The team behind the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco has declared its opposition to the executive order on immigration passed by President Trump.
The president has ordered a 90-day ban to anyone attempting to enter the United States from seven countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - all of which are predominantly Muslim. It is a move that has been met with widespread disapproval.
The official GDC Twitter account has responded, promising reimbursement for anyone now unable to attend the conference, which takes place in less than a month.
GDC is a global community - we're horrified by the #MuslimBan. Of course we'll refund affected attendees, and keep fighting for inclusivity.— Official_GDC (@Official_GDC) January 29, 2017
GDC's decision has mostly been met with praise and approval, with support from some of the most prominent games developers. Former Playstation exec, indie champion and independent developer Shahid Ahmad has decided not to attend:
Given the current confusion, until the US position is clear, I won’t be going to #GDC2017— Shahid Kamal Ahmad (@shahidkamal) January 28, 2017
I’m sure the organisers of GDC, E3, WWDC etc. are mortified that their conferences are no longer global, and held behind a Racist Curtain.— Shahid Kamal Ahmad (@shahidkamal) January 29, 2017
Meanwhile, Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismael has pledged his company's revenues towards opposing the ban:
Polygon reports that International Game Developers Association notes that only two of its 8,000 members is affected by this ban and is unable to attend the trade body's annual meeting at GDC.
But executive director Kate Edwards added: "The issue isn't necessarily the affect on these specific countries but on the general spread of xenophobia in the U.S. government and how it will certainly affect the U.S.'s ability to hire talent and remain globally competitive."