Brenda Romero Resigns IGDA Post Over GDC Party - UPDATED

| 28 Mar 2013 20:22

A serious uproar has erupted in the wake of last night's International Game Developers Association party at GDC, which featured several female dancers in "skimpy" outfits.

The International game Developers Association is taking serious heat for its party at the 2013 Game Developers Conference, which one attendee said had "at least three girls in white outfits - one was in a skimpy t-shirt one was in this weird furry get-up - dancing." There were more women on stilts dancing among the crowd, according to student developer Alicia Avril, who provided photos to back up her claim. "I walked in there not expecting that sort of display," she added.

The backlash was immediate and furious. Board member Darius Kazemi, whose term on the IGDA was scheduled to end in three days, resigned rather than waiting it out, while the Women In Games Boston group withdrew its IGDA support. The most high-profile resignation came from industry veteran Brenda Romero, who was co-chair of the IGDA's Women In Games special interest group.

"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, referencing an IGDA panel discussion about the many challenges faced by women in the videogame industry. "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."

Given the drive for equality and elimination of discrimination in the industry - a very righteous drive, mind - it's amazing that something like this was allowed to happen. Regardless of how you may feel about it personally, the optics are so obviously awful that it's absolutely mind-boggling that nobody involved in the decision-making progress put the brakes on the whole thing. It's a remarkable failure of leadership.

We've reached out to the IGDA for comment and will update if and when we receive a reply.

Sources: Forbes, Polygon

UPDATE: IGDA Executive Director Kate Edwards has issued the following statement addressing the GDC party:

"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 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. Obviously we need to be more vigilant in our efforts. We intend to be so in the future."

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I had a look at her credentials.

image

So lemme get this straight, there was a party and because a few chicks showed up in skimpy outfits and danced around that caused enough butthurt for a resignation?

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Uhura:

Quadocky:

Uhura:
Got to love the hyperbole in some of the responses here. Apparently expecting a modicum of professionalism and inclusiveness from industry related events is totally out of line.

I wish I could somehow elevate this post above others and hold it like an sign of enlightenment among a sea of bizarre nonsense.

But of course such nice response like this will probably be met with goal post moving.

My favorite hyperbole so far is the one relating to Burkas.

Oh whew, thanks. I was half expecting a verbal smack down. Yeah, the Burka hyperbole is my favorite too, a true classic! I think I have to stop reading this thread though. I'm starting to get a headache from all the facepalming.

I am also quoting you to show support.

OT: This did not happen in a vacuum guys and it was a stupid move that rings of being tone deaf. To those sick of these discussions: too bad. They will not stop till some of this crap is addressed with more then a sound bite.

I think another of the major problems here is that continually beating a live horse will kill it.

And then you're beating a dead horse.

Seriously, there are times to get offended, like the Dead island bust statue thing. Then there's this time. A time where your reaction causes everyone else to be confused. And then get annoyed at you for your ridiculous reaction.

Also in my mind, I hear "romero" and think "lol daikatana"

Yeah I know she's his wife, but I think the crazy rubbed off on her, too.

I kept wondering why I as somewhat of a liberal stop giving a shit about feminist, gays, and every other fucking minority group, irony being I am a minority, then I see this. Then I remember why, stupid fuckers complain about EVERYTHING!!! The tech industry, is as sexist as every other industry, as racist as every other industry. Screaming, and arguing over the stupidest shit, that at the end of the day wasn't even sexist isn't helping the fucking cause. One poster said it best, these groups are going the way of PETA, what ever issue they had, is clouded by all the stupidity that permeates from them.

I swear, it seems like people are confusing equal opportunity with equal outcome, having half the market doesn't means that you'll have half the representation, and tolerance doesn't mean acceptance.. Why is tech industry a boy club? Not because of he-man no like women, but because most women not interested in the tech job market, same with race. Why don't game companies market equal gender or race representation? Because most of the buying power comes from white, or depending on region oriental, and one is assuming that just because women represents half of gamer, doesn't mean that they have half the representation of every genre, or every fucking game sold. Once again women into different shit, and the markets adjust accordingly. Women playing "casual" games, to having girly games be straight up market to them, some games represent both groups equally, some of a disparity between them, same with every other market out there.

Does sexism, racism, and all the other ism, play a role? Yes, a small role, but most of it is based on something as simple as people just not interested for what ever reason. Some things are just the way they are, and people need to accept that. But this constant bitching, doesn't help anyone, and it's tiring as hell, because it seem so fucking petty. Yeah they had a party, it had topless dancer(S?), and people having to jump on the outrage train is fucking stupid, and really does nothing but dilute your cause, cause you keep doing this shit.

