The International Game Developers Association has launched a new annual research survey to find out the level of satisfaction that game developers have about quality of life and diversity issues.

The nonprofit group is the largest that serves game developers, who are attending the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week. The survey is timely because the GDC is stepping up its discussions of advocacy issues around sexism, racism, homophobia, and Internet haters during the gathering of an estimated 22,000 developers.

Kate Edwards, the executive director of the IGDA, told GamesBeat, “We are asking a lot of blunt questions. Do they feel they are paid fairly? Are they forced to work crunch time [unpaid overtime]. We want to know how they feel about their jobs or if they perceive sexism in the industry or a need for more diversity. We hear it anecdotally, but want to see it in more concrete terms.”

The survey will help the industry better understand developers, their demographics, and the quality of life for people who build games. The survey is a big step toward addressing problems that have bubbled up through a number of incidents that get magnified by social media on the Internet.

Industry members have until April 28 to participate. The IGDA plans to release a high-level summary report of the survey’s findings during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the game industry’s biggest U.S. trade show, in June.

Edwards said that the IGDA is gaining new members and chapters in emerging countries such as Estonia and the former Soviet province of Georgia.


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