Strengthened Romandie representation, Philomena Schwab elected as first vice-president – results of the General Assembly 2018 of the Swiss Game Developers Association

On October 20th, the General Assembly of the Swiss Game Developers Association took place at the Impact Hub in Bern. The assembly reviewed the ongoing excellence of Swiss studios, its pioneering spirit with a continuous stream of releases and awards won.


Political key events

  • The Federal Council released a report discussing the cultural relevance of video games as a medium. The SGDA is pleased that the Swiss Federal Council recognizes the potential of games and is now requesting further action in terms of developing a sustainable funding strategy.
  • In Zurich, people recently voted on the “Film and new media promotion” initiative, which offered to open up additional funds for Swiss film makers and developers of new media projects. Despite the rejection of the initiative, the political landscape expressed strong support to further promote games as an industry and art form. The SGDA will hold a key role to further strengthen the importance of games among politicians and will seek partnership with stakeholders in the election year 2019 on a cantonal and on a national level.

New initiatives by the SGDA

Firstly, the general assembly reviewed the SGDA’s activities in 2018. Alongside yearly efforts, such as the Swiss Game Awards, exhibitions and meet-ups, many new activities joined the list. This list includes the Enter The Game event at NIFFF, an event to show career options in Switzerland, the Interactive Storytellers series with a final event in partnership with the Museum of Digital Art (MuDA) and Creative Zurich, as well as the SGDA New Reality Space where new technologies like AR and VR are explored.

Elections

The general assembly then went on to elect the board members. The assembly elected three new board members that extend the board of previous members:

  • Beat Kunz from Zurich, who runs his own game studio Fusion.Robot and has a background in Neuroscience. Beat Kunz wants to leverage Serious Games in Switzerland and strengthen member integration and volunteer initiatives for the SGDA.
  • David Javet from Lausanne, who organizes the Romandie Game Developers Meetup in Lausanne. David is part of the Numerik Festival team, co-founded the UNIL Gamelab and explorers game design topics within the Tchagata Games cooperative.
  • Qui Cung from Fribourg, who helps young minds to learn about games in the Swiss Game Academy and as coordinator at EPAC. Qui is also the founder of game studio Oniroforge.

Thanks to the newly elected board members David Javet and Qui Cung, and current board member Elias Farhan, the board now has an even stronger representation in the French speaking part of Switzerland. Stefano Maccarinelli will continue to represent the Italian speaking part. The general assembly also appointed Philomena Schwab as vice-president to work with president Matthias Sala. Philomena wants to further improve the associations communication for both members and non-members to advance the growth of the organisation. Reto Senn and Robbert van Rooden continue their work as members of the board in their roles as treasurer and strategic projects lead.

Thomas Frey retires from his position as board member and treasurer after supporting the SGDA for many years. Luca Cannelotto, the association’s General Secretary, will be stepping down by the end of 2018. The SGDA thanks both Thomas and Luca for their tremendous contribution to the associations standing in Switzerland over the past years and wishes them all the best for their future endeavours.

Game Design Regulations
Furthermore, a project group was formed to explore possible regulations of game design to compile a resource for members that tackles topics such as best practices for loot boxes. International resources will be reviewed and neighbouring disciplines such as psychology, neuroscience and legislation will come together.

Code of Conduct
To create a shared set of values throughout the association and the Swiss game industry in general, the SGDA will compile a code of conduct as general foundation for the members which acts as guidance for start-ups and seasoned game developers alike.