Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
July 31, 2014
arrowPress Releases
July 31, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


IGDA's official response to its controversial GDC party
IGDA's official response to its controversial GDC party
March 28, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

March 28, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi
Comments
    83 comments
More:



The International Game Developers Association drew quite a bit of backlash Thursday morning after reports emerged that a GDC party it co-hosted contained entertainment by way of "scantily-clad female dancers."

IGDA Women in Games SIG co-chair Brenda Romero resigned from her post in protest, as did a number of other members.

As part of its annual meeting at GDC, the IGDA executive Kate Edwards read the following statement, which we've reproduced in full:

"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 peformed 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: IGDA executive director Kate Edwards added the following at the IGDA's annual GDC meeting Thursday, in response to a question asking what the organization would do to prevent a similar incident in the future:

"What we need is... participation and dialogue. We would love to have members of our organization speak up, give us advice, tell us what you think. So we need to know what we can do to do a better job in the future.

"We realize that we make mistakes sometimes, and we want to make sure that all of our programs and activities are considered inclusive and professional."

And in response to a question about those who resigned this morning:

"We regret [their reactions]. We do hope that they continue to work with the IGDA, we'd hate to lose their participation. It's their decision, but we continue to hope that they'll work with us to do what we need to do to make better decisions in the future."

As for reconciliation: "We're open... we need them more than ever."

On details of how the party happened:

"This was a partnership. We partnered with YetiZen, we were approached to do the party with them, and we agreed to do so for various reasons.

"We approved the costumes that would be used for the promotion out on the street on Monday and Tuesday [but] ... we did not see the costumes of the stilt walkers during the party, we didn't know the performers were doing things on the stage or anything like that, we didn't even know the models would be at the party necessarily.

"[For] both the costumes and the activities that were at the party... we apologize and agree. It doesn't agree with our core values as an organization.

"We hope people who see this will realize that we're human… and we'd love for them to help us."


Related Jobs

GREE International
GREE International — San Francisco, California, United States
[07.31.14]

Senior iOS Developer
HITN
HITN — Brooklyn, New York, United States
[07.31.14]

QA Tester
Champlain College
Champlain College — Burlington, Vermont, United States
[07.31.14]

Instructor Position in Electronic Game Programming
Runic Games, Inc.
Runic Games, Inc. — Seattle, Washington, United States
[07.31.14]

Visual Effects Artist










Comments


Enrique Dryere
profile image
You'd think that by now, the industry would've realized that they can no longer treat these events like some kind of boys club meeting. While I understand and side with WIG on this issue, I think that the severity of the reaction, while impacting, doesn't serve to improve the situation. The best way to affect change in an institution is from the inside.

I hope these two groups can come to terms for the good of the industry, and would simply remind WIG that you can't pull a bunch of us barbarians from the depths of our man caves and not expect us to stub a toe or two in the dark. ;p Eventually, there will be light enough to find our footing, but these intrepid women aren't just battling against a few decades of drastic misrepresentation in the gaming industry, they're one of the many generations that must shoulder the burden of lifting us from millenniums of ignorance and inequality.

Ramin Shokrizade
profile image
Wow, this sounds awful. I think they should invite me to the next one so that I can, er, chaperone.

Seriously though, this kind of thing just keeps happening over and over and will continue to do so until the industry stops creating itself as an industry for men by men. With almost 50% of gamers being women, it really is counterproductive that it remains gender unequal.

jin choung
profile image
such a dumb mistake with such a simple solution. shocking how people can be so completely daft.

i think we can all agree that future parties and industry events would best be served by having an equal share of both female AND male strippers, gogo and cage dancers, and erotic acrobats of various kinds. and these male and female performers should be of every race and creed on the planet. we need a FULL SPECTRUM representation in our industry event adult entertainments or we will be fighting the same battles over and over again.

Doctor Cat
profile image
The Kixeye party had a bunch of hunky bare-chested guys in unicorn masks. Not sure everyone would agree that's the right solution, but at least someone was out there trying it!

Diana Hsu
profile image
Kixeye probably had the right idea. =)

Robert Tsao
profile image
We still don't, and probably will never, know the exact particulars of how this embarrassment came to pass. That being said, does it feel like Yetizen got thrown under the bus to anyone else? Granted, there's Yetizen's former record of similar controversies but on the other hand, there's this little bit right here:

"we didn't even know the models would be at the party necessarily."

