Tonight, I successfully ran for Director of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the International Game Developer's Association. I won for two reasons: I ran unopposed and I had this cool campaign letter I sent out.
Here is the letter in its entirety.
My name is Matthew Kagle and I want to be your director. I have many qualifications for this job: industry experience in small development houses and large publishers and educational experience teaching game and level design (and English composition, when I’m desperate). I am also an IGDA member in good standing (i.e. paid up) and have been to more Game Developers Conferences than I can remember.
I believe the IGDA has a moral responsibility to represent the game industry to the world. We have done little to disprove the negative myths that surround our art form. The truth is, games are good for people. They make us smarter, they reduce violent tendencies, and arguably have a larger share of the market than any other form of entertainment; whereas we all know books, movies, and music rot your brain.
The new director should not only defend the respectability of our art form, but also strive to make the world a better place. I am committed to improve the world by making it emulate games. Imagine it: no more bending down to pick things up, a health bar conveniently installed on the bridge of your nose, an educational system that teaches you every life skill in one class, and cheat codes that make you immortal or, at least, immune to bullets. I don’t expect all of these changes to happen overnight. It will take years of work, lots of pizza nights at Kapps, and numerous Game Jams and speaker nights to bring my vision to reality.
Meanwhile, let me make you a promise that, as director, I will not use my position for personal gain. Sure, I could use a programmer or two, and I wouldn’t mind it if people bought me lunch, and who could blame me if I accepted a free game here and there? Overall, I intend to keep this institution as the bastion of integrity that it has always been. Or maybe more so. Probably a little less.
In parting, let me just say that I have been a staunch advocate of the game industry my entire career. Not only have I worked in the game industry, but I have taught hundreds of students to love and respect games and to throw sharp things at Jack Thompson whenever they can. If there is a higher commitment to our art form, I don’t know what it is.