Jimquisition: Booth Babes

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Women should not be outside willingly working in industries that can potentially pay well and build their portfolio; they should be inside baking pies and waiting for their husbands to come home. /predictable joke

I'm sorry if pretty girls make you feel revolting or irritate your insecurities, but that is not their fault. I don't really care if these girls are there, but I do not think they should be banned or taken to the section where they hide away pretty girls.

I find this kind of thing disturbing.

What people need to do is look back at the actual issues involved in female equality and feminism. It wasn't all that long ago where in the US and other enlightened countries there were wide scale demands that women pretty much be kept demure and respectable. A big part of the civil liberties revolution and such was women violating that taboo and coming out as being naked, sexty, etc. People seem not to "get" that the early Bond girls (James Bond movies), the work of Irvin Claw, and popularity of Betty Page, and others was all about liberation and freedom. Granted we were never as backwards as say Muslim culture in demanding women pretty much dress in tents all of the time to be almost totally concealed, but we were pretty much mandating exactly what this arguement was about and that women were expected to be conservatively dressed and portrayed.

The funny thing is that a lot of the people who are pretty much crusading for the end of things like booth babes, or explicit material featuring women, are ones claiming to embrace the ideals of freedom. Your pretty much seeing a lot of the same arguements being made that were made decades ago, with women being forced to conform conservatively in public, largely for their own protection and dignity. When you have conventions running around telling women to cover themselves for being too provocative, or people in general even saying that attractive women in revealing outfits shouldn't be around or are demeaning (to themselves if nothing else), I find it almost painfully funny that people don't understand the sheer irony here especially seeing as the people doing it nowadays tend to be politically correct liberals. It's one of the reasons why (as you might notice) I tend to have some left wing leanings, but stick more to the right wing, and have little or no respect for anyone who identifies as being part of the left wing exclusively.... liberals generally having no idea what they are even supposed to stand for. Right now the left wing seems to generally stand for the worst aspects of the right wing and societal oppression, albiet gussied up in it being for the "best interests" of those being targeted. Attacks on women being sexy or portrayed that way, attacks on free speech to protect people from the "wrong kinds" of speech like "hate speec" (which defeats the purpose of free speech to begin with)... and most just do not get it.

In a practical, non-political sense, women are not being forced into this. Nobody "owns" these women, even indirectly by controlling all of the property or money. As a result it's up to the women in question how they want to display themselves, and if they want to make a profession out of how they look. To be honest someone like a model, actress, centerfold, or even porn star is no differant than a professional athlete... someone who makes a living based on their innate gifts, having won the "genetic lottery" so to speak. It's like a Michael Jordan making a fortune playing pro-ball. Sure, looks fade, but so do things like athletic abillity, any inherant gift winds up having a "sell by" date. If you make a living entirely by your looks, yeah... eventually your not going to be able to do that anymore, just as eventually it will be a bad joke for a Pro-Boxer to step into the ring. It does vary with individuals both ways as well, someone like George Foreman was able to box well past his sell by date, and some women have managed to make a living off their looks well past the point where most models and such are forced to retire due to the sheer passage of time.

The funny thing is that most of the arguements seem to be made by jealous women who don't have these innate gifts. Those basically argueing that they are unhappy with the gorgeous babe making a living off of being attractive, because they can't do the same thing. It doesn't matter if your dealing with the beauty equivilent of an A-Rod (who would be someone like Cindy Crawford, Jenna Jameson, or Tyra Banks in their prime, having a huge career, appealing to the masses despite some negative opinions by individuals), or that of a minor league player (your typical Booth Babe, or model doing a mall opening or whatever). The basic arguement is based largely off of jealousy. To be honest most women don't seem to really care that much, but there is a vocal group of them, mainly because it gets attention (which leads us into issues like a certain infamous blogger who got herself attacked and couldn't cope with it).

To be honest a good booth babe or spokesmodel is going to get my attention initially. There is a little more to it that just looking good and the costume, there is a reason why people pay big bucks to go to modeling schools, and then sign up with agencies and such which are where such girls are hired from. It's subtle though, and would take some time to spell out the tecniques (I know a bit about it), suffice it to say that you can't just take any half way decent looking girl, pop her into the equivilent of a bikini, and expect it to work on a professional level, which is why Modeling agencies stay in business. In the end though this doesn't in of itself carry a product, especially seeing as most people are quite aware of the concept of a honey trap. It's also noteworthy that there are men hired to do the exact same thing, but they get less attention, and the techniques are similar but a bit differant.

This is one of those things where it's a non-issue created by those who simply want attention. There is no real problem with the portrayal of women in gaming, or in society in general, as anyone who actually pays attention and knows what's going on (starting with say the creative works of women themselves) can tell you. In reality even humoring "issues" like this is allowing yourself to be manipulated by attention seekers. On a lot of levels trying to "rescue" women from this kind of thing is a sexist manipulation based on the "female in trouble, must protect" reflex of men, combined with vulnerable segements like nerds who mistakenly believe that championing such causes might make them recpiants of more positive female attention.

