GDC 13: Anger as scantily-clad women parade IGDA party

GDC 13: Anger as scantily-clad women parade IGDA party
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

March 28th 2013 at 6:00PM

Resignations follow as Brenda Romero and Darius Kazemi blast organisation

The International Game Developers Assocation has caused a storm by hosting scantily clad female dancers at its GDC party.

As initially reported on Forbes, one student developer, Alicia Avril, claimed there were "at least three girls in white outfits" with one "in a skimy t-shirt in this weird furry get-up dancing".

As well as dancers on the stage and amongst the packed crow, women on stilts were also on show.

“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," said Avril.

The IGDA has told Develop to expect comment on the matter this afternoon.

In the wake of the furore, which has caused on storm on Twitter, game industry veteran Brenda Romero has announced her resignation from the IGDA Women in Games SIG "effective immediately".

The event comes as a number of women developers took on the topic of sexism in an emotionally-charged GDC session, in which Romero expressed her disappointment of E3's use of booth babes, giving the wrong impression of women and making her feel "gazed upon"

She also cited it as a reason she was unable to take her daughty to the popular exhibition.

IGDA board member Darius Kazemi has also resigned from his post following the party, and stated he had "massive reservations" about sponsor YetiZen hosting the show.

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," he said.

"I 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. But I did not speak up about them internally because I did not want to rock the boat with like, 2 weeks left in my term. For that: I'm sorry."

Women in Games Boston has also pulled its support for the IGDA.

The group's founder Courtney Stanton said she had questioned the IGDA at previous events why stripper poles were needed, and was told she was "fishing for problems" by asking.

"In 2011 when I publicly asked why the IGDA party venue had stripper poles I was told I was fishing for problems," she said.

"It's not like we hired dancers for the poles." In 2012, IGDA partnered with YetiZen, who provided topless dancers.

"In 2013, IGDA chose to partner with YetiZen again. This is the org that supposedly represents me as a developer."

Standon added: "And hey just like that @WIGBoston is no longer promoting the IGDA anymore, fuck them."

The IGDA will be hosting an annual meeting today from 1pm at the Moscone Centre in South 308, where the issue will almost certainly be addressed.

Update: IGDA exec director Kate Edwards has sent a statement to Develop expressing the organisation's regret over the party.

 

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