Necessarily? What does that even mean? This wasn't some instance of managerial oversight. Whether the models were scheduled to appear at the party or not, the fact is that someone hired models and approved of costumes.

Michael Gribbin
profile image
For what its worth, I was at the party and all of the girls in question were wearing fake white fur outfits, which I would associate with YetiZen by the style alone. Im not saying IGDA is totally without fault, because obviously you should get the details of a party you're sponsoring -- but I would guess that the hiring and directions given to these entertainers came from someone at Yeti.

I have no idea though.

Terry Matthes
profile image
Would it be OK it there were men dressed up along side the women doing the same things or is it the behavior of the people in the outfits?

Andrew Williams
profile image
The IGDA wants to be the industry's professional body. They can't do that and also support this sort of childish nonsense.

Nathan McKenzie
profile image
In our culture, the idea of "women" has a history of being reduced and simplified in some pretty tedious and demeaning ways. Many women are aware of, and bothered by, patterns of that sort of imagery. They have to confront it all the time. Adding similar provocatively dressed men probably wouldn't help because most men don't spend a lot of time feeling bothered by similar stereotypes.

Let me make a comparison that might be more apples-to-apples. A lot of us men are becoming more and more aware that there's a nasty, horrible image that is perpetuated by our alarmist news media that a single man, trying to interact with a child they don't know, should always be suspected of being a pedophile. Almost to the point that the only reason that a man might ever play with a kid on a playground is that they want to rape or molest them... and to the point where there are parents at day care centers who are not comfortable with male employees being left unattended with their children. I'm not making this up; this is a real thing. If you're a man who likes children, and thinks its good for society for kids to have comfortable relationships with adult men who aren't family, then your world is made immeasurable worse by this ugly, statistically incorrect, abusive anti-social stereotype.

Now, if you went to a professional organization's event, and they had some male, and only male, actors up on stage, pantomiming abducting and molesting stranger's children from a playground, you might very well take offense at that, especially if you were a man, especially if you wanted to live in a world where men were not always suspected of being child molesters, especially if you felt like you were constantly barraged by images like that from all your media sources. You might wonder why that those images were showing up in a professional setting. And if someone came along and said, "Well, what if we also have some female actors up there pantomiming molesting children", you might very well say, "It's not the same. No one is worried that all women are possible child molesters."

...

Or if none of that works for you, you could just observe that it's all pretty unprofessional anyway.

jin choung
profile image
@Nathan McKenzie - that's a pretty flawed analogy. pedophiles are felons committing crimes on children. sexy chicks are sexy chicks. even full on strippers are not criminals.

"In our culture, the idea of "women" has a history of being reduced and simplified in some pretty tedious and demeaning ways."

as if the exact same kind of thing doesn't happen with guys. can't imagine that a lot of game developers look like magic mike or jonny depp?

women do the same thing to men and the problem, historically, has been that the enthusiasms of men have been put out for mass market consumption but not the enthusiasm of the ladies.

this stops being a problem when both are served and both perspectives and enthusiasms are catered to.

everything else seems to be re-branded puritanicalism.

Doctor Cat
profile image
Jim, the problem is this situation doesn't begin and end at these parties. Women are subjected on a massive scale to unequal job opportunities, unequal pay, unwanted advances in the workplace, and millions of rapes per year. 30-50% of women are either molested, raped, or sexually abused before they reach their 18th birthday. At present, sexy booth babes or cartoony-breasted characters being the only avatars available in some games serve as a reminder "most men don't know or care or understand about the problems of our unequal status in society". Putting hunky guys in parties or games won't remind men "Oh us guys get a lot of sexual harassment and objectification from our lady bosses all the time", because that's not happening much. I agree in an eventual egalitarian society, we should have sexy females and sexy males in entertainment media, along with plain looking males and females, and every other kind. But right now it's a reminder for many of how oblivious the majority of our industry is to the many other (and much larger) problems women face in our society every day. Personally I feel just sick about the fact that so many women don't even feel safe walking home alone after dark in our society - a fear that certainly has some grounding in actual fact. Men who've never experienced those concerns and fears aren't going to ever totally understand how women feel about equal rights issues.

Mickey Blumental
profile image
It's obviously both. If there were also mansluts around it would have naturalized the sexism argument, but it would still be inappropriately sexual for a GDC party.

