Giant Bomb News

1006 Comments

E3 Needs to Grow Up

Despite a growing call for change, the organizers of E3 have no plans to address the booth babe issue at the industry's biggest show.

I'm sure these women are well versed in the talking points for Namco Bandai's upcoming fighting game.

There’s been no shortage of discussion about women and video games this past week.

The conversation’s been driven by the gross response to Anita Sarkeesian’s nearly finished Kickstarter about the unfortunate and exclusionary tropes of female video game characters, and the quickly scrutinized comments from a producer on Tomb Raider about a potential rape scene (a description the studio has walked back) in the new game.

These are all good, uncomfortable conversations to have, but if we're talking about the depiction of women in games at such a serious level, how do we still have E3 booth babes? Other than for easy hits in web galleries, anyway.

The commonly referred to booth babe (also known as a "woman") is hired solely to wear skimpy clothing with a game or company’s logo and take photographs with attendees (who does that, by the way?). Typically, they are not well versed in the product they are hired to represent.

It seemed like a good time to check in with the Entertainment Software Association, who manages E3.

Despite some of the recent heated conversation, there are no plans to shift E3 policies.

"Exhibitors determine for themselves what is the best representation for their companies. Models are welcome if companies would like to have them, but that's an individual exhibitor decision,” said ESA VP of media relations and event management Dan Hewitt in an emailed statement to me yesterday.

Ghost Recon Commander designer Brenda Brathwaite sparked a vocal debate on Twitter over booth babes before she headed to the E3 show floor last Thursday.

“I dread heading off to work at E3 today,” she said. “The show is a constant assault on the female self esteem no matter which direction I look. I am in good shape, yet it is impossible not to compare. I feel uncomfortable. It is as if I walked into a strip club w/o intending to. These are the policies of @e3expo and @RichatESA. I feel uncomfortable in an industry I helped found.”

Her comments found plenty of support, such as Inside Network managing editor AJ Glasser.

@br The worst is when I get so good at seeing right through it that I forget they're actually women underneath the barely-there clothes.

— AJ Glasser (@Joygirl007) June 7, 2012

It’s not a new critique, but it was louder this year, and there seems to be a growing desire for change.

There was also the usual “what’s the big deal?” responses, including 3D Realms co-founder George Broussard.

@br I think you/others take it too seriously. It's not some academic event. It's a glitz show full of spectacle. #serious_business

— George Broussard (@georgeb3dr) June 7, 2012

It’s been a few years, but the ESA policy on booth babes has changed from E3's inception. The last major shift came in 2006, as new penalties, fines and policies were introduced regarding women featured in E3 exhibits.

"What's new in 2006 is an update and clarification of the enforcement policies; as we do from time to time, we have taken steps to ensure that exhibitors are familiar with the policy and how it will be enforced," said E3 show director Mary Dolaher to Reuters at the time.

A violation of the clothing policy would result in, at first, a warning, and then a $5,000 fine. Here’s what the handbook from 2006 said to exhibitors considering booth babes--er, sorry, live models:

"Material, including live models, conduct that is sexually explicit and/or sexually provocative, including but not limited to nudity, partial nudity and bathing suit bottoms, are prohibited on the show floor, all common areas, and at any access points to the show."

Hewitt told me there have been no changes to ESA policy since 2006.

Maybe there should be. Consider this anecdote that didn’t even take place on the show floor itself.

This was one of the first results the search term "Devil May Cry strippers" gave me, sorry.

We arrived to our Capcom appointment, I plunked down with Lost Planet 3, and Alex Navarro was ushered over to play Devil May Cry. In a room of kiosks, there were pole dancers. It’s unclear what that has to do with Devil May Cry. The girl hired to skimpily waltz around was sitting on the floor, looking bored. Everyone in the room is focused on playing the game, and Alex wasn't playing Devil May Cry in a see-through bubble. No one on the show floor could see this room. Can someone explain how this helps anyone do their job?

Elsewhere, I refused to play any 3DS games at Nintendo’s booth because the company didn’t have a table with machines, and instead tethered its lineup to attractive women. I let that gimmick slide when Nintendo pulled the same trick at the original 3DS unveiling, but I’ll just wait until those games are out now, thanks.

Nintendo probably thought it was a cute idea. I doubt (and this is my sincere hope) Nintendo meant to undermine the credibility of women at gaming’s biggest show. It's still ignorance. Many of the issues regarding women and E3 aren’t overtly offensive, and can be easily rationalized by those who don’t see a problem.

That’s okay--we should have a debate about it.

