i recently received an email from some “concerned members” of the International Game Developers Association:
Dear Ryan Creighton,
The actions of IGDA board member Tim Langdell since his election in March 2009 have raised questions regarding his suitability as our elected representative. As you no doubt know, the IGDA’s mission is: To advance the careers and enhance the lives of game developers by connecting members with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues that affect the developer community.
Tim Langdell’s company, Edge Games, has trademarked the word “edge” and they leverage this trademark against any media that contains this word–threatening legal action should their target not enter into a licensing arrangement with the studio. Such targets have included David Mamet’s film The Edge, Marvel’s comic book Edge, EA’s Mirror’s Edge, and Namco’s Soul Edge, which was released as Soul Blade and later, Soulcalibur in the west as a direct result of Edge Games’ actions. Most recently their actions have resulted in the removal of the indie game hit, Edge, from the iPhone app store.
Meanwhile, Edge Games has not been associated with the direct production of an original video game in the last fifteen years.
After his election to the IGDA board, in a lawsuit against Cybernet regarding Edge of Extinction, Tim Langdell presented himself to the court like this: “Dr. Tim Langdell is considered to be a pioneer in the field of computer gaming and is widely publicized on the Internet and has been engaged as a legal expert in the field of computer gamin.” He adds “He presently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Game Developers Association, which is the largest game association worldwide”.
Many of us believe that this is a gross misrepresentation and feel that Tim Langdell is able to use his position on the board of the IGDA to work directly against the mission of the organization. As IGDA members with voting rights, it is our responsibility to elect a board that we can trust to represent us. But no election system is perfect and sometimes corrections need to be made.
We are asking that you take some time to consider this issue, do a little research online, make up your mind how you feel about it, and take action.
Under the IGDA bylaws, we are able to call for a special meeting of the membership to vote on the removal of Tim Langdell from the board of directors. In order to do this, we need 10% of the membership to request the board call the special meeting.
Thank you for your consideration,
Concerned Members of the IGDA
The Plot Can’t Get Any Thicker
It’s definitely an interesting and currently-evolving story. If your interest is piqued, here’s some additional reading:
- Derek Yu’s Summary of the Controversy
- Langdell’s Threats Prompt Gamasutra to Remove Their Article
- The Edge of Reason? (Eurogamer)
- Tim’s Hotly-Disputed Wikipedia Entry
- Adam Saltsman claims further evidence of treachery
There are two ways we could go here –
- Is the IGDA a relevant, effective organization?
- As with America’s 2nd Amendment granting citizens the right to bear arms, is current copyright law an inflexible artifact of history that needs to change with the times, or is it effective in protecting the financial and creative interests of content creators?
If you feel passionate about either of these questions, let’s get a discussion going!