Jonathan Ghazarian
profile image
All you need to do is run a google search for "Yetizen party" to see how bad an idea this was in the first place. Noah Falstein resigned from their board last year and wrote a Gamasutra post for exactly the same thing. The IGDA should have already been aware of this. It's a shame that the people at Yetizen still haven't grown up even after so much public backlash.

Charles Battersby
profile image
I'm not comfortable with commenting on this based on a simple image search. Does anyone have high-def video of the scantily clad dancers?

David Robinson
profile image
"We approved the costumes that would be used for the promotion out on the street on Monday and Tuesday [but] ... we didn't even know the models would be at the party necessarily."

So, it's alright to have scantily clad women on the street handing out flyers for your party, where they will likely be seen by most of the conference attendees. But it's not alright to have them at the party where they will be seen by a couple thousand people?

It's categorically absurd. Either you're alright with having models, or you're not. If you make a mistake, own up to it, don't try and deflect blame. If the IGDA was able to give approval for the presence of the models on the street, do you really think they would disapprove of their presence at the party?

Jonathan Ghazarian
profile image
I think what is being implied by that statement is that the street costumes were different than the performance costumes and were not deemed inappropriate.

David Robinson
profile image
Jonathan - I was at the party, and I saw the models on the street. They were wearing the same costume.

Michel Desjardins
profile image
It was an ethical issue, not a diversity one.

The industry needs to learn more about governance, regulations and compliance.

If male dancers would have been there, that would have been inappropriate as well. It's not about diversity. It's about appropriate business conduct.

However we call it, the activity was inappropriate in this context.

jin choung
profile image
"It's about appropriate business conduct."

what's that? and who determines it? there are businesses far older and more profitable than ours where taking clients to strip clubs is de-rigeur.

sure, you don't have strippers in the boardroom (except on weekends and holidays) but this is an industry P A R T Y.

and especially since we're an industry concerned with games, it would seem remiss if our events didn't recall the glory days of caligula. no?

Vicki Smith
profile image
@jin choung

"what's that? and who determines it? there are businesses far older and more profitable than ours where taking clients to strip clubs is de-rigeur."

... um, other than the porn, prostitution and gambling industries, no, there aren't. At least, not in the US. I don't think some game developers realize how much respect we lose by pulling this kind of shenanigan. In almost any other industry, having strippers at a professional conference wouldn't be controversial at all -- everyone involved would be fired on the spot.

E Zachary Knight
profile image
Vivki,

You are obviously not involved in politics. ;)

All kidding aside, Jin is right in that aspect where some companies, business, or whoever will often try to court other business partners by treating them to things such as that. It is often doen back room/under the table style but it happens.

Russ Menapace
profile image
"The industry needs to learn more about governance, regulations and compliance. "

...at which point it won't be an industry I want to participate in. Yuck.

Vicki Smith
profile image
Zachery,

You know, the moment I wrote that I thought, hm ... maybe I'm being naive about this :)

But here's the thing -- let's say a male sales rep invites a male customer to a strip joint, after telling a couple rude jokes to see if the guy is game. A little sad and disgusting to me, maybe, but why should I fuss? What I don't know doesn't hurt me.

Here's another scenario, though, and one that's far more analogous to the current situation. Now *I'm* the customer, along with several of my male colleagues. We meet a sales rep, who invites us all to a strip club? That would not happen. No-one invites a professional woman to a strip club, even in politics. (um ... I hope)

The point is, having strippers at a professional party, they might as well have a sign on the door saying, "Women not welcome, at least not if they're wearing most of their clothes." Other respectable industries might do the stripper thing, but not right out in the open like this, not if they expect women to be attending the event.

Michel Desjardins
profile image
@Russ Menapace

Too much controls (regulation & compliance) would be more than annoying, yes.

Reaching any end of a spectrum is bad (no controls / too much controls). We are mainly on the "no controls" side at the moment (other than irritating game rating and basic HR laws from each country).

One little judgment error (and not everybody agree its even an error) has lead to a large public reaction. Proper (a minimum of) risk management and governance would have help prevent such issue. I am not sure that the minimum exist at the moment. Every company seems to be freestyling their leadership and governance as it goes.