And this is all hardly an issue that’s exclusive to games. The same week as E3, the Computex Summit was happening in Taipei, and computer manufacturer ASUS sent out the following tweet:

That tweet has since been deleted and ASUS released an apology, obviously.

I can gripe all I want, but the most effective solution has to come from the ESA itself. Only the ESA can enforce regulations on exhibitors, and let them know this archaic marketing tool needs to go away. If games are growing up, so does the way we go about advertising them in front of, ostensibly, a bunch of professional. This isn’t 1994.

PAX figured this out years ago, even if there have been incidents along the way (i.e. Lollipop Chainsaw at PAX East).

“Our definition of a ‘booth babe’ has been a model (male or female) that has been hired to stand/sit in skimpy clothing to market the product,” said Penny Arcade president of business development in 2010. “If that person knows the product inside and out then it’s less of an issue. A company representative that can interact with attendees in a way that provides value as opposed to ‘hey stare at my body’ is something that we encourage whether or not that representative is physically attractive or not.”

If E3 is supposed to represent the industry’s best, why can’t it figure out how to respect its own attendees?

Patrick Klepek on Google+
1013 Comments
Posted by Rmack

One more post in here and then I'm done: please, Patrick, do not go on the Bombcast and say "people were upset because they didn't agree with what I had to say." People are upset because you are passing off your views and opinions as front page news, and it's a constant issue. The "YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT THIS" and "SHIT I PLAYED THIS WEEKEND" posts are needless and sometimes insulting. Sometimes, when a large group of people complain about something to the point where it has to be moderated, it actually IS an issue, and not people "trolling," which is a word that never really had much of a meaning and has even less now.

Posted by Killer_of_trolls

I don't see what the problem is?

Posted by kashif1

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Milpool said:

I think people are getting a little off course talking feminism and the objectifying of women.

The point that, I think Patrick is trying to make, is that these booth babes are representing a company or product that they don't know much about in many cases. The problem that he is pointing out is not necessarily that they are scantily-clad, but that they are poorly representing, directly and indirectly, the products, and in some cases even distracting from the product.

Yes, because Usher is totally a proper representation of the audience he performed for. Oh wait, Patrick didn't talk about Usher.

Indeed he forgot to mention Usher in an article about booth babes, how could he have made such and omission?

Seriously though he has a point, especially since most of the attendees at e3 are press and investors, not horny teenagers.

Posted by rm082e

@kashif1 said:

Seriously though he has a point, especially since most of the attendees at e3 are press and investors, not horny teenagers.

Press and Investors may be effected by this marketing tactic in a way that is favorable for the companies displaying products. They probably aren't going to be fanboys about booth babes since there is a relative amount of professionalism involved, but they don't check their libidos at the door just because it's a work day for them.

Posted by Y2Ken

I don't have an inherent problem with Booth Babes, but I would probably not really notice if they went away. And I would probably make a distinction for cases such as Lollipop Chainsaw - yes I know it was said on the Bombcast that it seems a little weird, but they hired a specific cosplay model in Jessica Nigri to represent their lead character, and I'm fine with that. In that specific case it makes a lot of sense, in the same way as you'd have a guy in a Master Chief suit at the Halo 4 booth. Elsewhere I would have no problem if they got rid of them.

Posted by MikkaQ

Man I thought that was slowly going away.

I'd rather they spent the money on more screens and systems to exhibit their games on so that lines aren't a thing, but hey what do I know?

Also it seems weird to me that Brenda Brathwaite is making those comments while she's credited on two Playboy Mansion games. Dunno her involvement with the but still, that's a little scummy.

Posted by IcarusFoundYou

Wait, why were there no complaints or headlines last year? It was just as blatant and obvious then as it was now.

Posted by toots

@Anwar said:

@EnduranceFun said:

Breaking White Knights News: if you don't agree with Patrick, you don't get it. Thanks for the laugh, guys.

Professionalism is one thing I think hasn't been brought up yet. This is a blog, but is categorised as a news article. Where is the unbiased reporting? Covering both sides of the argument? You have no testimony from an actual booth babe. The amount of disrespect -- practically dehumanisation of booth babes as she-devils in this article is sexist as fuck and no respect is given to what they might think, ostensibly because Patrick thinks they're all brainless bimbos.

They can't speak for themselves, those helpless little creatures, somebody had to say something. Thankfully Patrick does what nobody else had done ever. /sarcasm

hahaha, well done

Edited by Oginam

While I think a couple notes Patrick hits in this article are a bit off, I think a lot of people in the comments are missing the point he brought up in regards to what Nintendo did and Alex's DMC 'experience' - what is the point of having barely dressed women (or men, although that doesn't seem to happen much) representing products at a show about products who know nothing about the products they are representing?

