I've been a member of the IGDA for a few years/terms in college and beyond with some black spots in between. I've never really seen anything from from it other than a discount on my GDC passes which deduct the cost of the pass. Though, i've never lived in an area with an active chapter, however if that's the big pull I'm not sure that's anything special. Though an undertaking like the IGDA is nothing to scoff at, they are huge and have spent loads on getting their name out there as a part of the industry.
Derek was asking about this in the original Mobigames thread and I'm interested too.
Can someone who is familiar with the IGDA's history (preferably a member or former member) highlight the positive things that the IGDA has done for game developers since it was created? I mean concrete things, e.g. protecting a developer from legal abuse, raising the quality of life for developers at a particular big company, etc.
I'm not asking rhetorically, I want to know. It's not obvious from their website or the Wikipedia entry what they have done or what tangible benefits they provide to their members.
So...What has the IGDA really done for game developers?What should it do?
I know there's got to be some things out there that have helped, but I'd like to tackle this question as a case study to learn what the real value of an umbrella organization like this is. Does it serve as more of a union organization? A guild? Setting standards? Protecting the little guys?
I'm not outwardly suggesting that we start TIGAssocation or anything because it could easily be redundant, unnecessary/unrealistic, or most likely not in the spirit of what we're about; but perhaps it could work, who knows. Just want to get the discussion going, maybe something positive will come of all this.