The Big Picture: In Defense of "Booth Babes" (sort of)

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So basically, the whole showing off tits next to games to cheaply draw people in is bad, but those people are still actually people and we shouldn't go over board with the hate. Sounds good enough. Well, here's hoping people can have a calm discussion on this....*Looks at the rest of the thread*......*sigh*

I just realized something: The events Booth Babes are found at are usually press only, so the only way they could face harassment or dehumanization is from the press.

So Bob, Games Journalists-- This is YOUR problem, leave us out of it.

TAdamson:

Father Time:

Someone had a problem with something Bob said. I know let's pretend he must also have a problem with the least controversial aspects of it. There's no way he has a problem with calling the term booth babes 'dehumanizing' or anything like that.

Honestly I know he didn't go into specifics but why jump to 'oh it must've been the treat them like human part'. That's just arguing in bad faith.

Well thats the thing. That is what Bob said.

And this DB's reflexive action was to call him a white knight which is really a concept only invoked by developmentally stunted man-children.

A. That's not the only thing Bob said and you know that

B. I'm not saying Bob's one but the idea that some men will defend women no matter the circumstances or treat every menial thing as an excuse to crusade against supposed 'sexism against women' just so they'll look good isn't that hard to believe. Take a look at the people who act like the only reason Anita got any backlash was because she was a woman.

SonOfVoorhees:
So you have no issue with them, but just in the name? A bunch of half naked women outside a Cod both is bad, but half naked women outside a booth showing a game where the character is a half naked women is good? Is booth babes really a term used as a negative fashion?

It is but only because the job itself has a stigma attached to it. You can rebrand the job whatever you like but it won't remove the stigma. I don't think calling women babes is dehumanizing but I'm from California where it's used all the time (and keep in mind E3 is located there too)

Machine Man 1992:
I just realized something: The events Booth Babes are found at are usually press only, so the only way they could face harassment or dehumanization is from the press.

So Bob, Games Journalists-- This is YOUR problem, leave us out of it.

Non press can get into E3 (not officially but if you know a guy), and even if they couldn't the journalists still put videos and pictures of them online for us to comment on. Even if the booth babes aren't the main focus they'll probably be in the videos of the booths.

I'm torn on the issue because I like booth babes, models, prostitutes, or any other female occupation that relies on their body's attractiveness to make money as well as those who are of that profession. On the other hand I dislike the idea that I can be pandered to using such methods.

So I enjoy the advertising but the advertising doesn't work on me. I'm not going to buy a game or a car because it had hot chicks in uniform next to it but I am going to enjoy the fact there are hot chicks next to it and I appreciate that they put hot chicks next to it because I like hot chicks... yeah.

Do I like sexy cosplayers? Yes, I like to look at hot chicks. Do I like cosplayers who do so for attention when they have no "passion" for the thing they're cosplaying as or have contempt for the community they're involved in? In theory I wouldn't but at the same time I can't imagine there are many girls like that.

I feel this episode would have been better off as a sort of documentary involving maybe 3 booth babes, the companies that hired them, the intent from the marketing departments and maybe 3 cosplayers. Sure, it's not a perfect sample size but it'd put things into perspective.

And I like the term "booth babes" because it's specific and explains exactly what we're talking about: female eye candy hired to assist with marketing stuff that is advertized at booths.

TAdamson:

Father Time:

Someone had a problem with something Bob said. I know let's pretend he must also have a problem with the least controversial aspects of it. There's no way he has a problem with calling the term booth babes 'dehumanizing' or anything like that.

Honestly I know he didn't go into specifics but why jump to 'oh it must've been the treat them like human part'. That's just arguing in bad faith.

Well thats the thing. That is what Bob said.

And this DB's reflexive action was to call him a white knight which is really a concept only invoked by developmentally stunted man-children.

Aaaand so if someone at any time anywhere uses the term "white knight" even if the individual is only defending/siding with a female in the hopes of receiving sexual favors for being a "nice guy" then the person who mentioned someone being a "white knight" - by your definition - is a developmentally stunted man-child?

What if I told you that many concepts are frequently useful at a time and eventually they are misused, but their misuse does not mean the concept itself is flawed.

Paradoxrifts:

Monxeroth:
image

"Paradoxrifts uses Reasoned Debate."

"It doesn't affect White Knight."

You know you can't just scream "white knight" every single time someone even brings gender issues up. It doesn't exactly come off as a reasoned debate.

Machine Man 1992:
I just realized something: The events booth babes are found at are usually press only, so the only way they could face harassment or dehumanization is from the press.

So Bob, games journalists: This is your problem; leave us out of it.

