Some partygoers complained about the IDGA party at the Games Developer Conference in 2013 as there were hired go-go dancer women in skimpy costumes at the party. There were topless models as well wearing body paint. Brenda Romero resigned as co-chair of the IGDA in protest.
Brenda was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle:
- “I woke up to direct messages, texts, and links to news of the IGDA party,” Romero told the video game website Polygon. “It really saddens me. I have been a long-time supporter of the IGDA. However, my silence would have been complicity. I had no choice.”
Carol Pinchefsky reported at Forbes,
- So what’s the big deal? Why should we care if women are dancing at a party? To quote a commenter on my previous article, Martins, “If everyone is a consenting adult why isn’t it okay for people to be on display? It’s a lot of fun to be on display and it’s supposed to be fun to watch.”
- As I’ve said before, the problem is that “people” were not on display: women were. And for other women, this objectification makes them feel uncomfortable and excluded. This is not how a professional organization should be treating its members–and I will hold IGDA to their promise of vigilance.
The SF Chronicle also reported,
- Web designer Darius Kazemi also resigned from the IGDA’s board in protest, although he only had three days left in his term anyway. But in a tweet, he noted he already had reservations about working YetiZen because of the furor over last year’s party that had topless, body painted women.
Noah Falstein wrote on Gamasutra:
- "But topless women as arm candy (I’m only addressing this as I didn’t see the other “entertainment”) sends the message that women are pretty sex objects, it’s the men who are in charge and don’t you forget it, sweetie. Yes, objectifying women for the entertainment of men has been around for a long time and exists at many levels of society, including some of high finance. You could say the same thing about racism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia, that’s not a reason to perpetuate them."
YetiZen's non apology also appeared on Gamasutra: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/SanaChoudary/20130330/189600/Official_Statement_by_the_YetiZen_CEO_on_the_YetiZen_IGDA_GDC_party.php
IGDA's response was as follows:
- 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 performed 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.