I think the answer, besides the obvious cliches like "sex sells", is: they are there to draw in people from the "shadow E3" who aren't able to gauge the quality of a game so they base their decisions on ostentatious presentations (may be a hold over from the '90s); they work better on TV than showing actual game play (from the channel that brought you the Spike VGAs); and there is still a problem with video games that doesn't exist for movies, music, or books - video games still need a trade show at all. The latter reason is why events like PAX prime/east are gaining traction and even getting unsolicited game announcements despite no official business influence ('shadow' E3 style) at those conventions.

So, , I think the problem isn't booth babes - it's E3. Need a PAX mid west and a PAX Tokyo (might as well shoot TGS in the foot while we're at it). Video games need fan driven events not massive press/business extravaganzas.

Posted by Ursu

You're part of an industry where a short Italian plumber who jumps on turtles is considered our greatest icon. Stop complaining.

Seriously, it's Video Games. E3 does not need to grow up. There's a game there this year in which fighters can eat mushrooms to get bigger while fighting in front of Snoop Dogg. Oh, there's women who are paid to stand around in skimpy clothing? So what? They're not forced to go. They're models, not whores.

Posted by Blind_Evil

While I don't disagree that this is an issue that should be at least noted, here are a couple things to think on:

1. This happens in every industry. Video game enthusiasts have this inferiority complex because of the medium's youth, which makes us more prone to this sort of navel-gazing. There are beautiful, paid models at car shows and movie premieres, too. It is as distasteful as it is historic, and to expect it to go away is expecting a retreat from human nature.

2. This site's audience isn't the one that needs the message. We hold no sway in the ESA, and 99% of us are not in games journalism. I suppose this is your best sounding board, but I come here for editorial content, not cultural revelations or hot scoops.

"Booth Whores." Way to reinforce the negative stereotype, man. Some of them could be mothers, show some respect.

Posted by PulledaBrad

@IcarusFoundYou said:

Wait, why were there no complaints or headlines last year? It was just as blatant and obvious then as it was now.

Because some polygons weren't raping other polygons and Aiesha Tyler.

Posted by Sarx

This would be no issue over here in old Europe. Most likely there would be male strippers (booth blokes?) as well and both genders would not give a shit. Well at least not our (30s) generation - the older folks are often still in gender war mode.

Posted by MrMazz

word I wana see games not a decently hot chick in a tight shirt and booty shorts. I hadn't heard about that kickstarter broohaha man fuck YouTube comments seriously it's a great service but it seems like the average intelligence is retarded.

Posted by mnzy
@Sarx said:

This would be no issue over here in old Europe. Most likely there would be male strippers (booth blokes?) as well and both genders would not give a shit. Well at least not our (30s) generation - the older folks are often still in gender war mode.

Gamescom is pretty much exactly like E3 in terms of presentation.
Edited by benu302000

If there were hoardes of male models walking around in speedos and wife beaters the uproar would be deafening. The only way to change it is to refuse to cover or give attention to the companies that engage in this practice.

Posted by i8246i
@ck1nd

Eh? Is it really that big of a deal?

No.
/thread
Posted by PulledaBrad

@MrMazz said:

word I wana see games not a decently hot chick in a tight shirt and booty shorts. I hadn't heard about that kickstarter broohaha man fuck YouTube comments seriously it's a great service but it seems like the average intelligence is retarded.

IRONY!

Edited by Anwar

@Rmack said:

One more post in here and then I'm done: please, Patrick, do not go on the Bombcast and say "people were upset because they didn't agree with what I had to say." People are upset because you are passing off your views and opinions as front page news, and it's a constant issue. The "YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT THIS" and "SHIT I PLAYED THIS WEEKEND" posts are needless and sometimes insulting. Sometimes, when a large group of people complain about something to the point where it has to be moderated, it actually IS an issue, and not people "trolling," which is a word that never really had much of a meaning and has even less now.

Judging how the crew called the people who criticized the Mass Effect 3 ending(people complained because it wasn't a happy ending, right Patrick?) I don't expect a lot from them. And Patrick replied to a post of mine on Worth Reading and wasn't even acknowledging that I don't like his use of 'trolling' and 'meme'. He was probably trolling me or something ;)

Posted by GrandHarrier

Has anyone bothered to ask these "booth babes" if they have a problem performing the job they were hired to do?

Posted by Sarx

@mnzy: And no one gives a shit.

Posted by mnzy
@Sarx said:

@mnzy: And no one gives a shit.