I know discrimination is wrong but this positive discrimination is becoming tiresome, you can't hire a woman displaying her sexuality in anyway or you're being sexist, you can't display black people in a bad light or use the "N" word however appropriate the situation "I'm talking about Django" where you had a number of activists claiming the film was racist when it so clearly wasn't and god forbid you use the word "Jew" in any context.

Yet we can kill arabs and muslims by the thousands in games and films because they don't count as people apparently, we can undermine and berate their religion because that's ok, I also notice films and games can refer to Chinese/Koreans and other far east nationals as g*oks and ch*nks with no fallout because that isn't the same as using the "N" word.

Were not allowed to objectify women in anyway, hire some slightly sexy dancers and you're a sexist pig undermining the whole feminist movement, yet women use their sexuality as weapon all the time to manipulate and make men feel uncomfortable.

People have a right to discrimination free life and be protected from uncomfortable situations in the work place but I've shown that picture to all my female friends on facebook and not one said it was sexist or would make them uncomfortable being there and as for Brenda Romero she wasn't even there. It's a typical stunt to gain media attention creating something out of nothing but all it achieves is turning more people against her cause.

Guitarmasterx7:
You can understand why? Have you ever been to any party or night club ever? This is nothing. Hell, the girl on the right is dressed pretty modestly compared to most girls' average party attire.

What the hell do gamers have against pretty women? I'm legitimately asking. Booth babes, "fake" gamer girls, and now they're not even allowed at our parties. Nobody is holding a gun to their head and telling them to dress like this. They probably see this gig as getting paid to party. Since they seem to have no unifying factor other than color id even be willing to bet their dress code was "wear white" and THEY were the ones who chose to dress like that.

The rectally inserted sticks of some people geez.

This is sort of my opinion as well. They're really not dressed that sexually, and I'm having a hard time imagining anyone who thinks they are in a real night club.

Sometimes I can't shake this idea that we're so desperate to convince ourselves that we're fighting social inequality that we just blindly attack anything.

Sounds like corporate strippers are gonna be out of a job soon.

I suppose at this rate we'll be better off tying a noose round our necks for any kind of fun. Sexism a problem? Damn straight on both sides but the majority of the females are arrogant about it. I'll try and avoid a sexist joke relating to that but shooting yourself in the foot is only hurting yourself.

So feminists complain about the wage gap in the industry, which is mainly due to barely any woman actually going into the industry. Then they quit their jobs and try to ban hired dancers (we still don't know if they were actual hired dancers), thus bringing down the overall number of women in the industry?

What.

Quadocky:

Uhura:
Got to love the hyperbole in some of the responses here. Apparently expecting a modicum of professionalism and inclusiveness from industry related events is totally out of line.

I wish I could somehow elevate this post above others and hold it like an sign of enlightenment among a sea of bizarre nonsense.

But of course such nice response like this will probably be met with goal post moving.

My favorite hyperbole so far is the one relating to Burkas.

Oh whew, thanks. I was half expecting a verbal smack down. Yeah, the Burka hyperbole is my favorite too, a true classic! I think I have to stop reading this thread though. I'm starting to get a headache from all the facepalming.

Tenmar:

TheCommanders:

It's weird, because I always thought games were a great way to bring people of all different backgrounds, genders, races, sexual preferences, whatever, together. I've been playing some Mass Effect multiplayer recently and you meet people from all over, and you get to work together towards a common goal. Still we (gamers) somehow manage to consistently end up at each others throats over issues that we should be united in our efforts to improve. Sigh, real life sucks...

Gotta remember though that it isn't a small niche group that enjoys video games anymore. Certainly being a hobbyist to the point where you are really knowledgeable or extremely skills is still very niche or a niche group for a certain genre of game. But overall? Every really is a gamer now. Ever since Sony went with the Playstation video games and the people who play them has only expanded in terms of demographics and video games are more accessible than ever.

So that compassion or unity that used to bind people locally as kids of the 80's were picked on because they interacted with an electronic device were nerdy is all but gone. Also more adults at that point are often going to either forget that moment in their lives and move on from it. Not to mention due to the end of local co-op in video games that people really don't actually get to socialize the same way anymore. There really is that difference of sitting with someone and playing video games with them than playing even one house over.