Michel Desjardins
profile image
@Jin Choung
Partying doesn't mean there is no rules and ethics. You are no longer at university mate. ;)

Alex Covic
profile image
On their company page it says: "YetiZen - Leveling up the gaming industry ..."

[edit:] Kotaku update YetiZen CEO Sana Choudary non-response response ... is amazing? Is she aware that she is losing her business by the minute? http://kotaku.com/two-game-developers-quit-non-profit-objecting-t
o-femal-461717726?rev=1364501678

Allen Varney
profile image
"We would love to have members of our organization speak up, give us advice, tell us what you think. So we need to know what we can do to do a better job in the future."

Because without someone standing there telling them, "Don't hire table dancers for a professional function," the IGDA is just helpless to figure out what these gosh-darned women are on about. I mean, who could have known?

Doctor Cat
profile image
I do have to say, having been at the party for half an hour, I would not describe the yeti women on stilts as "table dancers". Nor were the costumes extremely skimpy (I would call them "slightly skimpy") or sexy (I would call them "weird"). Their actual interaction with the audience didn't seem inappropriate, I would call them more "blue man group" or "cirque du soleil" than "table dancer" (artsy and entertaining rather than flirty or lascivious). I understand there were some other costumes up on the stage later, but I can't comment on those, having left the party for a better one by that point.

Raymond Ortgiesen
profile image
This is exactly it, Doctor Cat. (Thanks for giving me an oppurtunity to say that sentence, btw.)

Gameloft also got some flack on Kotaku for this exact same thing and commentors along with journalists alike get way too carried away with describing what was actually happening. I've been to strip clubs and I've been to normal parties, these girls aren't strippers or table dancers and to call them that is insulting.

I find it more sexist to scapegoat the girls by saying you didn't know what they were going to do, rather than take responsibility for what was actually happening.

Doctor Cat
profile image
I do think there was improvement over last year (no way Yetizen could have failed to notice last year's complaints). Overall I think this is more of an E3 problem than a GDC problem. I saw two "booth babes" on the Expo floor, total. (They were cat-girls to show off the battery powered cat ears that respond to your brainwaves. As a cat myself, I can't complain much.) Fifth Column Games had some women dressed up as Flappers for their Speakeasy party, while the guys were dressed as bootlegger/gangster types. The Flappers were skimpier, sexier costumes than the yetis on stilts, but I got the impression they were women who worked at the company & I didn't find it offensive. They certainly weren't acting like they were there to be table dancer type entertainers, seemed more like they were running and organizing the party. Kixeye had women wearing skin-tight shiny gold pants, but they also had hunky guys wearing unicorn masks and going shirtless. One of the women offered to take my photo with a unicorn guy, and I did that. The other parties I went to didn't have any suggestively or scantily clad women present at all. Again, super tame compared to E3. Of course if I had one wish that could be used to get fair workplace treatment for women in our industry, or no more booth babes at conferences and parties, I'd take the workplace thing in a heartbeat. I wouldn't fault any woman (or man) who wants to fight the battle on all fronts, but I'm very much a "prioritize your battles" kinda guy.

Cordero W
profile image
Except, this was a party after the hours of GDC. This was a mixer, and had no relation to the GDC or the IGDA whatsoever other than some guys going out to the nightclub and having a good time. My problem with these kinds of articles is that they never tell you the intimate details. The fact that they did this with YetiZen should have been enough of a sign that it was meant for recreational reasons. It would be different if they had the same women at their arms and standing at their tables during each conference session.

jin choung
profile image
exactly.

it seems like it's just the puritanical impulse dressed up as feminism.

i repeat, if there were male strippers there too, there would be no reasonable outrage to be had.

juvenile? sure. but it's a party.

Patrick Miller
profile image
It was an IGDA-sponsored event. GDC had nothing to do with it.

Nat Loh
profile image
except IGDA, an organization that is supposed to stand for equality and the rights of game developers everywhere, put their name on the party. It's as if out of greed or neglect Nintendo let Playboy use their brand to endorse their party and suddenly claim ignorance. "We didn't know it'd be THAT sort of party!"

Vicki Smith
profile image
It is a mixer for game developers. That's the whole point -- come to our party, network with the international game developers association! Having strippers there is saying -- this is a party for male international game developers. Women developers are welcome -- if you can network with guys while they drool over table dancers, you'll fit right in! Come on, don't be such puritans, drool with us! We'd love to see a little lady on lady.