Yea, I guess. Although Gamescom is open to the public, E3 isn't.
Posted by Nugget

@GrandHarrier: Exactly! they actually might enjoy it, Believe it or not...

Posted by Jimbo
@SeriouslyNow said:

@Milpool said:

I think people are getting a little off course talking feminism and the objectifying of women.

The point that, I think Patrick is trying to make, is that these booth babes are representing a company or product that they don't know much about in many cases. The problem that he is pointing out is not necessarily that they are scantily-clad, but that they are poorly representing, directly and indirectly, the products, and in some cases even distracting from the product.

Yes, because Usher is totally a proper representation of the audience he performed for. Oh wait, Patrick didn't talk about Usher.

Usher was at least relevant to the Dance Central 3 presentation of the same performance that was going on behind him on a giant screen. 'Booth babes' don't have anything to do with anything.  
 
I've heard the argument bandied about that they're no different to models, but they kinda are because models are typically used to model something, not just stand there being salivated over. They are there exclusively to be ogled.  Just because the women involved prefer doing it to going hungry doesn't mean it's a practice that necessarily has any place at E3.  There are more appropriate venues where they could be stared at for cash if that's what they want to do. Having it happening on the E3 show floor unfortunately makes everybody involved look a bit sad and pathetic by association, in the same way that punters in a strip club look a bit sad and pathetic.
Edited by biggiedubs

@GrandHarrier said:

Has anyone bothered to ask these "booth babes" if they have a problem performing the job they were hired to do?

That is not the problem. Models are pretty men and women who turn up and create sex appeal to sell something. That's what they do, and they wouldn't be in their line of work if they had a problem with it. I am sure that there probably more glamorous and better playing jobs, but I'm sure that it's just a job to them. That is not the focus on this article.

The actual focus is that publishers should not just resort to placing beautiful women around their products simply to attract attention. Just think about it, how many Oscar worthy films are promoted by scantily clad ladies? How many great books? How many interesting anything-from-any-form-of-legitimate-art? Chances are none to very few because they understand by creating something for intelligent people, you don't promote it with the lowest common denominator pleasures, e.g. women, explosions, violence etc.

This article is about wanting Gaming to grow up because the promotion of our, supposedly, top games is making us look like all we do is churn out terrible action films and soft-core porn. You might say that not every game has booth babes, I imagine the Beyond: Two Souls or The Last of Us didn't, but if you take the whole show on face value; that's what it seems like.

Also, it is demeaning to women to walk around E3. I know if I was walking around and there were ripped dudes just wearing everywhere, I would feel incredibly self-conscious and weirded out. Maybe women don't want to look at barely dressed women. Maybe gay men don't either, and maybe by having booth babes they're making it that much harder for those audiences to get attached to gaming and the gaming industry. Scratch that, they are making it that much harder for them to really care about games.

And I'm not aiming all of this at you dude, I just wanted to use your comment as a starting point.

Edited by benu302000

@Milpool: I think you missed the point. It's not just that they don't know anything about the game, it's that the show floor is littered with more scantly, blonde 20 somethings than three or four "gentleman's clubs" put together. The Capital-P Problem here is that this is pushing away the creative/intelligent women who actually are a part of this industry. C'mon folks, its 3 days. The rest of the year you can spend all your free-time on the internet looking at buxom air-heads and never see the same one twice. We can sacrifice 3 days a year and avoid looking like a bunch of stunted man-babies.

Also, I am apparently too stupid to figure out how the comment system here works. Have a good derp.

Posted by delmariachi

Have to say in the 30 years I've been to gaming shows, expo's, and other entertainment shows in the UK, I've never been swayed by the sight of a couple of scantily clad women to go and look at something at a booth.

When I go to these events, I tend to look at all the tech or software on display as the price of entrance means I want to get my moneys worth of "new things" whether its something i'm interested in or not.

The "booth girls" are there to hopefully catch the eye of a "usually" male audience and thus they hopefully notice what they are standing in front of, Its as old as the hills... Its the same for car shows, media shows, audio visual tech shows and so on.

It may not be an agreeable way of doing things for some (including the journo writing the piece), but I don't think singling out gaming is very fair when car shows especially, have been doing it before gaming was even remotely popular and are arguably aimed at an older market.... To be honest I'm more fed up with the usual midget these places employ to dress as Darth Vader, doesn't quite work when at 6ft 3in I tower over him...

