So Noah wants to bring back the booth babes. He’s a 17 year old high school student (technically not even old enough to get in to E3) and he’s crying that taking booth babes out of E3 is a travesty.
There is more to life than booth babes. I don’t go to E3 for the booth babes. This will be my 3rd year going and I go to play games, try new toys, get warm, be a tourist, hang out with geeks, do some research, and of course, collect swag. I am thrilled with the decision to put an end to booth babes. It’s sickening to watch the geeks line up, with their state-of-the-art digital cameras no less, and take turns taking pictures of each other with their arms wrapped around one of the models. It’s sad to watch the wanna-be starlets pimped into this sort of role. According to Robin in 2004 there were women who “were also inserting candy between their butt cheeks (while clothed, but still) and asking developers to BEND OVER AND TAKE IT OUT WITH THEIR TEETH.” Barf.
It’s about time this conference applies the same standards of sexual responsibility that we apply everywhere else. Don’t like it? Don’t come. All the more swag for me.
A recurring suggestion is that we add some boothdudes to the mix to appease the women attendees.
Here’s a pic of a booth dude that I snapped last year, in front of the display for Gods & Heroes. Notice that he’s promoting this game without any problem and he doesn’t have to sell his body to do it. Go figure. I don’t need naked men at my gaming conference and I doubt I’d be seeing any. I’m all for a clothing optional lifestyle, but this is exploitation and that’s demeaning. I want to talk to the developers, try the latest stuff, learn something and have some fun. Isn’t anyone else there for that?
I’m really curious if there were more women attending last year as gamers/developers/industry pros or as boothbabes. I’d like to believe that the number of female attendees are rising and I’m hoping that this year with the new policy there will be even more women attending. I’m also hoping that the men who value women for who they are as individuals, fully complete with brains, personalities, ideas, thoughts, etc. will speak up and say they’ve had enough of this exploitation too. I’m hoping for the day when I can walk through the expo without having to see games like 3feel on larger than life screens.
Boothbabes are more proof of a patriarchal gender-power imbalance that is pervasive in our culture. Women’s bodies are exploited – discussion of it is all through this blog and many others. Evidence to see for yourself is easy to find in the media around you. Truth is, there’s a dominant group of men who have power, and they’ll do what they want. If they want bodies up there they’ll buy some. And if you’re into boothbabes then you fit with this group. If you support it you are condoning the subordination of women. No way around it. If women had other options do you think they’d honestly choose to be a booth babe? Like Wendy said in a comment of another post, also about exploiting women’s bodies, “is it that people really want to cook fries or is it that they would live in poverty if they didnít otherwise”? There’s choice and then there’s choice. I applaud this progress. Now if only they could do something about the ERA.
I know Rob is going to say that taking the boothbabes out of E3 takes the fun out of the conference – but is that what you really think? Really really? Do you really believe it’s justified to use a woman’s body to sell a game? Would you want your daughter working there?