Game Designers Apply Pressure with New Proclamation / New Board
The Game Designer Association (SAZ) will continue to campaign for the recognition of game designers as originators. At its general meeting on May 31, 2013, in Göttingen, the SAZ started a new "Beer Coaster Proclamation" of 50 well-known game designers: "We do not sign any contract that does not expressly acknowledge us as the originator of the game!" This makes a clear statement to the publishers that as yet refuse authors this basic recognition. At the subsequent Game Designers Meeting in Göttingen, another 34 game designers signed this proclamation – further supporters are welcome and will be constantly updated.
This second "Beer Coaster Proclamation" draws on a successful campaign from 1988 in which a number of well-known game designers demanded the author's name be written on the box cover, a practice widely accepted today.
At the beginning of April, the SAZ started a petition on change.org that has been signed by more than 4200 backers to date. The demand reads: "Accept game designers as authors and the SAZ as a negotiating partner!"
Meanwhile, the board of the Fachgruppe Spiel (the association of game publishers) has invited representatives of the SAZ for talks in Berlin on July 8. We appreciate this backing away from the former statement of the Fachgruppe Spiel: "Therefore an objective discussion between the representation of the game designers and the representation of the game publishers is ruled out." The goal of the SAZ still is to form an agreement with game publishers on minimum standards in contracts with game designers, and to obtain the official recognition of game designers as originators and the SAZ as their representation.
In the elections for the board, Ulrich Blum and Hajo Bücken were newly elected as 1st chairman and 2nd chairman, respectively, and Christian Beiersdorf was re-elected as treasurer. Hajo Bücken's election marks his return to the board after a long time: He was the first chairman of the SAZ in 1991.