F that. It's a stupid move that deliberately alienates women and decent married men. I don't think it's too much to ask that people at a professional party stick to booze and leave their sexual fantasies at home.

Randen Dunlap
profile image
Fair points to be made here. However it's hard to pass judgment over the IGDA, or the party itself unless you were there to see it. Otherwise, this turns into a "groupthink-bandwagon-snowball" effect with the vocal equality movement using it as another rallying cry to have their points made. While not trying to discredit their argument about equality in the industry, it truly would be interesting to see if a party with male strippers would get near as much attention as this, I'd wager that it probably wouldn't (That wouldn't be okay either).

The point is, we honestly won't get anywhere by using shaming tactics on an internal scale, leave that to the politicians. Lastly, even if we magically reach this utopia of 100% fairness and equality in the industry, the "evil sexist game content" will still be there unless we change the expectations and spending habits of consumers. (We tend to forget this is a business)

There's nothing wrong with examining practices/events and challenging their professionalism and how "proper" they are given the context, but let's try to avoid knee jerk reactions for the sake of the sensationalist journalism.

jin choung
profile image
@Vicki Smith "I don't think it's too much to ask that people at a professional party stick to booze and leave their sexual fantasies at home."

but that's a completely arbitrary line.

why booze? isn't that stepping on the toes of tea-totalers, ex-alcoholics and druggies and mormons?

how puritan and kid-safe must these business "parties" be then?

erotic entertainers aren't appropriate at ALL company parties but at some parties... why not? just as with booze. and nobody has to attend. if booze and/or strippers bugs your sensitivities... people can opt out.

the feminist based argument ends when there are an equal number of magic mikes on stage.

if you still have a problem with such entertainers, it's personal predilection... not moral imperative.

Vicki Smith
profile image
@jin choung

It's not arbitrary. Drinking is a social thing, sex is a private thing. Both are great, but drinking alone and sex in public are kind of sketchy.

More importantly, if I'm drinking a rum and coke, I can still talk to a teetotaler developer with total respect. But men simply do not watch scantily clad women dance for them, then turn to a female co-worker and treat her as an equal. Most just shuffle and look uncomfortable, like a sister has caught them with skin mags. The dumb ones or the drunk ones will make comparative hotness remarks, or ask you why you never dress that way. The smart ones say nothing and move away, because -- and this is the main point -- a woman is not expected or wanted at a strip joint, not unless she's game to join in. And a woman who joins in would be committing professional suicide.

I am not making a moral judgement, I'm pointing out a breach of professionalism, a breach that is utterly, utterly obvious to everyone except, apparently, the game industry.

Nat Loh
profile image
what a cop-out. Partnering with Yetizen in itself is a conflict of interest. They are like a matchmaker company partnering developers and startups with VC and Angel investors. As such, the VCs are their primary clients and they will be catering to them and their tastes (thus scantily clad women). If you look back to their GDC 2012 party, it was not only painfully apparent that this was their M.O. their company heads went so far as to defend their parties as to be geared towards catering to their clients and that it was for the benefit of developers and startups to be put in an environment with high powered investors so that they might network and mutually benefit from those connections (this in the face of the same accusations of marginalizing females). all fine and dandy at their party. it's their prerogative but when you put your IGDA brand onto something like this without doing any homework (REALLY? you approved of the costumes used to promote the party but have no knowledge of them being used at the party? I'm calling bullshit or epic incompetency/neglect), they really deserve everything they are getting. The MEMBERS of IGDA don't deserve this however and everyone is suffering for some one person or persons short-sighted mistakes. I can only imagine this was a greedy cash grab. Yetizen offered to fund their party outright and they said "YES" no questions asked. You had to know they would prioritize their VC clients over IGDA members. Equally short sighted are the comments of "what if they were scantily clad men?" What if Hitler was Vietnamese? (invoking Godwin's Law). Just because you so boldly claim you would not be bother or offended by this (and to those people, I challenge you to go to Folsom Street Fair and see just how comfortable you are and how much of a good time you can have) does not diminish another persons claim of distress.

Knowing all this, I am equally flabbergasted that in the 3 or so months leading up to this party, no one spoke up and objected to this partnership. It was painfully obvious this was going to happen.

Michel Desjardins
profile image
I agree with your statement "It was painfully obvious this was going to happen."

