Just when it seemed that a new, progressive era had begun at GAMA, the game manufacturers' association, a governance crisis became public Friday.  Newly elected treasurer Ryan Dancey of Organized Play resigned Thursday night after revealing that he had penetrated the GAMA board of directors e-mail list prior to his election and had been privy to numerous confidential communications. 


According to the announcement of his resignation, Dancey told the board that no-one else (including the rest of the 'reform' slate with which he was elected, see 'Changing of the Guard at GAMA') had known about his penetration of the board's confidential communications.  The members of the former board, whose communications were compromised, were informed of the breach last week, as were the member companies of the organization. 


Dancey said of his resignation, '...[I]t has become obvious to me that the important work the Board was elected to undertake has taken a back seat to dealing with the issue of my access to GAMA's internal communications prior to the election....I believe that my continued service as GAMA Treasurer has become an impediment to that work, which must be removed.' 


We have also received unconfirmed reports that GAMA Board member Steve Nicewarner, chairman of the GAMA retail division, also resigned.  And GAMA managing director Chris Watson was 'laid off due to a reorganization,' according to an official GAMA announcement. 


The new board had been elected after staff resignations that included substantial criticism of the old board of directors (see 'Albin Resignation Roils GAMA Waters').  GAMA marketing director Jonathan Albin said when he resigned in April that working for GAMA 'killed my spirit.' And executive director Mark Simmons, who resigned last fall, said that during his tenure as ED he was 'constantly undermined.' 


Dancey's resignation and the reason for it call into question the election of the new board at Origins, because he had access to information that he may have used to help get his slate elected.  What effect, if any, that will have on the status of the remaining board members and their ability to manage the organization is unknown at this time.