Dear Voxel Collective members –

We have a difficult announcement to make.

We are permanently closing on Saturday, July 25th.

All members will be removed from our Meetup group, and the organization will close permanently. For personal safety, we will delete all member lists from our public accounts.

The names Voxelles and Voxel Collective, as well as organizing materials and assets, will be owned and archived for historical purposes by our fiscal sponsor, the Chicago Foundation for the Interactive Arts (CFIA). All funds earmarked for Voxel Collective will be donated to Bit Bash, an interactive arts festival also sponsored by CFIA.

What happened?

Current organizers are stepping down. Nonprofits require lots of time and energy. Our three existing volunteers have few of those resources left, especially given the uncertainties 2020 continues to dole out.

We lacked historical overlap. Voxelles was created in late 2014 by several femme-identifying volunteers. All of these founders moved to other cities or changed industries, leaving a considerable gap in institutional knowledge for new leadership.

Engagement stalled. When leadership changed in 2018, we rebooted to include all gender minorities, refocused efforts towards more impactful initiatives, and engaged CFIA for fiscal support. But these efforts materialized after member engagement grounded to a halt, and it became impossible to jump start again.

Did Voxel Collective achieve its goals?

Yes and no.

We had lots of great conversations with many folks about gender diversity within the game dev community. We’re very proud of the time and efforts our members have put towards the organization over the last six years!

But there is still vital work to be done in the industry to close the pay gap, eliminate crunch, enforce fair hiring and management practices, and increase gender diversity among our medium’s contributors. Many organizations are doing this work or have existing platforms worth supporting or reforming. They need your voice and contributions.

As part of our closing, I’m hosting one-on-one Office Hours to help connect you to the right folks here in Chicago. So if you’re seeking a new group or have a group to recommend, please message me to book a 20-minute appointment. I’m happy to chat.

Thanks for your support.

Endings are always tough. Know that you and nearly 200 members here are in this city, working to solve these inequities. Keep supporting each other. Make better games. Stay brave.

– Jamie Sanchez
Organizer for Voxel Collective