-

Oh and while this is long, and I hadn't originally intended to say much about the techniques. One recurring thing you'll hear reported is how the "booth babes" seem bored and detached. That's intentional on a lot of levels, models train to seem kind of lifeless like statues at times and when to animate and not (so to speak). When working a more personal promotion the idea is to get people to want to approach them and "cheer them up" so to speak at which point they "animate" and act a lot more friendly, and typically gradually re-direct conversations towards whatever they represent this week. Likewise if they go pro-active, having seem relatively bored initially makes their interest seem more valuable to whomever they decide to direct it at. It's a common "grifting" (to use an archaic term) technique as well.

I think a lot of the "problem" that third parties see and report on is that not being the targets, they just don't get it. The Booth Babes aren't there for more than an initial draw from those who represent the gaming media, or are visitors. Those who product games, or represent services that are going to potentially buy units of the games for re-sale? That's
a little differant.

Modeling agencies like "Elite" and others hire out models (and by this we mean general ones, not nessicarly huge fashion models) becayse in general hiring their girls oftentimes winds up making the person picking them up more money than they wind up spending. Pay them say $10k for a couple of models (who might see 1k apiece for a few hours work) and if you wind up securing extra funding or moving 25,000 units of your product or cutting an earlier digital distribution agreement, due to them keeping interest on your product area, it's worth it.

When I worked casino security I've met/dealt with a decent number of models, when people rent convention/ball/conferance rooms and the like it's hardly uncommon for them to hire models, and want to have some security present for access control if nothing else. Like anyone else when done working models and such do tend to gravitate to other casino areas afterwards (instead of just going home). I've had plenty of oppertunity to talk business, they are generally even more cynical than I am being professional manipulators, and that's saying something.

Gennadios:
Booth Babes get hired through agencies, I'm pretty sure the gaming community hasn't heard from many of them is because they really don't care about gaming as a pastime.

It's a generalization of course. I'm sure there are attractive women out there that genuinely enjoy gaming. They'll always have a job at G4 though.

I'm not sure this is always entirely true. I used to rave a lot and I met a girl whose full time job was a dancer for Konami and she'd just go to events and do that.

Ok, now first of all, I'm not trying to make a straw-man here. But I do somewhat sympathize with women on the topic of booth babes just on the games themselves. The everyday hero of the hour is always a white male and I do get tired of the somewhat subversive message that our champions can only be of a certain melanin count and wavy hair. So, yeah, I get it. You can't say you're making games for everyone, objectify one parts of your demographic, then alienate another part.

But living in a world outside of video games, Both of my fields of income relies solely on attractiveness. Male and female. In fact, you won't be paid or have repeat business unless you are at least appealing. So it's bad to say, but I'm a little indifferent. It's a make or break society, and you have to use every asset you have. Beauty's somewhat easier to come by than intelligence*, so if you can use it, more power to you.

canadamus_prime:
That's a good point, did anyone bother to actually ask the actually booth babes whether or not they had a problem with what they were doing or the whole idea in general? You know, instead of talking about them as you would the Michelangelo's David?

I don't think it's really about the women and their personal feelings on the matter. I think it's the vocal female demographic who don't really feel like having the message expressed to them that this genetic good fortune is more important than even the product we're selling, and we want you to come focus on them, and then spare some focus on us.

*Plastic surgery, make up, enhancing a certain body part, playing up fetishes... Eye of the beholder, after all.

Therumancer:
-snip-

You seem to ignore all the sexual abuse and actual rapes that occur at gaming cons aswell as the rampant misogyny encouraged there which makes most of the women involved in gaming really uncomfortable and umwelcome.

I think people have somewhat missed the point here. The issue isn't really that the booth babe ladies themselves are actually abused. That's patently untrue, they get payed for a modeling job like any other. Fairly well too, as far as I know.

Neither is it really that sexy ladies are somehow not welcome in conventions, and make people uncomfortable. If you are uncomfortable around sexy clad women, that seems like a personal self-image problem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sexy cosplay, for example.

The problem is the practice of hiring an attractive person to sit there and act sexy to gather attention for a product that has nothing to do with sexyness. The practice insults the gaming consumer, who is treated as if he has the maturity of a horny teenager. It also suggest that the only place for women in the industry is to look sexy to attract the male gaze, not as developers or part of the industry.
This is not helped by the fact almost all the women that are present in these conventions from the industry are booth babes.

Remember, these women show nothing about the game. They dont act like the character to show you the theme of the game. They dont give you an idea of what's it about. They are not here as competent members of the game's industry, ready to promote their product and join in the enthusiasum of the upcoming game or gadget. They are simply eye candy.

