IGDA 'Brings on the Dancing Girls' for IGDA Party

March 28, 2013 -

Update #2: The IGDA issued the following statement - attributed to IGDA Executive Director Kate Edwards:

"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.
"

Update #1: While the IGDA has yet to respond to our request for comment on this story, the backlash from the decision to display women dancing on a stage and in a crowd at last night's GDC party to create what some categorize as a "frat house" atmosphere is fast and furious today. According to this Polygon story, COO and Co-Founder of Lootdrop Brenda Romero and other members of the organization have officially resigned today.

Speaking to Polygon she offered the following statement:

"I went home last night to work on my Friday GDC talk feeling super uplifted by the turnout and support for the #1ReasonToBe panel," Romero told Polygon in a statement today. "I woke up to DMs, texts and links to news of the IGDA party. It really saddens me. I have been a long-time supporter of the IGDA. However, my silence would have been complicity. I had no choice. And just hours after our panel, too."

She also announced her resignation on Twitter:

Women In Games Boston founder Courtney Stanton also announced on Twitter that the organization was pulling its support for the IGDA. Independent programmer and developer Darius Kazemi also resigned from the organization. His tenure on its board of directors member was about to expire in three days anyways.

He added that he had "massive reservations using YetiZen as our sponsor the second year in a row after they burned us last year by using scantily clad women," and apologized for not speaking up about it before the party.

While IGDA board of directors member Coray Seifert responded to Romero's posting, he did so only representing himself and not the organization. He urged Romero to attend the annual meeting to make the IGDA a "better organization."

The IGDA has not issued a statement on this story.

Original Story: A photo taken at an International Game Developers Association GDF party this week sent to Forbes shows scantily clad female dancers on a stage entertaining the crowd. The question is, is this an appropriate venue for an association that is supposed to represent game developers of all genders?

One student developer named Alicia Avril doesn't think so, and it bothered her enough that she decided to tell Forbes about. Describing the party she attended last night in San Francisco, Avril said that on stage at the crowded industry part were "at least three girls in white outfits–one was in a skimpy t-shirt one was in this weird furry get-up–dancing." Beyond the stage, dancing among the crowd, were women on stilts. “I walked in there not expecting that sort of display.”

"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," added Avril.

We have reached out to Kate Edwards, Executive Director of the IGDA, to give the organization a chance to respond. We'll update this story if we receive a response.

Source: Forbes

 


Comments

Re: IGDA 'Brings on the Dancing Girls' for IGDA Party

Isn't resigning because of this a little too extreme?

 - W

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Re: IGDA 'Brings on the Dancing Girls' for IGDA Party

So these were female dancers, dressed to cover their private parts - not strippers, pornographic actors or prostitutes.

Other than the fact that men weren't hired for the gig, what exactly is the problem again?

Re: IGDA 'Brings on the Dancing Girls' for IGDA Party

The fact that this was a GDC after-party networking event meant for IGDA members, many of which are women. This was not a party where some vendor was trying to sell something with some over the top promotion. It was wholly inappropriate for a group that represents "all game developers." It would not have been appropriate for them to have oily men dancing around either.

Re: IGDA 'Brings on the Dancing Girls' for IGDA Party

Well, the 'not men' is part of the problem.  Tech conferences often bring on sexy entertainment that appeals to the male developers because the conference organizers think in terms of their social group and what they would enjoy... specifically all heterosexual male.  So when they do stuff like this it sends a message about invisibility or at least lack of voice... and if the industry did not have these issues already people would read a lot less symbolism into incidents like this one.

Specific events like this are not all the big of a deal by themselves, which is what people tend to have a hard time understanding.  It is not the isolated event, it is how it dovetails into a larger systemic attitude.

Compare it to, say, that assemblyman who was proposing a video game law a few stories above this one.  In isolation it is a small thing unlikely to go anywhere, but people get annoyed because of how it relates to the larger attitude many have about video games.

 
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