What is he supposed to leave us out of? Is he supposed to not talk about it just because it is a problem that you do not say is exclusive to journalists and therefore tacitly admit the gaming community in general is part of? If so, why not? Why don't you want him to talk about people being degraded and how he thinks it would be neat if people helped make that stop happening?

wulf3n:

rbstewart7263:
Ive always hated the idea that these women had to lose there jobs because some were offended. No one once stood in there defense and now they have less ways to provide than before. People could have been considerate and suggested that the job "change" or evolve to cater to differing tastes but no. screw her and screw you was the idea and it still pisses me off to think of it.

I don't know much about the modelling industry, but I would assume their respective agencies would find them other contracts. I don't believe they only do gaming conventions.

Id rather er on the side of caution and concern and assume that that is the only place that they can get jobs rather than assume that they can get work elsewhere. especially in 2013.

Father Time:

A. That's not the only thing Bob said and you know that

B. I'm not saying Bob's one but the idea that some men will defend women no matter the circumstances or treat every menial thing as an excuse to crusade against supposed 'sexism against women' just so they'll look good isn't that hard to believe. Take a look at the people who act like the only reason Anita got any backlash was because she was a woman.

So what else did he say? What exactly is "white-knighting" about this video?

Don't call women in industry "glorified booth babes"?
The term "booth babe" is kinda reductive and sexist?
That calling them moronic for not really knowing about what they are selling is kinda unfair?
Sometime scantily clad models are possibly actually appropriate for some of the games being modeled for?
It kinda sucks that that women in industry feel not taken seriously if they don't dress down?

And I'm not for defending people with the suggestion that the only reason that they receive criticism is because of their gender. But the phrase "White knighting", as it is used here, has such sinister implications for the inner workings of the the minds of the people that use it. If "White knighting" is any of the things above and these people think that making these statements is somehow bad, then fuck them.

I wouldn't say that defending Saarkesian with "just because she is a woman" is particularly intelligent. But white knighting seems to get used for any man who takes a vague feminist leaning.

Paradoxrifts:

erttheking:

Paradoxrifts:

"Paradoxrifts uses Reasoned Debate."

"It doesn't affect White Knight."

You know you can't just scream "white knight" every single time someone even brings gender issues up. It doesn't exactly come off as a reasoned debate.

And just because someone posts something dumb on the internet doesn't mean I have to take the time out of my day to apply myself to the both thankless and pointless task of changing their mind. Do not fool yourself into believing that something akin to a conversation is occurring here on the Escapist. All this is, ever was and ever will be is a conga line of self-centered suck-holes reposting justifications and rationalisations as to why everyone else should stop what they were doing and start doing something entirely different that so happens to be in the poster's best interests. A claw-sharpening competition and a shouting match all rolled into one rancid package.

This is not debate. This has every appearance of pigs jostling for position and status at the farmer's trough.

Yeah, I'm going to have to blatantly disagree with you on that one. I'm actually having a fairly intelligent debate with a user in the other thread. You can always find someone, somewhere on this website having an intelligent discussion, you just need to wade through the junk sometimes to find it.

Abomination:

Aaaand so if someone at any time anywhere uses the term "white knight" even if the individual is only defending/siding with a female in the hopes of receiving sexual favors for being a "nice guy" then the person who mentioned someone being a "white knight" - by your definition - is a developmentally stunted man-child?

I'm not saying the concept is flawed but the term "white knight" is now so overused its kinda broken.

I really haven't seen a "white knight" in the creepy sexual sense since high school. And I have NEVER seen it used on the internet in that sense. I have only ever seen it used on forums to dismiss the opinions of guys who take feminist positions, be they mild or extreme.

erttheking:

Paradoxrifts:

erttheking:

You know you can't just scream "white knight" every single time someone even brings gender issues up. It doesn't exactly come off as a reasoned debate.

And just because someone posts something dumb on the internet doesn't mean I have to take the time out of my day to apply myself to the both thankless and pointless task of changing their mind. Do not fool yourself into believing that something akin to a conversation is occurring here on the Escapist. All this is, ever was and ever will be is a conga line of self-centered suck-holes reposting justifications and rationalisations as to why everyone else should stop what they were doing and start doing something entirely different that so happens to be in the poster's best interests. A claw-sharpening competition and a shouting match all rolled into one rancid package.

This is not debate. This has every appearance of pigs jostling for position and status at the farmer's trough.

Yeah, I'm going to have to blatantly disagree with you on that one. I'm actually having a fairly intelligent debate with a user in the other thread. You can always find someone, somewhere on this website having an intelligent discussion, you just need to wade through the junk sometimes to find it.

