During this year’s GDC, Microsoft held a party in which those that attended witnessed some of the entertainment Microsoft threw together, one of which has been receiving quite the backlash online. Apparently, during the event, Microsoft had hired erotic dancers to thrill the crowd on various platforms, something that was unexpected and to says the least, not welcomed by several attendees.
The backlash started immediately upon the GDC party where developers, programmers, and designers even started to tweet out to the world, flabbergasted by what they witnessed. For example, Jennifer Scheurle, a game designer, tweeted out her frustration of attending an event where the game industry excludes women.
This is how the games industry excludes women: By pretending we don’t exist and having dev parties with strippers. pic.twitter.com/9GsYyEAQOo
— Jennifer Scheurle (@Gaohmee) March 18, 2016
This, mind you, is through the doing of Microsoft. These female dancers were hired for the event through Microsoft directly and not something put together by the venue this party was held at. However, this has been a tactic used by the game industry for a number of years now. With events such as E3 hiring models for the purpose of becoming a “booth babe” someone to entice the male audience towards their products that are being advertised.
Now, with so much uproar from those who witnessed firsthand and those that are receiving word of the female entertainment at this GDC event, Microsoft has been hard at work doing a bit of damage control. For instance, Xbox chief, Phil Spencer, has been issuing a statement, one of which our own Holly Green received when questioned about the matter.
Here is what Phil Spencer had to say about the event.
At Xbox-hosted events at GDC this past week, we represented Xbox and Microsoft in a way that was not consistent or aligned to our values. It was unequivocally wrong and will not be tolerated. I know we disappointed many people and I’m personally committed to holding ourselves to higher standards. We must ensure that diversity and inclusion are central to our everyday business and core values. We will do better in the future.
Only time will tell if Microsoft will alter their entertainment and focus during upcoming events.