Eurogamer Expo Bans Booth Babes

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Eurogamer Expo Bans Booth Babes

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The Eurogamer Expo has implemented a formal ban on booth babes after Virgin Gaming went a little too far.

The Eurogamer Expo went down this past weekend in the U.K. and by all reports it was a smooth and solid success, with one minor bump in the road: booth babes. According to Eurogamer Network Managing Director Rupert Loman, the event has always had an "informal guideline" discouraging exhibitors from bringing booth babes, but this year three companies brought them anyway. The Virgin Gaming girls were of particular concern, because they each had a QR code printed on their backsides.

"Exhibitors need to bring staff to the show, but they should be interesting, cool and exciting and knowledgeable (developers and publisher staff) rather than pretty girls in revealing outfits just for the sake of it. We want the show to be friendly, and all 50,000 attendees to feel comfortable. At this year's show three companies showed up with booth babes. Two in particular we thought were dressed inappropriately. As a short term measure we told them to move into the 18+ zone, and we asked some of them to put on leggings as well," Loman wrote on the Eurogamer forums.

"Although it was only a small number of booth babes, our regret is that we didn't go further on the first day and just say 'this isn't right' and ask them to change their clothes - or not attend. Instead, with the huge pressures of putting on such a large show and everything that comes with it, we let it go. And that's what has prompted this debate - and we're sorry it happened," he continued. "For future shows we will be issuing formal guidelines: Booth babes are Not OK."

Is this really an issue? Because I have to say I find it a little odd that while the Eurogamer Expo makes such a big show of banning booth babes from its floor, it has no problem with scantily-clad "cosplayers," or posting pictures of them on its Facebook page. Is the woman in the photo above a booth babe or a cosplayer? And if you can't tell, then how do we determine where to draw the line - and why?

I also find myself wondering what would happen if Virgin showed up next year with a flock of muscular, oiled-up studmuffins in Speedos. Here's hoping somebody tries it.

Sources: MCV, Eurogamer

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The difference is that a cosplayer is a person attending the event as a character that they like, and the other is using sex to gain interest in their product.

Whether or not that makes a difference depends on perspective.

Also, why the " on cosplayers?

So, let's get this straight.

We will not allow men and women who aspire in their career to be models and building their portfolio and help earn a living and develop a career. Also, apparently due to how risky these models dress and given the demographic we must have it remain child friendly because someone must think of the children.

Yep it's official, the video game industry now has a religious right enforcing their morality.

Seems a good idea to me.

As for the whole Cosplay vs Booth Babe thing, I tend to think it's quite apparent those who are there and attending for cosplay compared to those who are for booth babe duties.

Generally, you'll find out if you just ask them 10 questions about the character they're playing.

I think the main difference is that booth babes tend to advertise things, cosplayers don't.

I get where they're coming from though, the whole "be interested because tits!" thing is feeling a bit insulting to be entirely honest.

I'm actually ok with this.

I don't see booth babes as adding anything of substance to these expos. Perhaps not having them available as easy marketing will encourage presenters to have something more substantive on display than than a pair of bouncing breasts.

I'm mean cosplayers is about letting people dress like they want to and express themselves, booth babes are about companies taking the level of discussion to the floor and hiring people based on looks rather than knowledge and skillset. People should get the job because they're good at what they do, not because they look hawt and are willing to wear clothes other people might find uncomfortable.

Also the vast majority of cosplayers that you linked too aren't scantily dressed. A lot of them are guys even. I had to look real hard to see what you were getting at, it's hardly flaunting, and even then it's not QR-code-on-ass level of crass

Maybe it's this picture you were objecting to them flaunting =D
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=533062460043538&set=pb.117467601603028.-2207520000.1349387469&type=1&theater

I think no-one looking at that Facebook page would think they were just selling out on sex-appeal. That's clearly just a genuine display of a lot of cool people show off some stuff they love

I'm with the idea of, rather than banning, enforcing an equal amount of booth-studs. :D

NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!! DX

Without booth babes, where are we possible going to see pictures of women in sexy outfits!?!

This isn't like we all have access to an infinite source of porn or anything!

Really, it's not like they are the only people using under-dressed women to attract guys... sex sells...

I believe I used to be against booth babes for some reason but now that I think about it... why the fuck not? Some girls get some easy cash and whoever finds them attractive gets some eye candy. Not like they're giving out $5 blowjobs.

Yeah sure they may know fuck all about the game they're promoting but that's not their job so why people even bother to ask them is beyond me.

when I go to an expo to see games, and find out more information about the cup-size, or pant-size of the people "working" the booth then the game I am disappointed in the developer. I can understand that your target market is teenage boys I get that, but instead of appealing to teenage boys through sex appeal even when your game has nothing to do with sex appeal, or has no female characters in it I am also disappointed.

hows this appeal to teenage boys through violence. heck you can even expand your target demographic with that you also pick up adolescents, and young adults, and one of those has their own money.

I have no problem with this decision.

Cosplayers always slip through the cracks.
And what gorgeous cracks they are! :P

I was hoping it'd be for some good reason, like how having them there says that gaming is still just for teenage losers, but no.

