-all term for various techniques, professions and research into gaming and players — focusing on players' psychology and their behaviour, and helping to improve games during development. Through playtesting, expert analysis, games analytics and many other methods, Games User Researchers seek to help game designers deliver their creative visions, and deliver players the best possible gaming experience.

The #GamesUR Conference is a one-day knowledge-sharing and networking event for professionals in playtesting and player insight, debuting in London's Conway Hall on 17 July, presented by the IGDA GURSIG.

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Meet our GDC Europe & Gamescom Scholarship Winners
IGDA
We are pleased to announce our GDC Europe & Gamescom IGDA Scholars! The following students received a GDC Europe & Gamescom scholarship for 2015:
  • John Armstrong (University of Bergen, NO)
  • Jamie Bell (Norwich University of the Arts, UK)
  • Stefan Filff (NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, NL)
  • Morten Salvesen (Westerdals Oslo School of Art, Communication and Technology, NO)
  • Alberto Taiuti (University of Abertay Dundee, UK)
  • Tatu Teittinen (Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, FI)
  • Rodrigo Vicencio (University of Saskatchewan, CA)
  • Luis Wong (National Graduate School of Games, FR)
Each student will be receiving an all access pass to GDC Europe & Gamescom courtesy of UBM, will be matched with a mentor, will be able to ask questions in Q&A chats, along with other special opportunities during the conference. You also read our individual scholars bios at http://scholars.igda.org/current-scholars/.

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Upcoming Events
  • IGDA #GamesUR Conference (17 July, London, UK)
  • GDC Europe (3-4 August, Cologne, DE): IGDA members save €50
  • SIGGRAPH (8-13 August, Los Angeles, US): IGDA members save 10%
  • IGDA Leadership Summit (2-3 September, Seattle, US): Early rate available through 15 July
  • XDS 2015 (9-11 September, Vancouver, CA)
  • eSports Conference (9-10 September, San Francisco, US): IGDA members save US$1300
  • GDC China (25-27 October, Shanghai, CN): IGDA members save 10% on All Access Passes
  • BIME 2015 (28-31 October, Bilbao, ES): IGDA members save 25%
  • Gameacon (20-22 Nov., Atlantic City, US): IGDA members save on registration, exhibitor space, sponsorship

Click here for discount information (requires log in).
To view all upcoming IGDA and IGDA Partner events, click here.


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IGF China Call for Submissions
IGDA

The Game Developers™ Conference China (GDC China), the premier professional conference for creators of video games and interactive entertainment in Asia, will be returning to Shanghai, China on 25-27 October at the Shanghai International Convention Center.

Along with GDC China comes the Independent Games Festival (IGF) which encourages innovation in game development and recognizes the best independent game developers. Act fast and submit your game before 20 July to be considered for the 7th annual IGF China.

Learn more & review submission guidelines prior to submitting, please click here.

Submit an entry in English
Submit an entry in Mandarin

For more information, please visit GDC China or email Echo.Li@ubm.com.

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Help Evaluate Serious Game Showcase and Challenge Finalists
IGDA
The Serious Games Showcase & Challenge is the premiere venue for recognition of excellence in the field of Serious Games development. The challenge prides itself on helping to foster creativity and innovation in Serious Games for the last ten years as part of NTSA's I/ITSEC Conference held in Orlando, US.

The Challenge is looking for evaluators within the IGDA to evaluate this year’s finalists. We’re searching for a diverse set of reviewers representing a wide range of disciplines including design, software engineering, asset development, production and more. As part of the evaluation process, you will be asked to review several finalist games during the September to November timeframe. Your feedback will be critical in determining which of the finalists take home an award. We understand that our evaluator’s time is often at a premium and can work with you to find a level of commitment that works for you. If you would like to participate, please send an email with your contact information and Evaluator in the subject to SGSChallenge@gmail.com by 5:00PM ET on 31 August.

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Support IGDA Member Projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo
IGDA
Many of our members, affiliates and partners rely on several popular crowdfunding platforms to build their communities and financially support their work. Please take a few moments to check out the projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo that our members have been dedicating their hard work and energy towards.

If you would like to have a project you’d like showcased on one of our pages, fill out the application form here.

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INDUSTRY NEWS


Australia bans a bunch of video games
Destructoid
Four months ago, Australia adopted a new model for video game classification in an attempt to age rate digital games on services like Steam in the country. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a lot of games getting rated and a huge number being banned. In the past four months, Australia's new self-filed online classification form system has refused classification to over 220 video games.
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5 in-game events all free-to-play games should track
Gamasutra
Having granular details of how players interact with different elements in your game allows you to really understand how it’s performing and what specific areas you need to concentrate on. Putting aside obvious tracking events like game launch, player install and in-app purchases, the five most important in game events to track with analytics and how these events can be used to help you truly understand your players are as follows.
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With slots losing their appeal, Vegas moves toward video games that pay out
The Associated Press via Fox Business
Bragging rights are usually the only reward at the end of a well-played video game. But what if high scores came with cash, too? Nevada is on the cusp of what could be a casino revolution, drawing up plans for the introduction of arcade-style video games that would pay out winnings based on a gambler's skill at, say, blasting aliens out of the sky, destroying enemy tanks or driving a virtual race car around a track.
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Commentary: Stop worrying about video game violence, and start thinking about dehumanization
Polygon
Keith Burgun writes, "I remember how happy I was the day Jack Thompson was disbarred. Thompson, a Florida lawyer who brought repeated lawsuits against the videogame industry, was basically a joke to everyone I knew, and rightly so. It wasn’t like he had some ‘expertise’ on the subject, or that he was responding to scientific, peer-reviewed studies of video game violence on people. Instead, he seemed to represent many parents of 1990s kids who didn’t know much about games, but they sure didn’t like what they were seeing."
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Diet-based 'video game' claims to make you thinner
Engadget
We know that Pavlovian conditioning can make you do all sorts of crazy things, so could it be used to make us all a bit healthier? Psychologists from the universities of Exeter and Cardiff believe that it's possible after building a "computer game" that, essentially, trains you to steer clear of bad food. Unfortunately, the game itself is just a flashcard routine where players are asked to push a button when they're shown salad and hold off when they see cookies.
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Video game design workshop helps bridge generational gaps
The Washington Post
A group of kids joined their parents and grandparents June 28 at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., with the simple goal of bonding by making games together. Dozens attended the workshop aimed at bridging the age gap through the universal language of gaming — both physical and digital. AARP sponsored the event with the mission of creating a video game that people across generations would want to play together.
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Valve changes policy on Steam item trading
GamePolitics.com
Steam will no longer make those getting scammed when trading virtual items "whole" anymore. An update to its scams policy — as noted in its "Scam FAQ," reveals that Valve will no longer restore items lost during shady virtual item transactions.
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