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IGDA Members Resign

At GDC 2013, a panel of women who are veterans of the videogames industry took to the stage to discuss what it means to be a woman in the industry. The ladies who made up this panel were game designer Brenda Romero, Funomena co-founder Robin Hunicke, Gamasutra Journalist Leigh Alexander, Storm8 Game Designer Elizabeth Sampat, Game Critic Mattie Brice and Microsoft Studios Game Designer Kim McAuliffe.

During the International Game Developer Association (IGDA) panel, these ladies shared with the audience their personal stories. Mattie Brice, in particular, had a disturbing story about starting a blog with the intent of discussing women and minorities in games, which ended in death and rape threats, with her website ultimately being hacked with pornographic images.

By its end, the panel was clearly well received, as it finished with the crowd giving a standing ovation. Unfortunately, the event went down hill fast, as some women began to dance on stage.

The irony of having attractive women, who are wearing very little, while dancing on stage, at an event that was about the struggles of women in the video game industry, was too much for several members of the IGDA to bare. As such, Brenda Romero, Darius Kazemi and Jay Margalus all resigned. Some out of protest, others, perhaps, out of embarrassment.

In response, the IGDA has issued an during an interview Polygon had with Executive Director Kate Edwards.

“As many of you know, the IGDA was a co-presenter of the Yetizen party Tuesday evening,” Edwards said. “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,” Edwards added. “Obviously we need to be more vigilant in our efforts. We intend to be so in the future.”

A bad day at the office, I would say. How do you take the whole scenario?