They're not allowed because god forbid a kid sees a woman dressed as scantily as she would be on a beach.

One gets paid to do it and the other is doing it for shits and giggles.

Well booth-babes are very different to cosplayers in the respect that they are not affiliated in any professional sense with the product. Paying people to get their goods out in order to shift produce is a bit dubious. Cosplayers getting their goods out because they want to? totally different.

**Looks at picture**... How old are these booth-babes? 0_o Jesus i've got to start ID-ing, keep a 'Think 21' policy like Tesco does.

Oskuro:
I'm with the idea of, rather than banning, enforcing an equal amount of booth-studs. :D

+1 Have buff guys with just a belt of ammo covering their privates for advertising shooter games to balance it all out.

I don't understand the reactionist rage here. It's not like the expo is saying that scantily clad women shouldn't be seen in public - just that they aren't spending their own marketing dollars to promote it. The expo has an image they wish to promote and they will do what it takes to promote it. This isn't as if they are attempting to get the government to ban porn.

It's funny to think that someone may think she's not a cosplayer with the big background that you stand in front of that says "cosplay". Also, she's a cosplayer because she's not costume accurate, media attractive, or posing with a chainsaw. Also booth babes are disgusting. Cosplay = acceptable. Booth babes/dudes = disgusting.

Imthatguy:
One gets paid to do it and the other is doing it for shits and giggles.

Indeed, why can I have sex with any willing woman but not pa... oh... wait... we're talking about something else... /shiftyeyes

This is exactly how thing should be. It always shocks me to see how gamers in foreign countries are exploited in such methods. It feels kind of demeaning that companies believe that having scantily clad women available will help push sales, and worse that it probably works.

Cosplay is an entirely different kettle of fish. It's perfectly fine for them to dress how they please because they're doing it for fun and not to sell a product.

DevilWithaHalo:

Imthatguy:
One gets paid to do it and the other is doing it for shits and giggles.

Indeed, why can I have sex with any willing woman but not pa... oh... wait... we're talking about something else... /shiftyeyes

XD You bring up a good point but I think we can agree that using someones baser instincts to exploit them is wrong.

Frankster:

Oskuro:
I'm with the idea of, rather than banning, enforcing an equal amount of booth-studs. :D

+1 Have buff guys with just a belt of ammo covering their privates for advertising shooter games to balance it all out.

Do I smell a petition starting?
We need to make this happen as soon as possible.

Way to grab a pic that is of/looks like it is of a cosplayer.

Otherwise it is well within their rights to say they do not want their convention to be a place where you just get pretty girls half naked to sell your product. It is about making gaming look like something for people other than horny teenagers and making sure the audience gets the information and experience they are there for.

Cosplay is completely different since it is not about selling something with slutty looking girls. It is about people that want to dress like their favorite characters to show their love for them and share their skills at making costumes. I actually think it is great that some of the people wanting to do this are women and that some of them are willing to dress revealing if that is what they want or it is the look of their character of choice. Though it is fine to draw a line of what the show should be like. You dont want exposed boobs, ass, pussy or dick at a show kids can get into. That is just not OK.

I think that this personally for the best. While i think most claims that women are treated unfairly in gaming is just a bit blown out of proportion (a man saves his captured girlfriend? Oh, the insanity!) i will admit that when it comes to booth babes, there's a legitimate argument that they are being alienated from these things. If i went to a convention and saw a bunch of underdressed guys, i'd be out in a heartbeat. Even with scantly clad women more prevalent in society than men, it's still something that shouldn't be encouraged. So yah, i'm all for this on Eurogamer's part.

I find the concept of Booth Babes offensive, but unfortunately they work in drawing publicity to your booth in other expo's. I saw many moving from Booth to Booth in a car expo, posing with the cars with the swarm of photographers following them. That's what the Booth owner wants, photos of their car on internet articles or best case, newspapers covering the event. And its a sad fact of humanity that i saw this method was used to get the most photos.

But this doesn't translate very well into gaming and i don't see the point of them being at a gaming expo in the first place (correction, i know why they're there and it offends me that they're there for that reason). It won't really attract me to head over to a booth to check out its contents, i already know what games i like and am open to looking at new ones but having a hot chick dressed scantily clad beckoning me in just makes me feel uncomfortable and won't make me check out, say, gears of war 3 (for example) because i'm not interested in that game. it doesn't feel right in the context and is degrading for the medium to have them at an expo.

By contrast, scantily clad cosplay, when done right, is fantastic for the medium as the people dressed like that want to be there and love the game they're dressed as. Its fantastic that they have the confidence to dress like that where they might get frowned on in public, but at an expo where everyone is on the same wavelength, its a chance for them to unleash their inner geek and show support for the games they love.

They made the choice to dress like that for their own benefit, to emulate a character they love. But Booth Babes were hired by a company to tantalize potential consumers over to their product and i personally find it offensive that companies think so low of their consumers that they don't have enough braincells to look at their product on its own merit and instead because attractive woman are hanging around it.

TL:DR -

Kudos to Eurogamer in my opinion, its the right move!