They just sit there looking hot, in an attempt to manipulate consumers to evaluate their product based on their reaction to boobs. It's manipulative and dishonest, obviously not of the models themselves, but of their employers. The models themselves are just random women who are doing a job, and while I do agree that it's a shame that they might lose that source of income, I dont think it's a valid reason to support such practices.

I'd much prefer booth babes replaced with mascots or professional cosplayers, whatever you want to call it. If you want a character from the game there to look cool and draw people in, that's fine. I don't mind a talking hedgehog, Nathan Drake or even Lara Craft look-alike talking to people and taking pictures, it's like Disneyland! Now a lot of booths already do this, good for them. It's having someone in skimpy clothing with no (or little) connection to the actual game that bugs me. As Jim said, it makes a whole lot of people uncomfortable.

Not only that, it makes the industry look adolescent and less mature, and just plain distracts from the main point: the games. Unless the game is directly about a sexual character (e.g. Bayonetta), there shouldn't be a sexy girl in skimpy clothing out front. Games that happen to have sexy characters in skimpy clothes that aren't directly about sex (e.g. Dead or Alive or many other fighting games) is a whole other problem about games as a whole.

Booth Buffs doesn't fix the problem, as many people here are suggesting. The problem isn't so much sexism (although I won't deny it's an aspect), but sexualizing the nonsexual and making many uncomfortable. Adding some shirtless hunks to the bikini-clad babes only worsens it.

I can't get behind telling these women to fuck off because a few people feel self-concious around them or that every guy is just thinking about how much they want to stick their dick in.

1) That's your problem, if you feel ugly then improve yourself.
2) Either the guy is always thinking about it anyway or they don't give a shit, the presence of booth babes changes nothing.

I'm not entirely certain how this falls into sexism other than they're there to pander to the dominant demographic, straight guys, which is just smart marketing and hardly sexist.

CrossLOPER:
I'm sorry if pretty girls make you feel revolting or irritate your insecurities, but that is not their fault. I don't really care if these girls are there, but I do not think they should be banned or taken to the section where they hide away pretty girls.

I think you're mistaken. The problem isn't pretty girls. I'd hate to not be able to attend a gaming convention with my girlfriend. The problem is near-nude women payed to stand there in a bikini to sell a game about cars or whatever. They make many people uncomfortable because that's not the place for that. Softcore porn is fine, I don't care if they model elsewhere, but I'd like the gaming convention to be about, well, games. If a booth wants to pay someone to catch people's attention, I'd much prefer they had someone look like a pokemon or master chief, not just a pretty girl with a logo on her swimsuit.

Skoosh:
I think you're mistaken. The problem isn't pretty girls. I'd hate to not be able to attend a gaming convention with my girlfriend. The problem is near-nude women payed to stand there in a bikini to sell a game about cars or whatever. They make many people uncomfortable because that's not the place for that. Softcore porn is fine, I don't care if they model elsewhere, but I'd like the gaming convention to be about, well, games. If a booth wants to pay someone to catch people's attention, I'd much prefer they had someone look like a pokemon or master chief, not just a pretty girl with a logo on her swimsuit.

That is what YOU want.

Gotta say I fall in with those that would side with the arguments made in the 2nd half of the video.

A game comes out with an attractive female character. Knowing full well that showcasing said attractive female, the booth is left with two decisions:

1: Make a cardboard cut-out of the character to stand it next to your booth which I'd say objectified women on a very literal scale.

Or 2: Hire a model to dress up like their character, thus actually creating a job for weekend and giving perhaps up-and-coming models a chance to get noticed.

To get rid of the "necessity" for booth babes, you'd first have to get rid of attractive female characters in games in general. Without such eyecandy in the games, there'd be no attractive characters for the models to model, thus removing the need for booth babes all together.

And since I don't see that happening any time soon, I really can't see publishers shying away from the belief that "sex sells". I'm not necessarily saying it's right - just as a high school that gives out free condoms is condoning underage sex - but just like the high school being motivated by the knowledge of "Well we can tell them not to but everyone knows the horny high school teens are going to be banging anyways, at least we can encourage them to practice safe-sex", I believe the motivation for booth babes comes with the knowledge of "Well gaming companies are going to keep using sex to sell their product anyways, why not allow models to profit from it rather than having a bunch of unpaid cardboard cut-outs?"

On a side note, I find it interesting that a couple weeks ago, Jim did a video about the Dead or Alive girls being freakishly ugly due to their proportions, yet in this video he was using them to showcase the concept of "babes". :P

Captcha apparently doesn't like booth babes though: "never nude".

Skoosh:

The problem is near-nude women payed to stand there in a bikini to sell a game about cars or whatever. They make many people uncomfortable because that's not the place for that.

They make a tiny minority uncomfortable. Because simply put they wouldn't be there if it was more than that.