Ah, I see I phrased that badly. My point was that when playing games with people, it's rarely - if ever - an issue that straights and gays are playing together, or blacks and whites, or males and females, we're just all people trying to enjoy ourselves. However, the moment a controversial topic is brought up, all of these people are suddenly at each other's throats. It's almost like the concept of an issue has taken on more divisiveness than the actual issue, if that makes any sense. Just trying to clear up what I was talking about.

TheCommanders:

It's weird, because I always thought games were a great way to bring people of all different backgrounds, genders, races, sexual preferences, whatever, together. I've been playing some Mass Effect multiplayer recently and you meet people from all over, and you get to work together towards a common goal. Still we (gamers) somehow manage to consistently end up at each others throats over issues that we should be united in our efforts to improve. Sigh, real life sucks...

Gotta remember though that it isn't a small niche group that enjoys video games anymore. Certainly being a hobbyist to the point where you are really knowledgeable or extremely skills is still very niche or a niche group for a certain genre of game. But overall? Every really is a gamer now. Ever since Sony went with the Playstation video games and the people who play them has only expanded in terms of demographics and video games are more accessible than ever.

So that compassion or unity that used to bind people locally as kids of the 80's were picked on because they interacted with an electronic device were nerdy is all but gone. Also more adults at that point are often going to either forget that moment in their lives and move on from it. Not to mention due to the end of local co-op in video games that people really don't actually get to socialize the same way anymore. There really is that difference of sitting with someone and playing video games with them than playing even one house over.

Hjalmar Fryklund:

Darken12:

Baresark:
That is fine if you don't want to cite a bunch of stuff. I'm not interested in denying any actual scientific work that has been done which defends your point of view. It's easy to sit there and say something isn't scientific enough or the study is conducted with large enough test groups, I see that on here all the time. And while it should always be scrutinized, I doubt anyone around here is qualified enough to deny the results of any scientific studies.

Tried to find the post I made in the Anita thread, but apparently it's no longer on my profile. Maybe the thread got deleted.

Completely off-topic, but if the thread you have in mind got locked (as Sarkeesian-related threads are prone to) it would have been automatically deleted some period after it was locked. I think the period length is two weeks or so, but I am not entirely certain.

That would seem to be the case, yes. Alas!

Captcha: fade away. How appropriate, Captcha. How appropriate.

Darken12:

Baresark:
That is fine if you don't want to cite a bunch of stuff. I'm not interested in denying any actual scientific work that has been done which defends your point of view. It's easy to sit there and say something isn't scientific enough or the study is conducted with large enough test groups, I see that on here all the time. And while it should always be scrutinized, I doubt anyone around here is qualified enough to deny the results of any scientific studies.

Tried to find the post I made in the Anita thread, but apparently it's no longer on my profile. Maybe the thread got deleted.

Completely off-topic, but if the thread you have in mind got locked (as Sarkeesian-related threads are prone to) it would have been automatically deleted some period after it was locked. I think the period length is two weeks or so, but I am not entirely certain.

rhizhim:
so she resigned for this?
image

i can understand why, but at the same time it just boggles my mind how you can just throw your job away because of this.

You can understand why? Have you ever been to any party or night club ever? This is nothing. Hell, the girl on the right is dressed pretty modestly compared to most girls' average party attire.

What the hell do gamers have against pretty women? I'm legitimately asking. Booth babes, "fake" gamer girls, and now they're not even allowed at our parties. Nobody is holding a gun to their head and telling them to dress like this. They probably see this gig as getting paid to party. Since they seem to have no unifying factor other than color id even be willing to bet their dress code was "wear white" and THEY were the ones who chose to dress like that.

The rectally inserted sticks of some people geez.

Uhura:
Got to love the hyperbole in some of the responses here. Apparently expecting a modicum of professionalism and inclusiveness from industry related events is totally out of line.

I wish I could somehow elevate this post above others and hold it like an sign of enlightenment among a sea of bizarre nonsense.

But of course such nice response like this will probably be met with goal post moving.

My favorite hyperbole so far is the one relating to Burkas.

Oltsu:
Gaming seems to be turning into a grey blob of political correctness.

Hah! I wish.

EDIT: Though usually Political correctness is more like "Turning the game industry into a place where there is less overt awfulness."

Well that was an insanely stupid idea(hiring the dancers), considering all the controversy swirling around the industry as of late.

Other than that I have nothing more to say on the subject, lest I be sucked into the abyss and eaten alive by both sides of the argument... Woohooo neutrality!

Continue reading 136 comments on the forums.
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