Look at last year Yetizen party girls. Mainly wearing body painting...
http://twicsy.com/i/yX7web
By the way, this pic was tweeted by a girl.

Jed Hubic
profile image
The important thing is that lots of us talk about this endlessly until someone tells us we don't know what it's like and renders all discussion meaningless. Hopefully no one gets any work done either, but that'd just be wishful thinking.

Justin Sawchuk
profile image
So next time they can have some scantily clad men to appease the feminists.

Joseph Elliott
profile image
Do you even know what a feminist is?

Elisabeth Beinke-Schwartz
profile image
Sigh...

Feminism... you keep using that word (in a negative light). I do not think it means what you think it means.

Brian Buchner
profile image
Do you really think you're going to get people to stop being human?

"everyone else needs to make concessions to them"

Ummm.....

jin choung
profile image
@Michale Karzay "The way you use the word is ignorant. Your comment is offensive because appeasement implies that feminists are the aggressors and everyone else needs to make concessions to them, when all feminists are really trying to do is defend women's rights for equal treatment."

it's not ignorant. but your argument sure is.

appease - v.

1. Pacify or placate (someone) by acceding to their demands.
2. Relieve or satisfy (a demand or a feeling): "we give to charity because it appeases our guilt".

THE RIGHTNESS OR WRONGNESS OF THEIR POSITION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

to give in to their change, even if the change they're asking for is correct, **IS** APPEASEMENT!

if you're going to be pedantic, at least be right.

------------------------------

and if there WERE male strippers there in equal representation, nobody can say anything from the position of "feminism" or "women in the workplace".

at that point, it purely becomes an issue of some people being prudes.

Brian Buchner
profile image
@Michale Karzay No, I'm suggesting sexuality and attraction to the opposite gender being normal and healthy human traits.

And why should these aspects be maligned while ultra-violence isn't? I guess I don't see the point in denying human nature.

David Hoffman
profile image
Just shaking my head....

Mike Higbee
profile image
So it was essentially what you'd expect to see in any large nightclub night, but the problem is the company officially sponsored a party that was supposed to be an emulation of a normal large nightclub night...

Kenneth Blaney
profile image
All these comments calling the IGDA a "boys' club" or suggesting that men and their ways were wholly responsible for this dehumanizing of women, and not one person seemed to get the fact that Kate Edwards, executive director of the IGDA, is a woman. Obviously the solution to this very real problem is deeper than, "If we get women into decision making roles this won't happen anymore," or, "If more women were involved this never would have happened." (It is also a whole lot more complicated than just "Why not also have scantly clad men?" Not arguing that point because I feel that should be obvious.)

What we need is a larger scale understanding of who the real bad guys are and that sex positive feminists are distinct from those bad guys. Historically, the debate over things like, "Is pornography empowering or demeaning?" tore apart the second wave feminist movement. Do we really want feminism to die for another 10-15 years like it did in the 1980's? Do we really want that to happen for the same reasons?

Lex Allen
profile image
I would be interested to hear from people that were actually there. I looked at the pictures online, and the outfits didn't seem that offensive, but I admit it was rather distasteful.

I'm just not sure why they thought it was necessary to do that. Did they think people would actually be interested in seeing... well, whatever the women were doing?

If it were men dancing instead, I'm sure that people would have been even more confused, but it probably wouldn't have gotten as much negative press.

Michael Gribbin
profile image
I was there. The girls on stage actually took away from the stage performances. Nothing against them if they're reading this, but having these girls attempt to dance to nerdcore tracks was awkwardly out of place, though not inherently offensive to me. I was there with several females, none who expressed discomfort, but I can understand that even if they were uncomfortable there is often a pressure not to be "that girl" who speaks up about it.

Bottom line, I dont think the girls enhanced the party in any way. The stilt walkers were actually kind of cool because they were high-energy and really made the atmosphere feel alive. Their outfits also didnt strike me as totally inappropriate. I think the core issue is the combination of the girls and the IGDA name on the stage at the same time. But had this just been a private party for YetiZen I doubt we would be talking about it right now. It just didnt seem THAT scandalous.

I would also appreciate if people who werent there would stop calling these girls "strippers". No one was taking any clothes off that I saw, and I had a genuinely good time at the party. I think the party could of been just as good without the dancers though, the musicians and EXTRA STRONG drinks poured by the bartending staff made the night good.

