Microsoft Xbox bros hired 'half-naked' 'schoolgirls' for GDC bash

Microsoft Xbox sexist
Credit: Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Xbox corp. VP Phil Spencer: "Committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion is central to our everyday business."

Microsoft's Xbox team paid women to be nice to people at the Game Developers Conference (GDC). And these micro-skirted podium dancers were described by some as being dressed like 'schoolgirls' -- but they sure didn't look like that when I was school-aged.

Unsurprisingly, Xbox leadership and Microsoft HR peeps are horrified and apologetic. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers tut-tut while looking at pictures of the event. curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.


What's the craic? Damon Beres reports—Half-Naked Women At Xbox Event Not Exactly Good Look For Microsoft:

Women, who are routinely disrespected by the video game industry, took another hit. ... Women in matching scanty costumes were hired to entertain guests at Microsoft’s [GDC] party.

You can imagine some people weren’t thrilled by the display. ... Meanwhile, only 26.8 percent of Microsoft’s workforce is female.


Seriously? Do you mean like go-go podium dancers? Matt Weinberger calls them scantily clad 'schoolgirl' dancers:

Microsoft's efforts to address the "bro" culture that dominates the gaming industry took a stumble. ... The dancers...were also said to have been paid to socialize with attendees.

The company sponsored a Women in Games lunch at the same gaming event, and...the company now has mandatory "unconscious bias" training. [But] events like this only...reinforce the notion that gaming is an industry by men, for men.


Uh, no. Not a good look. Microsoft's Phil Spencer writes to staff A Message:

An inclusive culture has a direct impact on [our] products and services...and the perception consumers have. [But] at GDC this past week, we represented Xbox and Microsoft in a way that was absolutely not consistent or aligned to our values.

[It] was unequivocally wrong and will not be tolerated. ... We justly deserve the criticism. ... We will do better in the future.


I bet you will. Chris Matyszczyk isn't politically incorrect—Dancing 'schoolgirls' damaged the brand:

The dancing has stopped, but the gyrations of anger have not. ... Microsoft and Xbox apparently still have more work to do.


Face, meet palm. Xeni Jardin borrows her aunt's pen: [You're fired -Ed.]

Microsoft...it's 2016. What message should women take from ****me schoolgirl dancers at your #GDC party?


But political correctness cuts both ways. At least, according to Big John:

There's a win-win here. Just have nimble dancers of both sexes.

Excuse me, all sexes. I mean genders... Y'know what, screw it.


Update: SJWs ahoy! Jason Silverstein sups from the shiny cup—Xbox apologizes for go-go dancers:

Xbox just scored high on the shame game. ... The choice of entertainment drew disgust from partygoers.

Xbox's dumb dance move came during the week-long industry conference in San Francisco. ... The gaming industry...has never been known for fairly embracing women [yet] the go-go girls were strutting their stuff on podiums.

The company has not said who hired the dancers or if [they] have been punished. ... The International Game Developer Association said only one in five game developers are women.


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by , who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk.
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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