Same with selling games about cars in bikinis. If it didn't work they would not do it.

UuuuGH! i am sooo sick of the whole sexism in video game culture topic by now. Ok here's is what it boils down to. forcing developers to not have booth babes = censorship. same as forcing developers to not have sexy women in gaming, exc. Censorship is BAD. We do NOT want censorship. I can't believe Jim didn't even touch on this obvious issue. If women are uncomfortable because there are hotter women in the room, they have self esteem issues they need to deal with.

I do agree that more creativity would be nice though. But it should be the choice of the developer. Not forced down their throats.

I am sorry but why does this make people uncomfortable. Are the men at this so socially awkward and immature that they cant stand around attractive woman in some revealing clothes. In the case of women if the woman in question is happy in the job (and I am making the assumption she is or would not be there) why do they have such an issue. Is it some jealousy that these women may be more confident or attractive than them. Why is the constant theme of things being viewed as sexist or insensitive such an issue in the gaming community, this has been in many types of conventions. . car shows for example, for a long time. Why is there no problem there? As long as the woman is not actually naked and behaving in an acceptable fashion I don't see the issue. The majority of gamers are male and the companies are attempting to appeal to you in any way they can, they want your attention.

Captcha: bad books . . . . soon to be in them

I think booth babes are there to take advantage of a stereotype still sticking to gamers and those people that unfortunately still fit it. In that case I tend to think of their presence as a negative thing without thinking about the rights of women at all really.

I know that my sister would say that they should get a job that lasts longer than their looks or was not completely dependent on something you barely strived for or something. Apparently this is significant because she is also good looking which matters for some reason in a logic debate and is not completely irrelevant.

I think the Planetside 2 booth did a good job in this area. They just had people of both genders dressing up as soldiers from the game.

There's a middle ground:

Booth Dudes. OR! Or these people can be hired to promote games in other ways; dressing up as characters and acting out scenes or something. I don't think banning booth babes is really needed. Introducing creativity to the marketing is needed.

Mental note, if ever become video game producer person, acquire booth puppies.

My problem with Booth Babes has nothing to do with feminism or discomfort for their presence.

I just don't like how immature it makes gamers look as a whole, especially at a time when we have to fight to get ourselves taken seriously.

Revolutionaryloser:

Therumancer:
-snip-

You seem to ignore all the sexual abuse and actual rapes that occur at gaming cons aswell as the rampant misogyny encouraged there which makes most of the women involved in gaming really uncomfortable and umwelcome.

Not really, because they aren't any more prevelant than anywhere else. Also misogyny doesn't really exist in any real, mainstream sense. For the most part it's simply used as something to scream for attention, and it works because the mainstream is so dead set against it. Like racism pretending it exists on any large scale is a great way to get the majority to rally, ready to face an enemy it already vanquished. Basically if it existed we wouldn't be having this conversation or seeing the media coverage that we do, because the majority would have surpressed it all. We'd be discussing it on some hidden forum, hiding in basements, and similar things, much like those who fought for civil liberties when these problems really existed did.

That said, you get a bunch of people away from home and their usual enviroment, pack them together, and then get them all riled up for one reason or another, and crap happens. Rapes, violence, etc... it's part of human nature, not any real problem within society. If someone wanted to, they could claim the same kinds of problems based on any conventions or long range social gatherings on pretty much any subject. Claiming gaming is unusually bad simply comes with a build in group of people that are ready to rally more than other groups, so it's rife for exploitation by those looking for a platform.

Understand, when I worked Casino Security, I did so for two venues and both had multiple hotels attached to them, and all kinds of rentable rooms for all kinds of conventions, and all of them get rowdy to some extent because it's the enviroment. Trust me, nerd cons and technology cons (of various sorts) are nothing. Pack a bunch of farm "barons" and supply companies together and it's worse, an "Agway" show full of rednecks and hillbillies with deep pockets and tiny brains, who decide to get all liquored up under the pretensions of shopping for or supplying farm equipment can be a bit worse. Then of course you have groups like the NAACP, one of those groups was doing this thing called "First Friday" which is to say they rent a ballroom to party in the first friday of every month, after causing a riot when they sold more tickets than the capacity of the ballroom, they were pretty much the first event (well that I was involved in) get banned outright, and that's saying a lot.

In the end if these gaming conventions have problems chances are they simply need better security (I've pretty much dealt with anything you can think of and some you really probably couldn't), more likely though it's just business as usual.