Edited by Cubical

You know having that patrick whatever his name is say that stuff needs to grow up is laughable I have some NES games and commadore 64 stuff older than he is.

and the giantbomb cast cant seem to get over the mortal kombat blood and fatialty gimmick crap it uses to cover up a crap fight game series when they cloud be playing real fighting games that dont suck balls like Virtua fighter or street fighter.

you can hear them giggle like 12 year olds every time they talk about that mortal kombat crap and its dumb ass story like it had one and even that was a gimmick make everything so stupid and throw on a crap blood and gore gimmick to cover up a crap fighting game and yet they are still giggleing like 12 year olds 20 years later. It stopped being funny or shocking 20 fucking years ago and it was never a good game get over it.

Posted by TimX7

I agree... These companies that hire booth babes are only deluded to the image that gamers/geeks want to see women in skimpy clothing. Sexy women in skimpy clothing that the companies believe that gamers will never be able get to go on a date with. These women are only there to make the gamer/nerd take pictures of, so they can upload it to their computer and do something that I refuse to mention here. That's all. Just beautiful women for the stereotypical gamer that will never stand a chance with supermodels. It's just disturbing to see how these companies would hire models to showcase their "assets" rather than help showcase the game they're hired to help promote. They need to grow up and realize we're not all lazy, fat, depressed and will probably die alone people that they think we are. My point is that booth babes can still be hired, but less assets and more knowledge of the games they're trying to promote for the company. E3 is a spectacle. It's a spectacle of games not supermodels who are trying to make it in the modelling business. Less skimpy clothing on beautiful women that only billionaires like Bill Gates will be able date because of their money. More women or even men dressed professionally and have knowledge of the games being showcased at E3. Especially since it is apparent that game companies believe that the gaming industry is majority male. There are probably the same amount of female gamers out there that don't want to see their own gender doing this crap. Showcasing what their mommas' gave them, just so lonely men can take pictures for their wet dreams in their hotel rooms at night.

You can completely disagree with me. I don't care. I'm just making a point as a stereotypical gamer that is trying to get his life together after years of being tormented and forced into seclusion. I think I made my point in that game companies that hire booth babes are only looking out for gamers like me. Instead of showing us their latest games in development. It's completely immature and these companies need to grow up.

Posted by MonkeyKing1969

I have yet to see any one argue there should be no spokes models at a convention, what I think most rational people re asking for is a curtailment of the outrageous outfits. By all means use models, by all means educate them about your products to help them show-off yoru producst well, but just dress them appropriately.

Secondly, I would like to people to notice who the posters are on this forum who decided to reply to this article merely by demeaning the models at e3 by calling them derogatory terms. The whole argument about using scantily clad spokes models is that it allows for a tone of disrespect towards women, so those here that start using words like "whore" only prove the point more forcefully.

Posted by Ohvee

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Milpool said:

I think people are getting a little off course talking feminism and the objectifying of women.

The point that, I think Patrick is trying to make, is that these booth babes are representing a company or product that they don't know much about in many cases. The problem that he is pointing out is not necessarily that they are scantily-clad, but that they are poorly representing, directly and indirectly, the products, and in some cases even distracting from the product.

Yes, because Usher is totally a proper representation of the audience he performed for. Oh wait, Patrick didn't talk about Usher.

Beautiful strawman, good sire.

Posted by Bandus

I always thought booth babes were exclusive to E3 and that is until I now work in the trade show industry and realize it is more common than most people think. Exhibitors will always hire models to attract attention to their booth. I'm not saying it is right I am just saying that is more common than people think.

Edited by gakushya

@Toxeia said:

said:

The commonly referred to booth babe (also known as a "woman") is hired solely to wear skimpy clothing ...

Stop right there Patrick. Problem solved. PETTICOATS!

As for Brathwaite saying that it's the policy of E3 and the ESA to have booth babes that's a little misleading, but understood at least. I think the ESA's stance of leaving up to the companies if the best way to handle it for them. If you don't like how a company represents itself your best option is to let them know by letters or by wallet. But for god's sake, no more petitions. If you REALLY want change, mail them envelopes saying "I dislike your use of women as objects to promote your company at press events," and seal them with a single slice of american cheese. Yeah, it's not even GOOD cheese.

I concurr. Couldn't have said this better myself.

On a related note, I hear a lot of people saying "those women are being degraded" about these sorts of situations. But, at least in the informal discussion, ppl rarely never consider how the women feel. If they don't feel degraded, how can you a accuse another of degrading them?

Posted by Undeadpool

@Cubical said:

You know having that patrick whatever his name is say that stuff needs to grow up is laughable I have some NES games and commadore 64 stuff older than he is.

and the giantbomb cast cant seem to get over the mortal kombat blood and fatialty gimmick crap it uses to cover up a crap fight game series when they cloud be playing real fighting games that dont suck balls like Virtua fighter or street fighter.

you can hear them giggle like 12 year olds every time they talk about that mortal kombat crap and its dumb ass story like it had one and even that was a gimmick make everything so stupid and throw on a crap blood and gore gimmick to cover up a crap fighting game and yet they are still giggleing like 12 year olds 20 years later. It stopped being funny or shocking 20 fucking years ago and it was never a good game get over it.