Imthatguy:

DevilWithaHalo:

Imthatguy:
One gets paid to do it and the other is doing it for shits and giggles.

Indeed, why can I have sex with any willing woman but not pa... oh... wait... we're talking about something else... /shiftyeyes

XD You bring up a good point but I think we can agree that using someones baser instincts to exploit them is wrong.

It's what make the world go round. Food advertisements attempt to make you hungry. Beer commercials often tug at the pants of men. Advertising is exploitation. What's your target demographic and what are they interested in?

I have a hard time sympathizing with people who choose to spend money on things they don't need for ridiculous reasons; booth babes, plastic surgery, homeopathy, etc. Why does an authority need to step in and prevent a fool from parting with his money?

Besides, banning booth babes actually saves the companies money from hiring them, and preventing the consumer from realizing the shoddy business practices said company would use to advertise their business, while simultaneously cutting into the working wages of your local model. You're harming the wrong target, since it's the company you're pissed at. Letting them waste money on a tactic that will gain them only negative press while financially supporting the models business is a win win for everyone; minus the twisted company that seeks to steal your money by offering you visual stimulation in exchange.

A model being paid to dress a certain way is no more advertising a product than a cosplayer who dresses a certain way to support something they love for the hell of it. The product is still receiving advertising. What's the difference? A few dollars changed hands? I was going to advocate that cosplayers receive a reduction in attendance costs because they're advertising various products, but I can't now because that's exploitation.

But only if they're cute? Only if the only thing they offer is visual stimulation? So if I got a hot piece of ass to wear skimpy clothing that actually knew what the fuck she was talking about, no one would take offense? Or if I paid an uglier than sin female to stand around in skimpy clothing who didn't know shit it would be OK? A chip and dales model painted like the ghost of sparta?

Well, it's a private run show and can make it's own rules. Can't wait to see the verbage on this cockeyed guideline.

Andy Chalk:

Is this really an issue? Because I have to say I find it a little odd that while the Eurogamer Expo makes such a big show of banning booth babes from its floor, it has no problem with scantily-clad "cosplayers," or posting pictures of them on its Facebook page. Is the woman in the photo above a booth babe or a cosplayer? And if you can't tell, then how do we determine where to draw the line - and why?

I think there's a difference between someone choosing to go to an expo dressed as a character, and girls being paid purely for the purpose of attracting lusty young men to their respective games. I think there is something a little seedy about using booth babes, but then, basically everything uses sex to advertise, so does it matter that this just happens to be a bit more "in the flesh" as opposed to a billboard or TV ad?

What I thought was more weird was the random people asking some of the cosplaying girls for photos. I saw a girl cosplaying as Cammy from whatever fighting games she's from, and random dudes were getting photos. Same dudes ignored the more conservatively dressed cosplayers, or cosplayers of the male persuasion. I just think it's pretty creepy to snap a picture of a random girl on your camera phone, even if you have permission.

I like this but they need to take it further, the only convention I have been to is a car one but even then it's weird ... I'm here to see cars not a stripper/hooker.

I think there should be a kind of "think of the children" dress code line, for example would you feel comfortable going to a 5 year olds party dressed like the main girl from lollipop chainsaw? I highly doubt it but would it be ok to go dressed as Chel (is it?) from portal? Yeah, that's totally fine.

I'm sure there are plenty of female geek icons to go dressed as that don't look like they stepped out of the local strip joint.

I only think this 'cos it's tacky and vulgar, I feel like the people hiring these women are being condescending towards me, like I want to be around barely clothed women like a rapper ... like "he's a red blooded heterosexual guy, of course he wants to be around beautiful women!".

I would go to these shows to look at up coming games or maybe consoles, if I wanted women I would go to a place that facilitates that.

How many of the pro booth babes/sexy cos players want them for the more mental images for the spank bank and how many want it 'cos "let people dress how they want". I think save the sexy cos play costumes for cos play events, which I am sure there are and if not I bet they will soon spring up.

Won't someone think of the companies!?!

Now they will have to rely upon the product they are advertising to generate interest.

Woe is them.

I was at Eurogamer and managed to sneak into the over-18 area. The booth babes there were ridiculous and frankly embarrassing. Some tried to pretend to have an interest in gaming by posing a toy assault rifle with people so they could take pictures but they were virtually only wearing a QR code on a piece of string and not much else.

...what if the booth babes are cosplaying of their own desire?

Tenmar:
So, let's get this straight.

We will not allow men and women who aspire in their career to be models and building their portfolio and help earn a living and develop a career. Also, apparently due to how risky these models dress and given the demographic we must have it remain child friendly because someone must think of the children.

Yep it's official, the video game industry now has a religious right enforcing their morality.

That's the thing. We are not children. We don't need booth babes. I am glad they are banned.

About time someone did this, game expos are for games, not for scantily glad women. Got enough of that at motorsport events.

As has been pointed out, cos-players are dressing up as a character, and are not simply "boobs for boobs sake" as it were. And the women above is clearly cos-playing for Lollypop Chainsaw, I could tell that and I haven't even played the damn game.

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