And ironically enough you fail to acknowledge the main point of my post entirely, which is that the overwhelming majority of people involved in this argument on both sides are only here to advance their own personal interests. All you need to do is lurk long enough and have a knack for remembering handles and the content of their posts, and you begin to put together the big picture that the majority of people involved in this continued shitstorm on both sides are really just a mess of self-interested assholes.

And it makes me want everyone that is involved to lose. I mean I want to see them crushed. Driven out. I want to hear the distant lamentation of whatever they've managed to shack up and bump uglies with. Be it man, woman, beast or waifu.

Paradoxrifts:

erttheking:

Paradoxrifts:

And just because someone posts something dumb on the internet doesn't mean I have to take the time out of my day to apply myself to the both thankless and pointless task of changing their mind. Do not fool yourself into believing that something akin to a conversation is occurring here on the Escapist. All this is, ever was and ever will be is a conga line of self-centered suck-holes reposting justifications and rationalisations as to why everyone else should stop what they were doing and start doing something entirely different that so happens to be in the poster's best interests. A claw-sharpening competition and a shouting match all rolled into one rancid package.

This is not debate. This has every appearance of pigs jostling for position and status at the farmer's trough.

Yeah, I'm going to have to blatantly disagree with you on that one. I'm actually having a fairly intelligent debate with a user in the other thread. You can always find someone, somewhere on this website having an intelligent discussion, you just need to wade through the junk sometimes to find it.

And ironically enough you fail to acknowledge the main point of my post entirely, which is that the overwhelming majority of people involved in this argument on both sides are only here to advance their own personal interests. All you need to do is lurk long enough and have a knack for remembering handles and the content of their posts, and you begin to put together the big picture that the majority of people involved in this continued shitstorm on both sides are really just a mess of self-interested assholes.

And it makes me want everyone that is involved to lose. I mean I want to see them crushed. Driven out. I want to hear the distant lamentation of whatever they've managed to shack up and bump uglies with. Be it man, woman, beast or waifu.

Well yeah it is the internet, and this is a matter that has become a sore topic for a lot of people. I don't see how that' an excuse to stop trying. In fact a lot of people are trying, it's just that more often than not they get drowned out by the louder ones, because two guys going back and forth over and over again, uses up a lot more posts and space than a couple of guys leaving intelligent thoughts. Also correct me if I'm wrong, didn't you kind of get involved with the whole white knight posts? Kind of implies that you were on a side in the debate, which makes the rest of your posts a little confusing.

Urgh... Bob, you starting to become more predictable then one might have thought that would be.

You're kinda banging the little "Sexism in Gaming Culture!!!" Drum, while SOMEWHAT trying to defend booth Babes?
And no, I don't think anyone will get down from that word anymore. Because it is at least something ABOVE (even if just Millimeters) the Standart "School- Dropout but prettyface Model", which where making even other people feel weird in other industries, who's opinion on a Product doesn't get Bonus points from their Libido. :P

And for Hels, Walhallas, Hells & Heavens and Nirwana sake: People who complain about "both babes" don't overlap much with those, who don't mind seeing two hot air baloons in a blouse of a game hottie.

Where are all some individuals, not biast hivemind people for the sake of .... pic something yourself.
Just stop Generalizing, just so you can beat the "Sexism in Gaming Culture!!!" drum. We got tons of other People for that. <.<

As a woman, I do feel uncomfortable with booth babes.
More or less because it subconsciously re inforces that the only women in the gaming sphere, are the ones who are there for the tits.

That is not to say we should ban them.
They are people too. This is their job.
It pays the bills, and keeps a roof over their(or their families) heads.

I just wish that they dress in actual relevance to the game they are promoting.
Which is a big thing for me.
I would be fine with booth babes if they dressed like Tali or something.
But when you just have a strip bikini?

Where is the relevance here?

erttheking:

Well yeah it is the internet, and this is a matter that has become a sore topic for a lot of people. I don't see how that' an excuse to stop trying. In fact a lot of people are trying, it's just that more often than not they get drowned out by the louder ones, because two guys going back and forth over and over again, uses up a lot more posts and space than a couple of guys leaving intelligent thoughts. Also correct me if I'm wrong, didn't you kind of get involved with the whole white knight posts? Kind of implies that you were on a side in the debate, which makes the rest of your posts a little confusing.

If I ever got involved in the past I don't remember it. Did it involve me comparing internet white knights to the ingenious gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha? That sounds like a comment that I would leave in passing.

