Langdell quit to save IGDA from 'negative press'

Langdell quit to save IGDA from 'negative press'
Michael French

By Michael French

August 31st 2009 at 11:31PM

Scrutinised board member says a 'vocal minority' caused 'substantial drain' on association

In a statement posted on the IGDA forums, Tim Langdell claims he stepped down from the association's board to curtail unnecessary bad press.

Earlier today it was confirmed Langdell had resigned from the board of the association - a month before a special meeting was to convene after a membership vote called into question his position at the organisation.

Langdell is famous for vociferously asserting trademark over the word 'Edge' and its use in video games - detractors brand him a 'trademark troll'. Most recently he became embroiled in legal action against a small French studio, Mobigames, over an iPhone game called Edge.

The outrage over his actions, and numerous other assertions of moral wrong-doing, sparked a petition to have him removed from the IGDA, which positions itself to represent individuals in the games development community.

Following the petition a special meeting was to be held in October to call a quorum to vote on his place on the IGDA board.

But Langdell has resigned as otherwise what he brands a 'vocal minority' will cause 'more negative press for the IGDA for weeks or even months to come and persist in causing substantial drain [on the organisation]'.

His full statement - which is locked on the forum, preventing any further comment from members, reads: "With the process barely started leading up to the Special Meeting announced last Friday and set to take place on October 3, it is already clear to me that despite my being confident that thinking members of the IGDA will vote for me to remain on the board for the balance of my term, there is a contingent who were involved in sending the defamatory email to all members by exploiting the IGDA email system a few weeks ago who in their fanaticism will cause substantial negative press for the IGDA over the next month and place intolerable demands on the board and IGDA staff. And while I am confident that were the needed quorum of at least 50% of the voting membership to be achieved at the Special Meeting that the vote would go in favor of my remaining on the board, my fear is that a quorum will not be attained and that consequently this vocal minority will not accept the outcome of the October 3rd meeting as bringing closure to this issue.

"My great fear, then, is that this vocal minority -- most of whom are not IGDA members -- will continue their negative attacks on the IGDA beyond October 3, refusing to accept the outcome of my remaining on the board. It seems nearly certain they will continue to generate even more negative press for the IGDA for weeks or even months to come and persist in causing substantial drain on IGDA board volunteer and staff resources and time, which is not in the interests of either the IGDA or its membership. Especially not at this time when all key IGDA resources should be focused on the Leadership Forum, not on dealing with this issue.

"Thus with the best interests of the IGDA at heart, and mindful of the unfair demand on the time of my fellow board members and our truly excellent IGDA staff, including the remarkable Joda Sapp and our incomparable new ED Joshua Caulfield, I therefore announce my decision to resign as a member of the board of the IGDA, effective immediately. I make this decision not because I have done anything wrong -- on the contrary I am confident that all accusations against me were unfounded and purely intended to defame, and am confident that I have at all times acted in the best interest of the IGDA and its membership -- but because I must make this decision between concluding a process that will show I did no wrong, and having that process irreparably damage the IGDA, I cannot permit the latter to happen. This has to drive my decision today, taking priority over defending myself against these accusations to a conclusion. There are some who will take my stepping down as an admission of wrongdoing, but they are the same people who if the October 3 Special Meeting had gone ahead resulting in my remaining on the board would have refused to accept that outcome.

"Last, I wish to say that the board is full of some incredible people, and you, the membership of the IGDA, are in excellent hands. For my part, I believe I made a solid contribution to the Association in my time on the board, taking on oversight of the web project which was not as advanced as we would have hoped, as head of web tech these past months, I was able to bring round so that the new website should now be able to go live very shortly. I am sorry that I will not personally be overseeing the launch of the new website, but I know that this process is in the excellent hands of a colleague on the board.

"I will remain an active member of the IGDA, still supporting it in any way I can as a regular member, and still serving on some fifteen SIGs; indeed my departure from the board will give me more time to devote to supporting the SIGs."