Yeah, he's only 27 and has been actively working in the industry since his teen years, what does he know?

Oh and seeing how the NES was released in 1985, unless you were REEEEEALLY into the 8-bit import scene: no ya don't.

Posted by pilotfive

Thank you, Patrick. Really.

Posted by BRNK

@moondogger said:

One needs a machete to cut through the amount of straw men being thrown around here. The biggest video game fan convention manages to navigate these waters without too much trouble - apparently the big publishers who set up huge booths at PAX are fine with curtailing the booth babe thing in Seattle and Boston. The world doesn't end. This strikes me as a step forward for a games industry that wants to be inclusive. I think it would be a good thing for E3 to follow the lead of PAX.

Well said!

Posted by nail1080

Fuck sake economy-wise it is a very difficult time for people and you are writing an article arguing that these models should have one less job and less income? What exactly are you offended about? Models are used to sell things all the time, not just in the world of video games. They enjoy the job and were never forced to do it in the first place, it's not prostitution or anything. If this is what's on your mind after yet another E3 it seems to me like you're a little bit burned out on the entire industry and you are ready to knit-pick on any little thing, even if it means promoting for peoples jobs to be taken away.

Posted by sthusby

I disagree. Personally I see nothing wrong with playing on a little (or a lot) of sex appeal. And it's not like it's exlusive to the gaming industry. You could just swap E3 for society, and this article would be more relevant.

All I can say is that I like looking at hot women. I would asume women like looking at hot men. Maybe that's what need to change? A little bit more of both genders, and not only women.

Posted by SCHULTZ

"(Brenda Brathwaite) “The show is a constant assault on the female self esteem no matter which direction I look. I am in good shape, yet it is impossible not to compare. I feel uncomfortable. It is as if I walked into a strip club w/o intending to. These are the policies of @e3expo and @RichatESA. I feel uncomfortable in an industry I helped found.”

If you feel inadequate, it's your self-esteem problem. Stop comparing yourself. You're 45 years old; you'll never look as good as that young lady in pink ever again. Roll with the changes babe, and stop stealing other people's spotlight when it's their time to shine. If the event also had muscle bound young dudes with big packages, it wouldn't bother me. Actually, I'd think they'd look stupid and find it funny.

PS - And stop posting suggestive pics of yourself on the internet displaying your cleavage, spread legs in car, and butt shots.

Posted by Toxeia

@gakushya: I think the issue is that women are being paraded around like advertisements for those games, and it's degrading because it assumes they're less than people and only good for T n' A. There are definitely some women who find it empowering when men can't help by stare though, and I think that's where you're going with your train of thought.

@sthusby: No one's saying that the women aren't good to look at (actually, that picture in the article I might make that argument) but the issue is that this is an event for the video game companies to promote their products. Breasts are awesome. They're good to look at, fun to play with, and serve to produce sustenance for newborn babies. These are all good things, but what does it have to do with a video game*? It's a larger problem that sex appeal (in advertising and everything else in society) is replacing actual content/quality of a product. Beer companies have long since used scantily clad women to advertise their beverages but nothing about the actual product embodies those women, and most of the beer tastes like piss water on top of that. People still buy it though so the issue persists.

* unless that game happens to be Leisure Suit Larry. Amirite?

Posted by bunnymud

@Toxeia said:

@gakushya: I think the issue is that women are being paraded around like advertisements for those games, and it's degrading because it assumes they're less than people and only good for T n' A.

I think the answer to that is that they are doing it because they want to and being paid well to do so.

Posted by MasturbatingestBear

The only good thing to come from the existence of booth babes are the old HotSpots where Jeff and company would purposely try to enrage Carrie into going on a rant.

Posted by Dagbiker

@bunnymud said:

@Toxeia said:

@gakushya: I think the issue is that women are being paraded around like advertisements for those games, and it's degrading because it assumes they're less than people and only good for T n' A.

I think the answer to that is that they are doing it because they want to and being paid well to do so.

You don't know that they are getting paid well, but yes that is there chosen profession.

Posted by sBlacksmith

I love to see how some idealists get all confused with booth babes.

- It's degrading to women, We must white knight it down!

- Wait, women choose to do it, women own their bodies, they can do whatever they want with it. We must defend it.