If this sounds dismissive, I suppose it is, it's not that I have no issue with rape or violence or anything (quite the contrary) it's simply that it's business as usual for events. Gaming conventions logically wouldn't be much of an exception, at the core it's just a business con like anything else, doing exactly the same kinds of things. Put people away from home, have them lower their inhibations a bit to have a good time, and crap happens. Having some model dress up as a wierd samurai pin up girl for a video game, is no worse than having a model dress up as the porno version of "Maryann" from Giligan's Island and basically hump a tractor for 4 hours a day. These girls tend to get pawed, but that's also part of their job (and most will even tell you so) and indeed half the point is for them to get guys into their business area for the obvious reasons. Inevitably there are going to be problems over time, and that's what security is for (to act as a deterrant, and try and prevent things from getting out of hand). Nobody is perfect of course, and Security aren't cops and are specifically not supposed to turn this into a police state, inevitably some things go wrong, especially seeing as security can't be present everywhere. It sucks when someone gets raped in a stairwell or whatever, but in the final equasion it's humanity, and to be honest the models are rarely the victims (though it can happen) because they tend to be among the most aware of what's going on and the danger. One thing you notice is they tend to travel in groups (though there are exceptions), take elevators (where there is camera coverage), and similar things, your rarely going to see them doing things like say... using/hanging out in emergency stairwells, which is the kind of location most of this crap takes place in. In fact one of my safety tips (such as it was) used to be to be patient and wait for the elevators... speaking in a general sense. Security also does many escorts through the parking garages, I have never seen a girl refused a security escort on their way out... if they ask of course. But I'm getting off topic which is pretty much "shit happens at cons in general".

Or how about we just all STFU and let companies decide how they want to run their E3 stalls, it is their stall.

As for the booth babes, it's their choice if they want to do such a job. Some do it for money, some do it for attention and adoration, some do it for both.

Seriously, just because something makes someone is uncomfortable or feels insulted doesn't mean it should be banned.

http://youtu.be/gciegyiLYtY

You are free to vote with your wallet. Enough with the outrage already.

CrossLOPER:

Skoosh:
I think you're mistaken. The problem isn't pretty girls. I'd hate to not be able to attend a gaming convention with my girlfriend. The problem is near-nude women payed to stand there in a bikini to sell a game about cars or whatever. They make many people uncomfortable because that's not the place for that. Softcore porn is fine, I don't care if they model elsewhere, but I'd like the gaming convention to be about, well, games. If a booth wants to pay someone to catch people's attention, I'd much prefer they had someone look like a pokemon or master chief, not just a pretty girl with a logo on her swimsuit.

That is what YOU want.

...Yes obviously that's what I want. Your point?

If you're getting at other people want them there, well yeah, obviously, but what exactly would be wrong with replacing them with gaming icons? As Jim's video said, everyone should be there for the games anyway, so one side doesn't really lose anything and the side that feels uncomfortable wins. What's the problem with moving the focus of a video game convention away from boobs and towards games? I mean honestly, what's the big gain from having half the booths pay attractive women to stand in front with tiny skirts? If you want that, stay home on the internet or go to a strip joint. It doesn't really have a place next to the PS3 display or whatever.

I'd say ban booth babes, but relax the dress standards for regular nerds who are going to show up whether they are being paid or not.

I have a good example of this, a while back a friend and I went to the release party for Mafia 2. They had hired a playboy model to come and represent their game. Since she was the only woman in the entire place not wearing a hoodie, she stood out like a sore thumb and everyone generally avoided her. Then it came time for the preview, they had for some reason decided to get this poor model to do the announcement/trailer for the game, which... she clearly had no idea what she was advertising and seemed to only realize this when she tried to explain the gameplay, then couldn't figure out how to unpause the game, then was struggling to move the character or to jump into a car... which seemed odd as she'd just claimed to be a hardcore games with this game as one of her favorites on her own PS3. Having a whole room full of gamers who know you are talking crap... it was one of the most awkward moments ever.

At the end of the night I was ready to go but my friend wanted to stay and get her signature, or to talk to her for 5 seconds while getting an up-close perv. When we got up there he garbled something and she didn't hear him so she wrote "LOVE *****", I actually forget her name. So then I walked out after him and she says you forgot to get your signature, and I yell out that I didn't see the point. She then excused herself (while a line of people were still waiting and walked off. (I didn't mean to be cruel or anything :/ ).

The point is meant to be please do away with them. It's the uncomfortable elephant in the corner of an awesome night of gaming, Pizza and hanging with your girl friends in a comfortable environment.

m19:

Skoosh:

The problem is near-nude women payed to stand there in a bikini to sell a game about cars or whatever. They make many people uncomfortable because that's not the place for that.

They make a tiny minority uncomfortable. Because simply put they wouldn't be there if it was more than that.

Same with selling games about cars in bikinis. If it didn't work they would not do it.

I wouldn't say that at all. Many that it makes uncomfortable can overlook it or work around it, but they shouldn't have to because it honestly doesn't have a place there. I mean all the people commenting in this thread (and numerous other places) clearly shows it's more than a tiny amount of people, and that's not even considering the masses of people that don't go specifically for that reason.

