Feb 8, 2022 - Technology

A "concerning pattern" at the International Game Developers Association

Logo of IGDA

Logo courtesy of IGDA

A new report details the International Game Developers Association’s history of inappropriately handling complaints against its Women in Games Special Interest Group chair.

Why it matters: The IGDA is a nonprofit organization intended to support developers by addressing important topics in the industry, including accessibility, sexism, discrimination and work conditions.

Driving the news: GamesIndustry reports a "concerning pattern" in which the IGDA failed to properly investigate complaints brought to its attention.

  • Jennifer Scheurle, who served as the IGDA Women in Games Special Interest Group chair and was a former IGDA Foundation Next Gen Leader, stepped away from her position last year after allegations of "manipulation, harassment and emotional abuse" became public.
  • In 2019, however, 11 people had submitted a document to IGDA detailing her behavior, which IGDA dismissed, citing a lack of evidence.
  • Another formal complaint was filed by 14 victims in 2020, which the IGDA once again did not act upon.
  • GamesIndustry reports that in two unrelated instances, complaints to the IGDA regarding misconduct were not followed up on or concluded.

What they're saying: In a statement to the publication, IGDA said it "failed" to follow its own policies for responding to harassment claims.

  • "We apologize for not providing proper support and communication to everyone with serious concerns. It is one of our top priorities that all of our members feel their concerns will be treated appropriately. As a leader of game industry standards, we must abide by our own policies to set a proper example."

IGDA has updated its policies as of Jan. 26, which includes a new Ethics Committee "made up of impartial individuals that will handle all aspects of ethics complaints investigations going forward."

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