- Women can't be misogynist can they? Should I white knight on them? But that's misogyny I am a male!! I can't, too complex, brain hurts.

Posted by PropaneJoe

Very big of Patrick to refuse to play any Nintendo products which used women to entice people into playing them, and then using a picture of these women to entice people into reading his story...

Posted by YukoAsho

@MrMisanthrope said:

Ironically, when someone sees something that harms no one, gets offended by it and demands the practice be changed to accommodate their tastes and makes a big stink of it as done in this article, it's typically pretty obvious that they need to grow the fuck up.

I'm talking to you, Patrick. This whiny, stupid article is a joke. Booth babes? You're getting upset about BOOTH BABES? And you argue this while posting yaoi fanart you found online objectifying a male character? Seriously? Can you really be that detached? Sex sells, always has always will. Trying to vilify the drive that motivates every living creature on Earth is childish. Are you afraid these women will give you cooties?

To think a woman would claim it was an assault on her self esteem. The audacity, the selfishness. Does she think she's the center of the universe? She feels she's assaulted because she doesn't feel as pretty as these women?

Should Cirque Du Soleil fire the Gemini Brothers because male audience members feel inadequate by comparison? Should world famous chefs be forced to close shop because normal husbands and wives feel their self esteem is wounded because they can't cook as well? Should the Olympics and athletic sports be shut down entirely so as not to offend everyone who wishes to be that athletic, but hasn't gone through the training? Why give out grades at school? The less intelligent students might get depressed they don't perform as well as their classmates. Unbelievably childish "ME ME ME" thinking.

Not to mention the remarkable immaturity of the mindset that any descent from your opinion is trolling. Anyone who disagrees is a misogynist or trolling to stir up controversy. Why address their arguments when you can dismiss them with an ad hominem, right? You don't have to listen to what those big ol' meanies say!

Here's a thought Patrick, if you don't like what goes on at E3, don't go to E3. If it offends you so much, get a job in another field instead of kicking up false controversy in the hopes of getting in on some of that internet feminism money.

To simplify, grow up Patrick. Just grow up.

I think you mean "dissent" but otherwise, fine piece, and one that I hope against hope that pays attention to.

The fact that attractive people are being attractive shouldn't be a barrier to entry. And indeed, much of this "controversy" is about personal discomfort. I bet none of these white knights give two shits that women usually get paid less than men for the same job, or that they only have ~25% of tech industry jobs. No one has to look at THAT at trade shows, so let's bitch about the booth babes. That'll make us look like we care about women without us actually having to care about women!

This is the problem I have with editorials like this. It' not about helping anyone, but rather about dealing with 's personal distaste and the need to look better than everyone else.

All this does is cause actual misogynists push back all the harder and makes it more difficult for female gamers. Yeah, because we really need it to be harder for us to enjoy our hobby...

Posted by sBlacksmith

@YukoAsho said:

@MrMisanthrope said:

Ironically, when someone sees something that harms no one, gets offended by it and demands the practice be changed to accommodate their tastes and makes a big stink of it as done in this article, it's typically pretty obvious that they need to grow the fuck up.

I'm talking to you, Patrick. This whiny, stupid article is a joke. Booth babes? You're getting upset about BOOTH BABES? And you argue this while posting yaoi fanart you found online objectifying a male character? Seriously? Can you really be that detached? Sex sells, always has always will. Trying to vilify the drive that motivates every living creature on Earth is childish. Are you afraid these women will give you cooties?

To think a woman would claim it was an assault on her self esteem. The audacity, the selfishness. Does she think she's the center of the universe? She feels she's assaulted because she doesn't feel as pretty as these women?

Should Cirque Du Soleil fire the Gemini Brothers because male audience members feel inadequate by comparison? Should world famous chefs be forced to close shop because normal husbands and wives feel their self esteem is wounded because they can't cook as well? Should the Olympics and athletic sports be shut down entirely so as not to offend everyone who wishes to be that athletic, but hasn't gone through the training? Why give out grades at school? The less intelligent students might get depressed they don't perform as well as their classmates. Unbelievably childish "ME ME ME" thinking.

Not to mention the remarkable immaturity of the mindset that any descent from your opinion is trolling. Anyone who disagrees is a misogynist or trolling to stir up controversy. Why address their arguments when you can dismiss them with an ad hominem, right? You don't have to listen to what those big ol' meanies say!

Here's a thought Patrick, if you don't like what goes on at E3, don't go to E3. If it offends you so much, get a job in another field instead of kicking up false controversy in the hopes of getting in on some of that internet feminism money.

To simplify, grow up Patrick. Just grow up.

I think you mean "dissent" but otherwise, fine piece, and one that I hope against hope that pays attention to.