Frankly, I don't care whether this is a sore topic for a lot of people. It took mere minutes for me to be completely over the embittered entitled attitude of the fringe demographics of the gaming market. They're like a house cat which belongs to someone else but follows you around insistently begging for food you know it will turn it's nose up at as soon as it hits the dish. And increasingly as of late I am getting increasingly fed up with the bad behaviour and sad sack bullshit of my fellow straight white male gamers as well. If this is gaming culture, then fuck me it's about time to put some thick rubber gloves on and clean out the fridge.

In my experience those that are often labeled as White Knights are looking out for their own narrow self-interest just like everyone else is. Anonymous forum posts don't leave you much to work with but in my experience everyone has an angle. It isn't that they're just being decent like they claim.

This video kind of helped me understand why I don't like the Hey Ash videos in which they make fun of booth babies, even though I don't like booth babies. This is because they're going after the people who are doing their best to do a hard job, and not the idiots who think 'hey put some boobs on our booth so the nerds will come around'.

There are some weird conclusions there though. If nerd culture has a problem with thinking women are 'fake nerds' and don't actually know what they're talking about (and it does) then putting people who literally are fake nerds and literally don't know what they're talking about (besides the extent to which they've studied their sales pitch) doesn't help things at all. Regardless of what the actual models do or think, they were not placed there to be women, they were placed there to be objects, which, much like stealing fourty pies, is a bad thing.

Paradoxrifts:

"Paradoxrifts uses Reasoned Debate."

"It doesn't affect White Knight."

Paradoxrifts attempted to use Reasoned Debate.

But, Paradoxrifts doesn't have enough intelligence to use it!

It failed!

Paradoxrifts used Ad Hominem instead!

It hits!

The opponent hurts itself in confusion.

Anyone who calls anyone else a "White Knight" for wanting women to be treated fairly is an idiot, plain and simple.

Not everyone is a lecherous scumbag whose only motivation for defending women is sex; some are just decent fucking human beings who don't want people acting like bigots.

Well, this topic is certainly venomous.
So instead of engaging in the shit slinging, I'll just comment on the video.

My philosophy for "Booth Babes" is simple: I smile or nod politely, and then ignore them.

They're being paid to advertise a product or service in a way that doesn't add to the product/service they're advertising.

More bluntly, "She doesn't come with the goods, so why should I care?"
I don't go to cons for mere eye-candy, nor would I have to so long as the internet exists.

Trade conventions aren't Jabba the Hutt's palace of seedy horrors*.
The models doing displays are there entirely of their own volition. Is it demeaning to those women? Ask them, because I don't think of them any less just because of what they're doing.

(*though the potential joke here is tempting, but too obvious)

Somewhat lazy effort this week I feel Mr C

It just felt like a lukewarm version of the geek shall not harm geek (or others) Big Picture from the other week, which I really liked, plus you let the white knight trolls in...again...

Dragonbums:
As a woman, I do feel uncomfortable with booth babes.
More or less because it subconsciously re inforces that the only women in the gaming sphere, are the ones who are there for the tits.

That is not to say we should ban them.
They are people too. This is their job.
It pays the bills, and keeps a roof over their(or their families) heads.

I just wish that they dress in actual relevance to the game they are promoting.
Which is a big thing for me.
I would be fine with booth babes if they dressed like Tali or something.
But when you just have a strip bikini?

Where is the relevance here?

I think this is a fine compromise right here. noone loses there job and you still get your eyecandy if only more....oh whats the word? subtle? meh something something cant see as much titty something something you get it.

:/

So I just watched this video a few minutes ago and I haven't followed any debate so far but I really need to express my confusion. Perhaps it is simple ignorance on my part or perhaps I have again underestimated the inherent sexism of gamer culture but regardless I have a simple question in my mind.

If one identifies as a gamer, does the gender really matter?

Maybe this simply comes from my perspective. Maybe the only friends I have who are female share my geekier tendencies and are, by definition, gamers. But if there are those of us applying "booth babe" to anyone who happens to appear attractive at a convention, then what does that say about the current popular mindset of our hobby?

I have never liked booth babes. Even when I was watching E3 on G4 back in 2005, I never really understood why every there seemed to be a scantily clad model featured as a prelude to every single game trailer. I understand the frustrations with relying on such models because frankly I feel that relying on them reflects poorly on our past time. Sex sells but obviously selling sex is sleazy, right?

But there seem to be gender issues rooted far deeper than that simple objection. A certain level of elitism that comes from geek sheik. We the nerds, so long abused and ignored, are now popular. And as such, we must hold and defend this new position on the mountain no matter the cost. If we fight down at the level of those who insulted and bullied us in the past, it doesn't matter. We are now the kings. No one may join us if we do not feel they deserve our kingdom.

