IGDA, YetiZen, and Romero Spar in Public over GDC Party

While GDC may be over, the accusations continue to fly over the International Game Developers Association's GDC party which was brought to light last week in this report. Now the co-presenter of the party, YetiZen, is throwing a few elbows at the IGDA and the press. The International Game Developers Association approved "all entertainment and related promotion" for a controversial GDC 2013 party, according to a lengthy statement from Sana Choudary, CEO of YetiZen which was republished over at Gamasutra. She posted a screen capture of an email sent by IGDA's executive director Kate Edwards, in which she approved the attire.

"If the final outfit is like this, I think it's fine; it's modest enough without the midriff showing, etc," Edwards' email reads.

Last Thursday Edwards claimed that the IGDA "did not see the costumes of the stilt walkers during the party" and did not know that any of the performers on hand at the party "would be doing anything on the stage or brought on the stage" or that " the models would be at the party, necessarily."

Edwards later confirmed with Polygon that the IGDA did in fact approve "some of the outfits," but did not know anything about what they would be doing at the party:

"Yes, we approved some of the costumes. We did not see the costumes of the stilt walkers. We did not know that any of the performers would be doing things on a stage."

Choudary also claims that YetiZen did not hire dancers, but rather "gamer-models."

"YetiZen did not hire dancers," an excerpt from her post reads. "We hired avid gamers, who happened to be models, to discuss gaming with the invited guests. The YetiZen team (myself, my co-founder, and our resident artist) were invited by the rappers, along with our gamer-models, to dance for a few minutes on stage."

Choudary also claims that Brenda Romero (who resigned from the IGDA last week over the party) told her company last year that she would destroy the company:

"After our party last year Brenda Romero personally called us and threatened to personally call all of YetiZen's mentors, advisors, and investors and tell them to quit their support of YetiZen."

Romero confirmed with Polygon that she spoke with a representative at YetiZen, which prompted the change but she never said anything about destroying the company.

"I never threatened to 'destroy YetiZen.' Note that in the year since, I have done nothing which would even suggest that statement is true. In my statement noting my resignation from the IGDA, I said nothing about YetiZen. It is the IGDA who, in my mind, violated their code of conduct. My issue was with the IGDA and the IGDA alone."

"I have no vendetta against YetiZen, of course."

Whatever was known about in advance, approved, or disapproved, the fallout from this GDC event will likely make the IGDA more cognizant of how the games industry is slowly changing and growing up a little.

Source: Polygon



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One comment

  1. 0
    Neeneko says:

    This strikes me as a very sloppy piece of PR.  I suspect they looked at the backlash, decided that the 'feminists are destroying us!' crowd was more profitable and wanted to make sure they were not associated with the 'wrong' side by actually apologizing or even acknowledging that what they did might be a tiny bit inappropriate, so they played into the narrative….

    Claim they are 'pro-woman because we have women', talk about how the press and outraged feminists are out to get them, point out that 'a woman approved it', and give a thinly veiled explanation about what the dancers 'really' were that might be enough for people who already dislike the people who were upset and want a reason to dismiss them.

    This is why we have storms and events blowing up, not because someone is upset or has a problem, but all this buckling down and backlash trying to pressure or guilt the offended party into shutting up.  All of this could have been salvaged with a simple 'oh, we did not think of it like that but we can see how it could be problematic, we will keep this in mind for the future'.

    But no.. that shows weakness and aligns you with 'those feminists' so people put out BS like this, which doesn't actually calm anything down but instead just sets the company on the 'side' of the backlash, buying into the old industry idea that teenage males and their attitude of entitlement are the only market that matters.

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