IGDA Draws Fire Over Dancing Girls at GDC 2013 Party

IGDA Party, Photo by Alicia AvrilKeeping with today’s theme of “why does the game industry suck so much for women?” comes word of an International Game Developer’s Association party at this year’s Game Developer’s Conference featuring girls dancingĀ  for the “amusement” of party goers.

The story broke after the included picture, taken by student developer Alicia Avril, showed up in a Forbes article relating the tale.

Apparently, there were scantily clad, dancing women on a stage at the party, with some performing on stilts in the middle of the crowd. What this has to do with celebrating diversity and community within the game development industry, I have no idea.

As a result of the backlash, Brenda Romero, game designer and IGDA co-chair for the Women in Games Special Interest Group, has resigned from her position, as reported by Polygon.

According to the Polygon article, which sources multiple tweets from IGDA board members, there was hesitance to not use YetiZen as a sponsor after a similar party occurred last year. It appears that this was a valid concern, as YetiZen brought the dancers in for this year’s party.

While you could crucify the entire IGDA over what happened here, and you wouldn’t be entirely off-base in doing so, it’s important to remember that the entire organization doesn’t stand for this sort of objectification of women. While a group is only as strong as its weakest member, and this weakness will definitely tarnish the IGDA’s reputation, the resignations in light of the debacle are a clear indicator that the entirety of its membership isn’t oblivious as to why something like this just isn’t acceptable.

There’s still hope for us all, so long as we keep talking about these things in a constructive way as they occur.

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