IGDA calls for industry leaders to condemn game developer harassment

IDGA has issued a response to recent harassment in the games industry.
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The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has condemned recent harassment of game developers and those pioneering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives around the world, in a public statement encouraging other games industry leaders to do the same.

Over the last month, game developers of all backgrounds, and particularly those from marginalised backgrounds, have been subject to ongoing abuse from online commenters with misguided beliefs about what DEI initiatives accomplish.

The IGDA has likened the abuse to GamerGate, a period in which misogynistic, right wing gamers organised various harassment campaigns against women, and those of diverse backgrounds, working in games.

“Harassment has no place in games or the games industry, and we must create a safe, welcoming, and equitable environment for everyone,” the IGDA said, in a public statement shared with media.

“For too long, misogyny, bigotry, and intolerance of diversity have inflicted irreparable harm on individuals and communities within the gaming world. The IGDA condemns the harassment campaigns that emerged from GamerGate and will not tolerate any further hateful rhetoric within our industry.”

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“We call upon all leaders at game studios and companies, especially those with greater access to resources and influential platforms, to unite in a firm stance against harassment and in our commitment to building a better future for the games community.”

As part of its call to action, the IGDA has encouraged industry leaders to take important steps towards protecting marginalised developers, and pushing back against harmful, abusive rhetoric filtering into online spaces.

The IGDA has called for leaders to be vocal, to protect their communities, to educate and inform those with misguided beliefs, to amplify the voices of marginalised folks, to hold harassers accountable, to support victims, and to advocate for change. It has also provided an outline for how best to deal with harassment in a multitude of settings.

After weeks of developers, writers, and DEI supporters being threatened, the IGDA has taken a firm stance, in an attempt to rally the most influential industry leaders. There is hope the statement will have an impact, as calls for firmer action grow.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.