Code of Ethics


As creators of interactive media, we, the members of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), recognize the importance of the effect of ideas conveyed through art, and especially the effect of ideas presented in an interactive choice-driven format. As professionals we here establish a Code of Ethics with the following objectives:

  • To promote the growth of our industry and the growth of creative endeavors;
  • To ensure a professional standard of workplace environment for all development;
  • To publicly establish and communicate our standards as media professionals.

This Code is divided into three sections: Principles, being basic ideals that all members of the IGDA commit to uphold; Workplace, being standards that all members of the IGDA acknowledge as rights for the facilitation of professional delivery and creativity; and Leadership, being standards for management and leadership of development studios at all levels of the IGDA.

A Code of Ethics is only as strong as the willingness of its members to uphold it. In establishing this Code we commit to a professional standard and as members of the IGDA agree to uphold and enforce it for ourselves and our peers.

Section 1: Principles

As individual developers, we commit that we will:

  1. Promote equal access and opportunity for game developers around the world, without regard to race, gender, creed, age, sexuality, family status, disability, national origin, or other accidental quality; and in analysis, demeanor, and expression shall be alert to the sensitivities of groups and individuals.
  2. Continually strive to increase the recognition and respect of the profession; uphold the integrity of our work and credit contributions where they are due, never representing another's work as our own, or vice versa;
  3. Present ourselves and our skills accurately;
  4. Respect intellectual property rights;
  5. Seek fair rights to ownership of content that we create;
  6. Honor signed legal agreements in spirit and in letter;
  7. Promote proper, responsible, and legal use of computing technology at our disposal;
  8. Strive to create content appropriate for our stated audience, and never misrepresent or hide content from committees assigned to review content for communication to the public, and specifically we will work strenuously to cooperate with and support local/regional ratings boards (the ESRB, PEGI, CERO, USK, etc.).
  9. Strive to share knowledge even while protecting intellectual property, for the growth of our peers as professional craftspeople and our industry;
  10. Strive to promote public knowledge of technology and art, and the strengths of our industry in expanding the boundaries of art and science.
  11. Promote this code of ethics within our companies, with third-party contractors and within the entire profession.

Section 2: Workplace

As professionals committed to excellence in our field, we hold that:

  1. Workplace safety, including physical and mental safety and comfort, is a basic right for every developer;
  2. Discrimination or the tolerance of discrimination of any kind, whether on the basis of race, gender, creed, age, sexuality, family status, disability, or national origin, harms us as professionals, limits our craft, and violates this Code;
  3. For the integrity of ourselves as professionals and as a professional organization, we will be aware of and adhere to all local laws in the region in which we operate, unless there is an overwhelming ethical conflict in so doing;
  4. Fair treatment for developers at all levels, whether full time, part time, temporary, or student employees, is required for our operation at a professional standard.
  5. Harassment of any kind, whether in a professional engagement or within the larger game development community, violates this Code and will not be tolerated;
  6. Game developers deserve fair and full protection from their employer against all forms of harassment, including harassment by a colleague, by a community member, or by another party;

Section 3: Leadership

As leaders in our professional field, we commit that we will:

  1. Understand that an informed and physically healthy workforce benefits game development on ethical, creative, and business levels comprehensively;
  2. Be forthright in communicating information pertinent to the talent that we lead, and will never knowingly deceive those whom we lead;
  3. Adhere to fair schedules and contracts, never committing to delivering more than we can reasonably achieve while maintaining standards of workplace quality of life;
  4. Ensure that all employment agreements are fair and legal;
  5. Provide for the health of our employees to the best of our abilities;
  6. Uphold trust between ourselves and those we lead by ensuring confidentiality of legal documentation and private information;
  7. Promote the growth of our industry by supporting the exchange of knowledge and ideas between developers, for our mutual benefit;
  8. Provide for the future of our developers and our industry by providing support for families and future developers, and acknowledge and respect the value of our veteran talent;
  9. Not engage in harassment of any kind, including unwanted physical contact, or verbal or emotional abuse (both online and in person), nor tolerate those who do.
  10. Ensure to the best of our ability the mental and physical well-being of those whom we lead, maintaining highest standards of workplace quality of life.