A lot of good news came out of the Game Developers Conference held this week but this isn’t one of them. Microsoft held a post-event party at GDC that featured scantily clad girls dancing in school girl outfits.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of people were shocked and many took offense at the apathy shown towards women by Microsoft by doing such a thing.
Some photos of the event were posted online after which it got wider attention. One of the first people to do so was Tin Man games editor Tamina Vincent:
I like dancing, I like talking to devs,” wrote Vincent. “But not at this
#GDC16 party. Thanks for pushing me out of this party, Microsoft. […] Making a formal complaint tomorrow. I will not stand for this. I’m trying to encourage women into the industry then this happens.
Women in games industry are looked down upon as it is and the ever prevalent trend of having Booth babes at gaming events further separates them from being welcomed into the industry. However, when one of the biggest gaming hardware and software manufacturer has this kind of approach, it just makes matters worse.
It is to be noted that the same company had hosted a women in games lunch event at GDC. This makes it seem like both were being done by separate sections of the same women, one promoting women in videogames while the other stonewalling them.
Thankfully, it wasn’t only the media and developers who took notice of this. The heads at Microsoft also came to know about this and it was quick to offer an apology regarding this event.