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IGDA apologizes for multiple missteps in investigating complaints

The International Game Developer's Association has apologized for not thoroughly investigating complaints against multiple members.

The International Game Developer's Association has apologized for not thoroughly investigating complaints against multiple members.

In a statement to Gamesindustry.biz (which was pursuing a follow-up investigation on allegations against former IGDA Women in Games special interest group chair Jennifer Scheurle), an IGDA spokesperson apologized for how the organization not only handled complaints about Scheurle, but other members in chapters around the world. 

"The IGDA maintains follow-up correspondence with complainants and communicates conclusions of investigations to parties directly involved in reported violations. However, in one of our recent ethics investigations, we reviewed materials submitted to us and conducted an interview with the accused before concluding there was insufficient evidence of wrongdoing," the organization admitted. 

"We apologize for not providing proper support and communication to everyone with serious concerns."

The debacle over Scheurle's alleged behavior appears to be only the tip of the iceberg for what Gamesindustry.biz was investigating. The trade outlet writes that it had been looking into multiple instances where IGDA members filed complaints about the behavior of other (unspecified) members, only for the organization to go dark with no follow up. 

Some of these reports appear to have come from some of the IGDA's newly formed international chapters. "If you're making chapters in places [with] developing industries, you have to realize the problems the developing industries have are different from developed industries," one source told Gamesindustry.biz "We have this association that's there to help lift up developers in these far-flung areas, but nothing's really happened."

Sources complained about speaking with organizational leaders who promised formal investigations and then never followed up, or discussed sensitive subjects with a consistently positive tone. As one source stated, "I just feel like there is definitely that thing of keeping a very positive outlook, even in how they word their emails. Everything's very positive, there's nothing negative. So when you bring up things that are negative, they're always addressed in a positive way. Sickeningly positive."

Other indiscretions include handling investigations in such a way that accused individuals or their allies seemed to be able to access sensitive documents. 

The IGDA (which is currently undergoing a bit of a leadership shuffle) acknowledged these concerns in its statement, and said it is working to revise its process. 

"The new investigative process involves the creation of an Ethics Committee that will handle all aspects of ethics complaints investigations going forward, including reviewing the initial report, initiating collection and documentation of information gathered, and preparing ethics investigation reports to the Board of Directors and Counsel for consideration of appropriate actions needed to resolve the complaint," it explained in its statement.

"This will ensure no steps are omitted in future investigations. You may find these updates here."

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