The fact that attractive people are being attractive shouldn't be a barrier to entry. And indeed, much of this "controversy" is about personal discomfort. I bet none of these white knights give two shits that women usually get paid less than men for the same job, or that they only have ~25% of tech industry jobs. No one has to look at THAT at trade shows, so let's bitch about the booth babes. That'll make us look like we care about women without us actually having to care about women!

This is the problem I have with editorials like this. It' not about helping anyone, but rather about dealing with 's personal distaste and the need to look better than everyone else.

All this does is cause actual misogynists push back all the harder and makes it more difficult for female gamers. Yeah, because we really need it to be harder for us to enjoy our hobby...

I don't think women want tech industry jobs. I never seen a studio HR not giving a job to a woman with the skills they desperately need regardless of what body it has.

Posted by WesleyWyndam

I agree with you Patrick. Thank you for writing this article.

Posted by BionicRadd

@YukoAsho said:

@MrMisanthrope said:

Ironically, when someone sees something that harms no one, gets offended by it and demands the practice be changed to accommodate their tastes and makes a big stink of it as done in this article, it's typically pretty obvious that they need to grow the fuck up.

I'm talking to you, Patrick. This whiny, stupid article is a joke. Booth babes? You're getting upset about BOOTH BABES? And you argue this while posting yaoi fanart you found online objectifying a male character? Seriously? Can you really be that detached? Sex sells, always has always will. Trying to vilify the drive that motivates every living creature on Earth is childish. Are you afraid these women will give you cooties?

To think a woman would claim it was an assault on her self esteem. The audacity, the selfishness. Does she think she's the center of the universe? She feels she's assaulted because she doesn't feel as pretty as these women?

Should Cirque Du Soleil fire the Gemini Brothers because male audience members feel inadequate by comparison? Should world famous chefs be forced to close shop because normal husbands and wives feel their self esteem is wounded because they can't cook as well? Should the Olympics and athletic sports be shut down entirely so as not to offend everyone who wishes to be that athletic, but hasn't gone through the training? Why give out grades at school? The less intelligent students might get depressed they don't perform as well as their classmates. Unbelievably childish "ME ME ME" thinking.

Not to mention the remarkable immaturity of the mindset that any descent from your opinion is trolling. Anyone who disagrees is a misogynist or trolling to stir up controversy. Why address their arguments when you can dismiss them with an ad hominem, right? You don't have to listen to what those big ol' meanies say!

Here's a thought Patrick, if you don't like what goes on at E3, don't go to E3. If it offends you so much, get a job in another field instead of kicking up false controversy in the hopes of getting in on some of that internet feminism money.

To simplify, grow up Patrick. Just grow up.

I think you mean "dissent" but otherwise, fine piece, and one that I hope against hope that pays attention to.

The fact that attractive people are being attractive shouldn't be a barrier to entry. And indeed, much of this "controversy" is about personal discomfort. I bet none of these white knights give two shits that women usually get paid less than men for the same job, or that they only have ~25% of tech industry jobs. No one has to look at THAT at trade shows, so let's bitch about the booth babes. That'll make us look like we care about women without us actually having to care about women!

This is the problem I have with editorials like this. It' not about helping anyone, but rather about dealing with 's personal distaste and the need to look better than everyone else.

All this does is cause actual misogynists push back all the harder and makes it more difficult for female gamers. Yeah, because we really need it to be harder for us to enjoy our hobby...

Why does everyone get hung up on the percentage of women in any given field? It's a truly pointless statistic. Do a study about what percentage of the female population are actively pursuing careers and compare that to the percentage of men that are doing the same. That isn't a sexist statement, it's a realistic one. Some women want to be stay at home moms and raise their families (a virtue I applaud and support if that is truly what they want to do). The majority of the male population, however, are expected to have jobs by our society. If a married doesn't work, no big deal, she's a home maker. If a man does the same, he's some kind of aberration.

I'll get behind equal pay for equal work and I support the idea that any woman good enough to do any job deserves to get said job, but throwing out how women only make up "X percentage" of a work force is just misleading and distracts from the important aspect of the conversation, which is how the women that ARE working are treated.

Posted by captainanderson

All of these comments are embarrassing, and that goes for both sides of the argument. This is an editorial piece, which means it's just Patrick speaking his mind. There is no "right" or "wrong" when it comes to booth babes, only opinion.

That being said, Patrick does bring up some valid points, but this is far more than a problem with the video game industry, it's a problem with society as a whole. Women and sex have been used to sell products since the dawn of capitalism, and there's simply no way that's going to change anytime soon.