Brenda Brathwaite resigns as co-chair of IGDA Women in Games SIG


Brenda Brathwaite today resigned as co-chair of the International Game Developers Association for its association with GDC 2013 party, which featured scantily clad female dancers.

Speaking to Polygon, Brathwaite said that “I have been a long-time supporter of the IGDA. However, my silence would have been complicity. I had no choice.”

Update: We’ve now received the IGDA statement, saying they “do not condone activities that objectify or demean women”.

This year’s party was sponsored by social and mobile funding company YetiZen, part of the entertainment they had organised for this year’s event were three dancers. One attendee, Student developer Alicia Avril, told Forbes that there were “at least three girls in white outfits–one was in a skimpy t-shirt one was in this weird furry get-up–dancing.”

Brathwaite said that she “went home last night to work on my Friday GDC talk feeling super uplifted by the turnout and support for the #1ReasonToBe panel [and] woke up to DMs, texts and links to news of the IGDA party.”

Just hours before the GDC party, speaking at the #1ReasonToBe panel, Brathwaite had singled out how uncomfortable E3’s booth babes made her, how they created a sexually charged atmosphere at an event, and that it was an affront to the women of the games industry; “I founded this industry, motherfuckers,” she declared, and that its wrong that she be made to feel unwelcome in it.

It is not only Brathwaite who resigned over the party dancers, developer Darius Kazemi also resigned, saying on Twitter:

He expanded on his reasons, saying:

As well as board member resignations, at least one group has pulled support for the IGDA:

And another has boycotted it:

This is still very much a story developing and we’re still waiting on an official statement from IGDA in response to the criticisms leveled at it today. We’ll be updating this post as more information emerges.

Update: The IGDA statement for executive director Kate Edwards:

“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 activites 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.”

Tweeted by Dave Oshry.