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July 8, 2019
Official statement from the St. Louis Game Developer Co-op (STLGameDev) Board regarding the publicly reported misconduct at Webster University by Webster staff:
For the better part of a decade, STLGameDev has worked to support game creation in the greater STL area for all variations of the medium by all levels of skill, profession, and education. Our mission upholds promoting these talents in a safe, professional environment of respect. The actions of Webster University have brought harm to our community. It is of grave concern that the ensuing negative community and industry perception will affect our ability to execute our mission of supporting game development in the St. Louis metro area. We are writing to condemn the treatment of local games professionals as depicted in the reports. Such behavior committed by multiple staff and faculty at Webster University is such a gross attack on our community’s values that we feel it warrants a public show of support for the victims and an affirmation of our own community standards.
There is a large overlap between Webster University and STLGameDev membership and participation. The actions of both groups influence the industry perception of our region as a viable environment for making games. In recognition of this fact, the STLGameDev Co-op upholds specific values through our code of conduct which emphasizes respectful, professional, and constructive interactions. While we do not expect other organizations to adopt our code of conduct verbatim, we look for similar values in those who impact our community. We have found that the reported behaviors at Webster University violate each of these tenets. Even worse, reports show that university leadership facilitated these violations for more than a year, acting to silence concerned students and faculty who are trusted members of our community. The ongoing lack of protection against these bad actors by Webster University leadership fails to meet what we would uphold as a safe environment for members of our community. We urge caution to any community members interacting with Webster in these circumstances, and the STLGameDev Co-op will not collaborate with Webster University until all of the reported instances of misconduct are resolved and future accountability demonstrated.
To current Webster students: While Webster has utilized Global Game Jam events as a part of their curriculum, this is in no way a partnership amongst Webster University, the STL Game Dev Co-op, or the Global Game Jam organization. All attendees are bound by GGJ and Co-op community guidelines regardless of their status in the game dev community. Students will always be welcome to participate in our community within our conduct guidelines. Please know that we will continue to offer resources and support where the university has failed to meet the standards held by the rest of the professional industry and your local game developer community.
Co-signed by the St. Louis Game Developer Co-op Board
For further reference:
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