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IGDA Women in Games group chair Jennifer Scheurle departs following abuse allegations

Scheurle was the chair of the IGDA's Women in Games Special Interest Group, but has now left the role.

IGDA Women In Games Special Interest Group (WIG SIG) chair Jennifer Scheurle has stepped down after being accused of emotional abuse and manipulation.

A number of allegations against Scheurle have been circulating on social media this week, many of which date back years. 

Emails shared online indicate the IGDA had already received multiple informal complaints against Scheurle in 2018, which were followed up with formal complaints in 2019 and 2020. Those complaints reportedly included statements from over 10 people and comprised more than 120 pages of allegations and evidence.

In response to the allegations, the IGDA opened a formal investigation but said "there was not compelling evidence of wrongdoing." The group added that it has a "zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of harassment and violence," but claimed it "must abide by an anonymous investigation process and determine disciplinary action based on evidence."

Shortly after the IGDA concluded its investigation, however, Scheurle announced plans to step down from her role as chair of the Women in Games group.

"As part of what I believe in, I will act in accordance to the wishes of the people I have harmed. I'm grateful to the IGDA and their ethics committee," she wrote on Twitter. "I believe in their process. Regardless of their decision to dismiss the claims against me, I will step down as the IGDA WIG SIG chair immediately as I feel like I have lost too much of the trust of the community."

Scheurle also intends to retract all of her "ongoing nominations for awards," and will "refrain from advocacy work" in the future.

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