I just...really don't get it. I try to treat all of those I know with a sense of humanity over gender. I do not deny that I am an asshole, especially in my weaker moments. I merely deny that I'm a sexist asshole.

I really just hope the issue is a vocal minority rather than the silent majority. I really do.

The fact that Bob has to put out a common sense video like this really shows the maturity of this industry and its community.
:/

Actually, it's been this immature for years now. I don't know why this still has an effect on me. :/

edit: now that I've thought about it for a few minutes, I guess it's because I always dreamed about getting into the gaming industry and making games myself, but I just can't agree with how the people in this industry are sometimes.

I suppose I could always just suck it up or quit if I don't like it, but even still. That doesn't make it any less saddening.

I'm sure most of the problems surrounding this issue will stop once all trade shows either ban Booth Babes or advertisers start being required to turn up with a proportionate number of half naked Booth Boys.

I don't really see how "booth babe" is more dehumanizing than "model." Babe is specifically human, and often a term of endearment. Model is generally inhuman, a category of machines or implements or a prototype/demonstrative example for one.

At my first E3 in 2005, I started a conversation with one of the floor models. She explained to me the whole process with modeling and the casting agencies and the convention circuit in Los Angeles. I found it interesting and it seemed like great pay for a couple days work and help them get modeling gigs, so I never found any problem with it after that.

Not thinking that the eyecandy knows about their product is not misogyny. It's very much common sense. I wouldn't think that the attractive women who pose in front of cars in front of trade shows know about the cars they're trying to help sell either. They're not there because they know about the product and want to sell you on its features. They're there to look good and draw your attention to product. The issue is NOT that women have to prove themselves before we accept them as part of gamer culture. Come on, Bob. Plenty of industries do this same thing and I don't think anyone would say they expect the babes to know anything, because that's not why they're there.

I want to be able to object to this type of position without these casual accusations of sexism. It's a cheap, lazy, insulting, and downright gross thing to do to your customers, and I think more people should say so. I'm getting tired of this culture where if you object to things like this, it's sexism. If you refer to groups of women in ways relating to their position, because that position is awful, when making an insult, it's sexism. It's not sexism.

Neither is objecting to people drawing your attention to a product with their breasts while there are breasts in the game. If these sleazy tactics were used to sell movies with big busted women, it would be equally shallow and equally insulting. The problem isn't breasts. Sexuality, when displayed for the right reason and in the right ways, is good! But you have to remember that context means everything. Something so insincere and pandering as booth babes is not the same as a character in a game looking sexually appealing.

It isn't a matter of growing up. Hell, getting rid of what you seem to imply is immature about these games would strike me as an immature myself. It's not childish and it shouldn't be demeaned. People should be free to make the games they want to make for the people who want to make them. We shouldn't rag on people doing that because sometimes what they do doesn't appeal to everyone. We don't want to be that community that complains when someone does something that you don't personally like. Instead, we should empower others to make games that they like that don't feature the aspects of games you don't. It really is that simple.

Maybe my 'ultra male' side is speaking to me on this moment. But who cares what they do or do not know about the presentation they are giving. A pretty woman is a pretty woman to me, just talk to them when you can. I think they appreciate it because standing there and being pretty all damn day isn't fun. I am a casual gamer so I don't get too much excited about a game, but I do enjoy the company of a woman even if she just get paid to sit/stand there. Wait... that came out wrong.

Abomination:
Aaaand so if someone at any time anywhere uses the term "white knight" even if the individual is only defending/siding with a female in the hopes of receiving sexual favors for being a "nice guy" then the person who mentioned someone being a "white knight" - by your definition - is a developmentally stunted man-child?

What if I told you that many concepts are frequently useful at a time and eventually they are misused, but their misuse does not mean the concept itself is flawed.

Why do we need the concept? We already have a word for it, it's called 'creepy'.

SirBryghtside:

Abomination:
Aaaand so if someone at any time anywhere uses the term "white knight" even if the individual is only defending/siding with a female in the hopes of receiving sexual favors for being a "nice guy" then the person who mentioned someone being a "white knight" - by your definition - is a developmentally stunted man-child?

What if I told you that many concepts are frequently useful at a time and eventually they are misused, but their misuse does not mean the concept itself is flawed.

Why do we need the concept? We already have a word for it, it's called 'creepy'.

Why do we call British Shorthairs British Shorthairs? We should just call them cats.

White Knighting is creepy, but not every act of creeping is White Knighting.

Agreed, but now I have to go play Solstice because of that screenshot.

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