The International Game Developers Association has promised to be more vigilant following criticism of its choice of entertainment for a GDC party.
The inclusion of what were described as “scantily clad” female dancers at the networking event prompted complaints and the very public resignation of IGDA board members Brenda Romero and Darius Kazemi.
It also saw Women In Games Boston pull its support for the IGDA.
"I went home last night to work on my Friday GDC talk feeling super uplifted by the turnout and support for the #1ReasonToBe panel," Romero told Polygon at the time.
"I woke up to DMs, texts and links to news of the IGDA party. 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. And just hours after our panel, too."
The IGDA initially claimed it was not responsible for the entertainment and pointed blame at sponsor Yetizen.
It then admitted it had given the okay to the dancers’ costumes, but “some of the activities they performed were not what we expected or approved”.
Since then, there has been widespread debate on whether the dancers were appropriate for an industry event.
Today, IGDA Executive Director Kate Edwards made a formal statement on Gamasutra on the IGDA’s position.
“We deeply regret that the IGDA was involved in this party as we do not condone activities that objectify or demean women or any other group of people. And that happened at this event,” she said.
“The IGDA will always encourage inclusion and diversity at our events. We want to ensure that everyone present feels comfortable because the activities are appropriate and respectful of the diversity of our membership.”
“The IGDA exists to support the needs of developers and advocate on their behalf. In the big picture, conference parties are a small aspect of our greater growth and professional development, but they’re a flashpoint for demonstrating values that are either oppressive or progressive.
“Our humanity makes us prone to mistakes, but that does not diminish our resolve to be a force of change. I hope the IGDA membership will rise to the challenge, and keep working together to help our industry reflect the reality of our diversity, whether it’s at events, in the workplace or in the games we create.”
From here on, the organisation would offer networking events as its primary focus rather than parties, said Edwards.
“Building a community and providing networking opportunities are part of our core mission, and we want to create activities that provide that opportunity, and to do that in a way that will be appropriate and enjoyable for everyone.”
“The IGDA will be vigilant (far more vigilant than in the past) when choosing to partner with another organisation.”