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IGDA party features dancers, prompts controversy, resignations


The International Game Developers Association's GDC party resulted, rather than merriment for all, in the resignations of several IGDA leaders, after the appearance of underdressed dancers on stage at the event, reportedly hired by party sponsor YetiZen.

Student Alicia Avril first brought the appropriateness of the dancers into question in a Forbes report, noting that it doesn't square with the professionalism or advocacy the group espouses. "Knowing there are such concerned women as members of this group," she told Forbes, "you'd think that the IGDA would be more thoughtful in their own party and how they're portraying themselves."

Some members' concern led to the end of their membership, including game designer Brenda Romero, who publicly resigned from her position of co-chair of the IGDA Women in Games SIG, and developer Darius Kazemi, who "formally resigned" following the party.

The IGDA issued a statement in response to the controversy. "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," the statement reads. "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." The group pledged increased vigilance toward "encouraging inclusion and diversity."

During the IGDA meeting today at GDC, executive director Kate Edwards elaborated on the organization's position, Gamasutra reports. "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." She called for participation from all members, including those who left, in order to know "what we can do to do a better job in the future."

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