I wouldn't even say if it didn't work, they wouldn't do it. Do I really need to make a list of all the stupid things various videogame companies have done that didn't work, yet they continued for years because it worked in other industries?

But hey, let's assume it does work and that the people it works on are the largest group. What does it hurt to replace the boothbabes with cosplayers and mascots? It still grabs attention, people will come over and take photos and whatever. Perhaps not as good as a sexy model, but at least it would be appropriate for the setting. The whole point is a game convention is not the place for in-person softcore modeling. The people that go there are almost certainly there for games.

Booth baby?

I don't think I've ever /facepalm'd at a Jimquisition video before, but Booth baby made it happen.

:p

Mortamus:
The more I hear Jim's campaign pitches, the more I want to vote for him.

This needs to happen.

In relevance to the topic, instead of getting rid of Booth Babes, why not just have them wear something more professional and tone down the makeup? They keep their job and others don't have to feel uncomfortable.

Because in any other place you can't ban people for making others feel uncomfortable. That's absolutely preposterous. Now, it's up to the organizers of said events to decide on their own, since it's THEIR event. However the whole whine against booth babes basically comes down to one of two things. Booth babes objectify women, or it makes them feel uncomfortable.

When it comes to objectification, it's something that happens all the time in all forms of media. Media portrays people as caricatures and NOT REAL PEOPLE. That's the whole freakin' point of it. To be against only one specific aspect of caricaturization and to say the rest is okay based on your personal preference is fucking hypocritical. You don't have to like all forms of media, but it's not okay to try and force/censor media based on what YOU want. It's selfish, period.

On the subject of making others feel uncomfortable, well that's not the booth babe's problem, or the event host's. It's your problem. If you feel uncomfortable around a sexy booth babe, then you've got issues. If you feel like a perv for staring and a booth babe's body, then you've got insecurities. If you feel inadequate around society's (or a game's) portrayal of "sexy", then you've got insecurities. To say that it demeans women is also fucking dumb. It's a job, and it's a job that a lot of women enjoy.

Does the presence of certain types of caricatures offend you? Too bad! Does the presence of certain types of caricatures infringe on your personal rights? Fuck no. To ban something because it offends you or a group of people is infringing on the very rights of those who WANT to cosplay, or be a booth babe. Period.

What about, since these conventions are run by private companies, they set a standard dress code that applies to spokespeople and attendees alike. They're bound to have rules that apply to many other facets of behavior, so why not a dress code. Like posting here, or on Eurogamer, attending their convention makes you a guest. I would expect to be warned or kicked out for showing pictures of boobs or butt, so why would I expect to see all kinds of that in person at their convention?

Saying "No booth Babes", to me, dehumanizes the women in question and simply makes them an arguing point for a discussion that rarely includes their input. If you don't want scantily-clad women walking around at your convention, then make that so, but don't have a double standard where you've kicked out a spokesperson for wearing a bikini while someone in an equally revealing Rikku costume freely attends without repercussion. If they want to wear that costume in public that badly, then they can attend a convention run by people who are more okay with that and don't find it offensive/are okay with the backlash.

Either way, I thank you Jim for bringing this up, because believe it or not this is a very important issue. This topic and many others in a similar vein have us discussing the value of behavior that has occurred for years with little question, and most major changes for the good have started with people being brave enough to re-evaluate things that for a long time weren't worthy of even discussing the merits of. Thank God for you, and vote Jim/Defoe in 2016.

Skoosh:

I wouldn't say that at all. Many that it makes uncomfortable can overlook it or work around it, but they shouldn't have to because it honestly doesn't have a place there. I mean all the people commenting in this thread (and numerous other places) clearly shows it's more than a tiny amount of people, and that's not even considering the masses of people that don't go specifically for that reason.

I wouldn't even say if it didn't work, they wouldn't do it. Do I really need to make a list of all the stupid things various videogame companies have done that didn't work, yet they continued for years because it worked in other industries?

But hey, let's assume it does work and that the people it works on are the largest group. What does it hurt to replace the boothbabes with cosplayers and mascots? It still grabs attention, people will come over and take photos and whatever. Perhaps not as good as a sexy model, but at least it would be appropriate for the setting. The whole point is a game convention is not the place for in-person softcore modeling. The people that go there are almost certainly there for games.

1. I don't think people complaining in a forum represent much.

2. Everyone likes to think how much smarter they are then those marketing people. Which I don't think is as true as we'd like to think. They know what they are doing and why.

3. I agree I'd prefer those models dressed to reflect what they are selling. But I also know I'm not Joe Average, at least not always.

ObsidianJones:

canadamus_prime:
That's a good point, did anyone bother to actually ask the actually booth babes whether or not they had a problem with what they were doing or the whole idea in general? You know, instead of talking about them as you would the Michelangelo's David?

