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IGDA's official response to its controversial GDC party

"One of the core values of the IGDA is encouraging inclusion and diversity. Obviously we need to be more vigilant in our efforts," read a statement following backlash against a party that featured "scantily-clad female dancers."

Frank Cifaldi, Contributor

March 28, 2013

3 Min Read

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."

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