International Game Developers Association’s Brenda Romero and other members of the IGDA resigned today in the wake of inappropriate GDC party held Tuesday night.
Student developer Alicia Avril described the party of Forbes, saying were “at least three girls in white outfits—one was in a skimpy t-shirt one was in this weird furry get-up—dancing.”
“I walked in there not expecting that sort of display,” Avril told Forbes. “Knowing there are such concerned women as members of this group, you’d think that the IGDA would be more thoughtful in their own party and how they’re portraying themselves.”
Beyond having exotic dancers as party decor being generally inappropriate, the party is made more controversial and insensitive because it came after a GDC panel inspired by the #1reasonwhy hashtag in which game designer Brenda Romero, co-chair of the IGDA Women in Games special interest group, and others discussed diversity in video games and posed suggestions to repair the gender imbalance that plagues this industry.
In short: It’s really shitty to throw a party that treats women like eye candy and decor after spending so much time hosting talks about the need for equality and respect between genders, specifically within the videogame industry.
Both Romero and Darius Kazemi, an IGDA board member, resigned this morning in response to the party.
I resign as co-chair of the IGDA Women in Games SIG effective immediately. #1ReasonWhy.
— Brenda Romero (@br) March 28, 2013
While I only had 3 days left in my term as an IGDA Board member, I formally resigned from my position with the organization as of 2 mins ago
— Darius Kazemi (@tinysubversions) March 28, 2013
The repercussions for the party reach beyond the IGDA members, affecting the association’s supporters, as well. Courtney Stanton, founder of the group Women in Games Boston, tweeted that they would be pulling their support for the IGDA.
And hey just like that @wigboston is no longer promoting the IGDA anymore, fuck them.
— Courtney Stanton (@q0rt) March 28, 2013
Editorial side note: It honestly doesn’t surprise me in the least that this would happen despite all days, weeks, even months of headline-making talk about the need for diversity and inclusiveness in videogames. It doesn’t surprise me, but it bums me the hell out.
Kate Edwards, executive director of the IGDA, issued the following statement:
“As many of you know, the IGDA was a co-presenter of the YetiZen party Tuesday evening. We recognize that some of the performers’ costumes at the party were inappropriate, and also some of the activities they performed were not what we expected or approved. We regret that the IGDA was involved in this situation. We do not condone activities that objectify or demean women or any other group of people. One of the core values of the IGDA is encouraging inclusion and diversity. Obviously we need to be more vigilant in our efforts. We intend to be so in the future.”
Image via Polygon