I don't think it's really about the women and their personal feelings on the matter. I think it's the vocal female demographic who don't really feel like having the message expressed to them that this genetic good fortune is more important than even the product we're selling, and we want you to come focus on them, and then spare some focus on us.

*Plastic surgery, make up, enhancing a certain body part, playing up fetishes... Eye of the beholder, after all.

But as Jim pointed out the practice of having Booth Babes does give a number of women jobs, perhaps not the most commendable of jobs, but there are certainly worse. Besides that, I don't ever hear anyone getting the opinions of the women who are actually employed as the Booth Babes. As I stated, everyone seems to talk about them as if they were some controversial piece of art or something.
Of course having Booth Babes at a booth for say Call of Duty is more than a little silly, but having them at the Booth for, say Lollipop Chainsaw is kinda appropriate wouldn't you say? You know, have a girl dressed up as Juliette Starling so people could tell it's their booth by seeing the main protagonist standing there.

Therumancer:
snipp

Yes, you're right: The greatest high watermark of the entire feminist movement is a bored looking college student being ogled by immature man-children in front of a Soul Calibur booth.

Susan B. Anthony must be so proud!

Zer_:

Because in any other place you can't ban people for making others feel uncomfortable. That's absolutely preposterous. Now, it's up to the organizers of said events to decide on their own, since it's THEIR event. However the whole whine against booth babes basically comes down to one of two things. Booth babes objectify women, or it makes them feel uncomfortable.

You are wrong. The complaints against booth babes are as follows:

1. Booth babes are an antique from a shittier time. They are a tacky remnant of a period when the vast majority of gamers were young men, and as the demographics change and the medium evolves, we need to leave behind the blatant and immature appeals to sexuality, like other respectable mediums have.

2. Booth babes are exclusionary. At a time when the vast percentage of developers, publishers, and real power players in the industry are (usually white) men, we need to be doing all we can to make sure that we present an open and inviting atmosphere for the women who have been intentionally alienated from our community. It's a travesty that the majority of the women in professional roles at gaming conventions are the ones in bikinis sitting glossy-eyed in the corner; I think I would be far less upset about booth babes if I felt like I could find a woman anywhere else at the convention. I am not a woman but I have talked to countless female gamers who I consider my friends and very few feel as though they'll be welcome at all unless they don a Slave Leah costume or otherwise sexualize themselves, and that endemic sexism is fed by the relegation of women exclusively to the role of eye candy.

3. Booth babes have no purpose. We are not selling sex at game conventions; we are selling games, the vast majority of which have little to no sexual content. Do we have booth babes at dentists' conventions, or quilting shows, or even the vast majority of other media events? No, because those are mature and intelligent affairs that rely on quality presentation instead of puerile appeals to teenage boy impulses. If gaming is ever going to "grow up" then it will need to acknowledge that the booth babe concept is not sustained by a legitimate artistic vision or a strong, accepting community, but instead by the most base and tacky form of diversionary exploitation.

Those of you who are arguing for the continuation of the booth babe approach are very much responsible for the mind-blowing lack of progress that we as a culture have made towards fostering a respectable, mature, and open community. I'm sorry if you feel as though your ability to look at pretty ladies is under attack, but don't worry! I think you'll survive.

This is such a non issue. Booth babes are there to attract people. Do they do that? Some certainly do. Is it horribly objectifying women? Only if getting paid a decent wage to be hot is offensive, which it's not. It's just reality. Allowing women to objectify their whole half of the species for free (ie. cosplay) but having a problem with companies hiring and paying women to do the same thing is idiotic. It's just stupid bickering over something that is not really an issue. If you don't like it, ignore them. If you are a monster like Jim, drool away and listen to their product placement as a way to stare at their tits longer, that is what they are their for after all. Also, god forbid they like doing the job, I know it's not reasonable.

peruvianskys:

Therumancer:
snipp

Yes, you're right: The greatest high watermark of the entire feminist movement is a bored looking college student being ogled by immature man-children in front of a Soul Calibur booth.

Susan B. Anthony must be so proud!

Zer_:

Because in any other place you can't ban people for making others feel uncomfortable. That's absolutely preposterous. Now, it's up to the organizers of said events to decide on their own, since it's THEIR event. However the whole whine against booth babes basically comes down to one of two things. Booth babes objectify women, or it makes them feel uncomfortable.

You are wrong. The complaints against booth babes are as follows:

1. Booth babes are an antique from a shittier time. They are a tacky remnant of a period when the vast majority of gamers were young men, and as the demographics change and the medium evolves, we need to leave behind the blatant and immature appeals to sexuality, like other respectable mediums have.

2. Booth babes are exclusionary. At a time when the vast percentage of developers, publishers, and real power players in the industry are (usually white) men, we need to be doing all we can to make sure that we present an open and inviting atmosphere for the women who have been intentionally alienated from our community. It's a travesty that the majority of the women in professional roles at gaming conventions are the ones in bikinis sitting glossy-eyed in the corner; I think I would be far less upset about booth babes if I felt like I could find a woman anywhere else at the convention. I am not a woman but I have talked to countless female gamers who I consider my friends and very few feel as though they'll be welcome at all unless they don a Slave Leah costume or otherwise sexualize themselves, and that endemic sexism is fed by the relegation of women exclusively to the role of eye candy.

3. Booth babes have no purpose. We are not selling sex at game conventions; we are selling games, the vast majority of which have little to no sexual content. Do we have booth babes at dentists' conventions, or quilting shows, or even the vast majority of other media events? No, because those are mature and intelligent affairs that rely on quality presentation instead of puerile appeals to teenage boy impulses. If gaming is ever going to "grow up" then it will need to acknowledge that the booth babe concept is not sustained by a legitimate artistic vision or a strong, accepting community, but instead by the most base and tacky form of diversionary exploitation.

Those of you who are arguing for the continuation of the booth babe approach are very much responsible for the mind-blowing lack of progress that we as a culture have made towards fostering a respectable, mature, and open community. I'm sorry if you feel as though your ability to look at pretty ladies is under attack, but don't worry! I think you'll survive.

I've no issues with gaming progressing as a whole, especially when it is trying to open itself to new demographics. And yes games are opening to newer demographics. That doesn't mean that games that cater to the young teen male will cease to exist, they'll always be there, but as time goes on, more and more games are (and have) going to cater to much wider audiences. I was not addressing that issue. Media changes with the society it caters to, that is only natural. Booth babes may be an old concept, however they (and the caricatures they portray) are here to stay. You may start seeing less of them, but there's nothing inherently wrong with booth babes from a moral standpoint. Such was my argument.

As for your point on booth babes being exclusionary, that's kind of like saying a car ad for a Porsche is exclusionary to people who are in the market for a less expensive hatchback.

Playful Pony:

eatenbyagrue:
I have a question though: don't car shows also have their own version of booth babes?

Since when is this a car website? I thought we concerned outself with gaming-related stuff on here Oo.

It's more a "why is it cool when they do it, but not when we do it?" question.

Captcha: I'm sorry. (um.. sorry for what exactly?)

m19:
1. I don't think people complaining in a forum represent much.

2. Everyone likes to think how much smarter they are then those marketing people. Which I don't think is as true as we'd like to think. They know what they are doing and why.

3. I agree I'd prefer those models dressed to reflect what they are selling. But I also know I'm not Joe Average, at least not always.

Oh good, numbers. That makes things a bit easier.

1. I'd agree to an extend, but it's not just forums. As Jim's video mentioned, this is something that's been coming up a lot in the gaming community in general for the last couple years, not just the occasional thread on a random forum. The case for it being a good bit of people is quite clear. Otherwise we wouldn't be talking about it now.

2. My point was just that these companies aren't flawless. Just because they do something doesn't mean there's not a better alternative, as your original statement implied. And I'm also making it from the argument of what's best for the consumer and convention, not the companies. Babes are likely the easiest/cheapest way to move people to their booth, but not necessarily getting people in the convention or enjoying the community.

3. Ah, but we aren't looking for Joe Average, we're looking for Bob the Gamer. The average gamer is different from the average person. But I see your point, we'd need a whole poll and all this data to see what the general opinion is, but I'd guess it's closer to ours than you'd think. But even if the average gamer is fine with babes, there's a decent amount that are bothered by it, and since the conventions are about games, what's really lost by not having booth babes? I mean I can't honestly see anyone making the argument that anyone at all shows up just for the babes...

eatenbyagrue:

Playful Pony:

eatenbyagrue:
I have a question though: don't car shows also have their own version of booth babes?

Since when is this a car website? I thought we concerned outself with gaming-related stuff on here Oo.

It's more a "why is it cool when they do it, but not when we do it?" question.

Captcha: I'm sorry. (um.. sorry for what exactly?)

SORRY FOR BEING BORN! *runs away crying*

Apologies, that was very /teenager X3.

I see what you mean, and I submit! I tend to feel that a lot of gamers and gaming media seem terrified of not being seen of as grown-up, serious upstanding members of humanity. Why this is I don't know, even some of the more dispicable parts of gaming are easily comparable and often surpased by other forms of entertainment out there.

On the front of gaming magazines one usually sees games. Car magazines (as far as I can see passing by them in the stores) are pretty much king when it comes to sticking barely clothed women infront of the cars they claim to be interested in.

Do I care that they do this with cars? Not really. I don't see the problem with annoyingly sexy girls (why aren't I as sexy damnit?!) sharing their beauty with the world when men are so obviously willing to pay good money for it. Then it is a bit sad that these women are often not taken seriously or even given any identity of their own beyond being a "hot piece of ass".

Confusing subject X3.

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