Duong Nguyen
profile image
Lol the article makes it sound like they were pole dancing strippers, i found some photos on neogaf...lol much ado about nothing. They were not "table dancers".. they look more like some indie dancers trope.. someone much exaggerate for the controversy i suspect. As for women in games, yes there is a long misogynistic stream in games but that's a different matter. But judging all games and the game industry by their lowest point would u also judge all moves and books by the same standard?

Maria Jayne
profile image
I'd just like to say the "dancing girls" at the club, show, whatever probably got paid more than the women who resigned in protest over the demeaning dancing girls.

Elisabeth Beinke-Schwartz
profile image
It wasn't just women who resigned in protest...

William Pitts
profile image
I didn't attend this, but people need to speak up in the planning of these events, and not just in the flakfest afterwards. I have been with the IGDA for 12 years, been to every E3 (so far) and have seen a lot worse about the way games are marketed to the public. I would like to say grow up, but I think that has passed and it is time for us to stop being silent about things that offend. Nothing ever got done by sitting after the fact and pointing fingers.

Joshua Darlington
profile image
Dancing women are inappropriate at the GDC.

It would be like if a party at the WMC hired trick shooters (shooting shot glasses off of peoples heads and etc.). People would FREAK OUT!

Nelson Ribeiro
profile image
I am far more shocked by the amount of hypocrisy on these comments than by the subject matter itself.

Innapropriate? Certainly so for GDC. But making this about sexism and gender inequality? Seriously?

Only int he US.

EDIT: after seeing what the "innapropriate" stuff really was, ie. the costumes and the dancing, it take it back, nothing there was innapropriate for a GDC party.

Joshua Darlington
profile image
Like any sub culture - game developers as a group have a cultural center of gravity. People outside of that norm will experience alienation to some degree. I have no problem accepting that some people will experience that alienation in ways that are not as central to my perception - like patriarchy. They are welcome to try and move the center of gravity in a direction that allows them more comfort.

Showbiz, circus costumes, super hero costumes, the wardrobes of gods and goddesses, professional dancers, are areas known for exhibiting over sexuality. So I'm perhaps less optimistic that a stauch second wave approach to feminism is the right posture to influence gender dynamics and the signification of gender in game developer culture and computer game products. We shall see.

[updated first wave feminism to second wave. my bad]

Mike Higbee
profile image
A first wave feminism approach would be the proper one to tackle the issue. Instead we have the very vocal anti-pornography branch of feminism vs sex-positive feminism argument time and time again overshadowing the more important issues that a first wave feminism approach would handle.

Michael Joseph
profile image
@Joshua

I don't see how carrying on like frat boys in a co-ed profession has anything to do with feminism.

This is about maturity. Ok, perhaps then feminist movements and all social movements represent not just an underclass struggling for equality and respect, but a struggle for the society as a whole to become more mature in their views and attitudes and behaviors.

Joshua Darlington
profile image
"Instead we have the very vocal anti-pornography branch of feminism"

My bad, I meant second wave feminism. The late 60-70s version of feminism, fighting against objectification and etc. I updated the post.

"This is about maturity."

Exactly - YOU are alienated by the lack of maturity. Other people will feel uncomfortable by any number of things. I think that people should feel welcome to express their alienation and attempting to change culture into a more comfortable zone.

Michael Joseph
profile image
classy cultured intelligence surrounds us
so happy to be... wait... dancing girls?
I guess joke's on me.
--

I imagine for the people who resigned or withdrew support, that more than anything, deep disappointment is felt when things like this occur particularly if they felt progress had been made and that their peers were "better than that." And some of the comments here are saying "no, we're not better than that!" with a little too much pride.

matthew diprinzio
profile image
pics or it didn't happen

Mac Senour
profile image
I wonder if this happened at E3 would we be talking about it? Then again, I could argue that without the IGDA's association, we wouldn't be talking about it. Can we finally get back to the fundamental idea that GDC is for developers to learn their craft. Parties are nice, good to mingle, but very quickly it becomes a marketing event and those should be reserved to E3.

Thomas Grove
profile image
The headline should have read:
Brenda Brathwaite, anti-cencorship proponent, and Playboy - The Mansion designer, mysteriously resigns from the IGDA.

