The IGDA has written and produced a survey that claims to be seeking “ to update our knowledge of the current demographic composition of the video game industry”. It is not unusual for a survey of this type to be used to gather basic information about their participants. What is strange about this survey is that, among trying to establish a perceived demographic, there are some very leading questions showing that maybe this isn’t what this survey is honestly about. The survey starts out fairly normal with questions that are typical of a demographic sampling.
Where questions start to go off course and teeter into overly personal is when they start asking questions about personal sexual orientation and how they handle it in the work place. Demographic surveys are generally straight forward and exclude personal life questions. This survey goes one step further, inquiring about the personal choices one makes about their sexual orientation and how/where they express it. This has nothing to do with gathering questions about game developers as a whole but what they do behind closed doors.
The IGDA continues to ask questions that are outside the norm when collecting a demographic sample. The basics of a demographic survey are to ask questions that give a solid reference to the demographic being serviced. Reliable demographic survey questions generally include inquiries about age, gender, ethnicity, and education ; the IGDA reaches further by beginning to ask about how developers feel, which could be considered subjective for this specific type of survey.
Overall the survey is presented as a way to give the IGDA to a better understanding of who is participating but it almost comes off as a buzzfeed personality test with the multitude of personal questions about how game developers feel about themselves/project themselves on their workplace.
The IGDA is setting a narrative for the developer community that points more to how they personally feel than the overall fact and demographic of developers education, gender, status, and so forth. By creating this environment it is allowing for the IGDA to affect how things are handled on the IGDA side, that may not be entirely beneficial to developers. Feelings in a survey such as this are completely subjective and offer no real benefit to developers as a whole, treading on the line of ideological narrative building vs helping the development community.
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