Matt Small
profile image
It's easy as a man to feel like the whole thing is grossly overblown, an overreaction by hypersensitive PC police. But you have to put it in context. A couple of women dancing in furry costumes at a party is not a big deal. An individual "booth babe" at E3 is a not a big deal. A coworker calling you "honey" one time is not a big deal. Listening to some guys behind you at a conference telling a stupid joke is not a big deal. But the near constant slow-drip of all of these things added up year after year, in and around the career that you spend 40+ hours of your week in is a pretty big deal.

On top of that, agree with earlier comments about the lack of imagination. We're supposedly a creative industry. Couldn't they think of anything a little more fun? Jugglers? Fire eaters? Magicians? Anything?

[User Banned]
profile image
This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

[User Banned]
profile image
This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Mickey Blumental
profile image
I resigned as the London chapter coordinator and ended my paid membership in 2007. Before it was cool to criticize on the IGDA. I'm such a hipster.

This has made me reconsider renewing my membersh... Hahahaha. Just kidding.

[User Banned]
profile image
This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Mickey Blumental
profile image
So basically, as long as you can find someone who's a bigger douche than you, there's no need to become better?

[User Banned]
profile image
This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

WILLIAM TAYLOR
profile image
From what I understand, they threw a rave with standard rave fare. I wouldn't label them as sexist but it's probably inappropriate. Trying to turn a corporate/professional event into a real party/club venue is always going to lead to situations like this as these venues are generally packed with alcohol, scantily clad women and women in skin-tight clothing. That's just how life works and trying to simulate that is going to give you problems for people who say a women showing skin is sexist and borderline misogyny.

They should probably just get rid of all industry parties and just hold lounge events that are more like eating appetizers and having drinks at a restaurant than trying to simulate some super party.

Nou Phabmixay
profile image
I really wish the "like" feature on Gamasutra worked so I can tell who liked what. Sometimes I wonder "Who are the six assholes that agree with this?".

Michael Gribbin
profile image
Stop trying to reveal my asshole anonymity! P.S. I liked this.

Kain Shin
profile image
I am speaking as a former director of the Austin chapter who resigned because I could not support an organization that encouraged membership fees without offering any support whatsoever to the local chapters and volunteers that work so hard to provide IGDA-central with their perceived value by those on the outside. The final straw for me was finding out that the IGDA Director receives a nice six figure salary. A salary for the director of an NPO is necessary but becomes suspect when the value provided by that NPO is not apparent to the masses that serve as the source of income for that salary.

There is no substitute for providing value in return when one gives their money and/or time to an organization. Without that, all it takes is a single party that threatens the reputation of anyone associated to question whether their continued name-lending is worth the cost.

Without any other pillar of value to fall on, the IGDA exists on top of a glass house supported by a single fragile beam of "name recognition".

This situation is recoverable.

The IGDA can fix this by providing actual value to its members and local chapters instead of taking their time and money and having very little to show for it other than that nice six figure salary for the director of the organization. We, as game developers, are not here to provide for your livelihood. Gamasutra does more for the game development community than IGDA ever has.

Build pillars of VALUE. Work with the education system. Become a VISIBLE force of advocacy for the games industry within the world's legal ecosystem. Do this, and maybe... just maybe the next time there is controversy such as this, the IGDA will have other pillars of value to lean on that warrant continued association with this supposed NON-PROFIT organization.

Thomas Grove
profile image
Like.

Thomas Grove
profile image
Like.

Thomas Grove
profile image
Like.

Thomas Grove
profile image
I liked it... but not 3x, some kind of internet hickup or chrome bug or something. Sorry for the spam!

Luis de-Leon
profile image
This is such a bull shit excuse to resign. I cant imagine under any circumstances that this was the real reason why she left. Therese more to this than how the dancers from a night club (that has a reputation of throwing over sexuality parties) looked and preformed. She should just go ahead and tell the real reason why she quit. What lead to her thinking that she had no choice but to resign. Because lets be honest here, you need more than bikinis and pole dances to make a strong woman quit something she believes in. This just feels like a publicity stunt on her behave. If she really wants to make a differences, then tell us the real reason why she's quitting. That way we can work to make the industry better. Other wise no real change can happen. Don't believe me? Just read the comments. All that people are talking about is what should be appropriate for a GDC party, not about how women are treated in the industry.


none
 
Comment: