Eurogamer Expo Bans Booth Babes

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This is probably a small step in the right direction when it comes to helping more female gamers come out of their hidey-holes and reveal their faces in the public more often. I heard a few women expressing their dislike for attending these cons because booth babes turn them off. A woman selling products based on sexual appeal is ESPECIALLY irritating to other females who are standing in the crowd...yes I've seen the kind of looks that women in the crowd give booth babes, it's ice cold and pure evil :P

I saw some statistic claim 42% of gamers are female but to all the conventions I have been to, even a BLIND person would be able to tell that nowhere near 42% of the crowd is female. More like 10-15%, that too a good chunk of them simply tagging along with their male partners/friends. Given the sample sizes I have seen, it's fair to say either that statistic was garbage or most of the females gamers living nearby just don't feel like coming.

However I would be equally supportive of hunky oiled-up males showing up to these cons. Booth babes tend to attract the male crowd, so perhaps booth-hunks will attract the female crowd? In theory maybe, in practice I reckon booth-hunks will only kill all potential sales of the product :P

I figure if you are going to let in cosplayers you should hold them to the same standard as you would hold the companies with their employees.

What say a female employee is working on a new capcom Street Fighter game or such, and wants to dress as one of the more risqué characters (of her own free will)? Is she a boothbabe now because she is dressed sexily while promoting her game? or is she just a cosplayer at the expo?

So I will applaud them if they dont have a double standard and disallow any kind of sexyness, or just laugh at how stupid they are if they say its ok for X person to dress in sexy costume but not Y person.

Though to be fair, going through their facebook page, only one or two costumes had any amount of skin on display.

I'm confused by the confusion in the article. One group is hired models advertising a product, one group is fans having fun.

I vaguely recall some controversy when a company paid a cosplayer to advertise their game at a PAX some time back, which admittedly brings up some grey-ish areas.

But "what's the difference between a 'booth babe' and a cosplayer"? Really?

FelixG:
I figure if you are going to let in cosplayers you should hold them to the same standard as you would hold the companies with their employees.

What say a female employee is working on a new capcom Street Fighter game or such, and wants to dress as one of the more risqué characters (of her own free will)? Is she a boothbabe now because she is dressed sexily while promoting her game? or is she just a cosplayer at the expo?

So I will applaud them if they dont have a double standard and disallow any kind of sexyness, or just laugh at how stupid they are if they say its ok for X person to dress in sexy costume but not Y person.

Though to be fair, going through their facebook page, only one or two costumes had any amount of skin on display.

There is a very firm difference between booth babes and cosplayers. Booth babes are the ones posing alongside the game boxes, attempting to promote or sell the game - basically they are getting PAID to be there, that is the most obvious difference I can think of.

Meanwhile cosplayers don't get PAID to cosplay (BlizzCon seriously makes me wonder sometimes though), cosplayers aren't standing alongside game booths and not trying to sell/promote the game, they're just there in kind of a "Look at meeee, I'm a game character! Put hundreds of hours of lot of work into this costume, you people damn well appreciate it!".

Regarding what you said about a female game developer...I say allow her. It's literally her game, she was part of the creative process, she's a developer who needs all the funding/etc she can get, she's allowed to promote it.

But booth babes are nothing more than pin-up dolls for the sake of promoting the product while having no actual relation to the product (no offense to any anybody here who happens to be a booth babe <3), like those motorbike babes.

I don't mind cosplayers but using a woman,s body to sell a product is insulting to both women and men. Especially when it's not a beauty product or clothing.

I;m glad they have made this decision.

So to clarify: It's okay to allow people who flash skin and pimp products because they want to, but not okay to allow people who flash skin and pimp products because they want to get paid?

What about a woman like this, who cosplays as part of her career? Is it okay to let her in? What if Square Enix is footing her expenses?

SaintlyTurkey:
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.

There's a slight difference between "reason given", and "actual motivation". While I strongly suspect both sentiments are in play, it is much easier justifiable to ban booth babes "to protect the kids".

FelixG:

What say a female employee is working on a new capcom Street Fighter game or such, and wants to dress as one of the more risqué characters (of her own free will)? Is she a boothbabe now because she is dressed sexily while promoting her game? or is she just a cosplayer at the expo?

Not exactly a troublesome problem there: she is not cosplaying in a professional capacity, and therefor is definitely not a booth babe.
Until she starts handing out flyers, of course.

Booth Babes: Good Riddence to 'em

That means their going to have to actully market their product, and not the tits in someones face

Cosplayers: thats a bit fucked up though, someone coming in a costume (sexy or not) is their hobby, their not marketing or promoting anything.

Tenmar:
So, let's get this straight.

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

Sorry, you think the fact that the QR code positioning encourages and rewarding people taking photos of girls asses is a good thing?

imm seriously thinking that gender wars was right what the future is concerned. with all this gender themed back and forth whining...

Moonlight Butterfly:
I don't mind cosplayers but using a woman,s body to sell a product is insulting to both women and men. Especially when it's not a beauty product or clothing.

I;m glad they have made this decision.

I'm pretty sure the "booth-babes" are there voluntarily and that they get a good deal of easy money for what they do. hell if I could earn money by standing next to a random stall in my speed-o (which I don't have... or day I......) all do I'd probably take the job.

So I want to hear what the "boothbabes" think! if there are any on this site.
It might just so happen that this means a woman somewhere wont be able to pay rent because some people who aren't directly effected complain too much. Its almost like complaining about weed, it doesn't hurt anyone directly but it keeps people busy while important stuff is going on.

If you want to help exploited woman (and men for that matter) how about looking at the real issues first and leaving the unimportant crap for what it is.

http://www.humantrafficking.org/

BrotherRool:
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.

I don't think that those two things have to be mutually exclusive. Why not hire some booth babes for the sake of their attractiveness and also hire other staff that really is into the game and can answer various detailed questions, so every visitor could decide which one to approach. Just because there are pretty girls around who may not know anything about gaming, does not mean you are somehow forced to any interaction with them. I would understand an opposing reaction to this policy of hiring booth babes, if there was any actual damage resulting to the expo. Yet everyone who thinks this is a cheap and shallow way of marketing can just pass them by, rather than complaining about their sheer existence.

Was the "Euro"gamer Expo held in the states or Australia?
Because that's who I expect this crap from, not progressive sex-laden cultures from Europe.

Andy Chalk:
So to clarify: It's okay to allow people who flash skin and pimp products because they want to, but not okay to allow people who flash skin and pimp products because they want to get paid?

A pretty crude way of putting it, but sure.

I'm really not seeing what's so difficult here.

Andy Chalk:
What about a woman like this, who cosplays as part of her career? Is it okay to let her in? What if Square Enix is footing her expenses?

Okay, now this is more difficult, albeit mainly because I really don't know what that woman's deal is. Is she getting paid by companies to bring attention to their product with her body?

Then yeah, sure, that's a booth babe.

Good move on the part of Eurogamer. If they can't sort it out themselves, ban it.

I also don't get how the writer of that article could confuse cosplayers and boothbabes. Cosplayers choose voluntarily to look however they do. Boothbabes are paid to show off tits and arses, like strippers except the 'clothes' stay on. The two are very, very different.

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.

Yeah, because dressing up like a whore for money is a legit career path that will really get a person somewhere....

As for calling it religious censorship. You should have a taste of actual religious oppression. After that you'd know better than to confuse the removal of strippers to appease sad wankers, with religious oppression.

Andy how can we question this after we agreed all pretty much agreed about the state of fail that is E3 ?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/firstperson/9741-Lets-Stop-Pretending-E3-Is-A-Professional-Event

yes it's maybe over judicious use of the word "we"...you always have the option to sue i suppose :P

but aren't you just playing devils advocate for the sake of it here ?
"but what about this ? but what about that ?"

you sound like my mother -.-

"Booth Babes" are not cosplayers and you know it.

"Booth Babes" are an idea from the mind of a marketing man and their presence has nothing to do with games or fandom and everything to do with the simplistic mantra that "sex sells" and puerile assumption about who the audience for games is.

an assumption that in this day and age simply shouldn't be made.

it's a gaming expo it doesn't need to be like a hooters field trip.
and the fact that it is in some cases is insulting to gaming and gamers.
it assumes this is us:
image

well that's not us -.-
and the more idiotic marketing men learn that the better.

hooters is for hooters. gaming expos ARE FOR GAMES (and "all the family").

the only T&A i wanna see at one are animated ones and they better be more than just T&A for the sake of T&A.
(imma lookin at you team ninja...)

I'm just shocked that it's in europe and not the united states. I thought you guys were supposed to be all sexually free and we're the repressed ones.

I see all the comments about the difference in them, but aesthetically, there is virtually no difference. It's just stupid that this is even a thing. One sexed up person is not different than another.

Baresark:
It's just stupid that this is even a thing.

Exactly, i just fell in love with you... on a platonic level
But really, no one feels offended about large amounts of skin revealed on a beach or anywhere else, so why feel offended by booth girls?
Of course it has nothing to do with gaming, but its only a nice optional add-on.
When ordering a dinner menu which comes including olives, you can simply leave them on the plate, instead of raging against the waitress about how she dares doing you such wrong.

I don't see the problem here quite frankly. I'm sure by now everyone has seen the picture of the "stereotypical gamer" taking a picture on his phone of the two very attractive booth babes. I think that catering to gamers as if they have never seen a woman, much less had sex with one is ridiculous.

My take on this is rather simple: If a company makes a solid product, how about they market the PRODUCT itself. If the product is good enough for me to consider buying on its own merit, then adding an attractive woman won't make me want to buy it any more or any less. Whereas if it is a crappy product, then all I will remember about the product is, "Man, that product SUCKED! But at least there was a pretty lady there to ease my pain." In no way would it sway me to buy said product.

Now don't get me wrong here, I have no problem at all with people dressing up as characters from a product on their OWN INITITATIVE(added for emphasis) because that shows their fanhood. But paying attractive women(or men for that matter) to draw people in seems pretty shallow to me and expresses the lack of faith in the product the company may have.

All of that being said....ladies if you keep dressing up in sexy cosplay costumes, I will smile and be happy.

Thoughts?

Andy Chalk:
So to clarify: It's okay to allow people who flash skin and pimp products because they want to, but not okay to allow people who flash skin and pimp products because they want to get paid?

What about a woman like this, who cosplays as part of her career? Is it okay to let her in? What if Square Enix is footing her expenses?

That's a load, Andy, and you know it. One group is there because they want to show off their costumes, and the work that went into them, and their dedication to their favorite franchises. One group is there because some marketing genius realized that sex sells. Entirely different.

I don't have an opinion on booth models or the idea using them. Banning them just seems puritanical and childish.

PAX has long had a policy against booth babes and its show floor is better for it. Glad to see other shows finally getting on board.

Rahuzero:

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.

Sexuality is not for children (same goes for heavy violence, but parents don't give a shit about THAT). They had their own section, leaving people a choice. There's nothing wrong with people enjoying the sight of the gender of their choice dressed provocatively so long as it has its own area.

If gamers don't want that aspect of the sales pitch, they don't have to go in and have companies decide for themselves to end the practice.

Blablahb:
Good move on the part of Eurogamer. If they can't sort it out themselves, ban it.

I also don't get how the writer of that article could confuse cosplayers and boothbabes. Cosplayers choose voluntarily to look however they do. Boothbabes are paid to show off tits and arses, like strippers except the 'clothes' stay on. The two are very, very different.

Uhhh, the only difference is one gets paid for it, both are doing it because they want to. Their clothes staying on is the OPPOSITE of stripper, so they aren't like stripper. That's how the nanny state gets its power though.

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.

Yeah, because dressing up like a whore for money is a legit career path that will really get a person somewhere....

Ahem...
image

Sleekit:
"Booth Babes" are an idea from the mind of a marketing man and their presence has nothing to do with games or fandom and everything to do with the simplistic mantra that "sex sells" and puerile assumption about who the audience for games is.

an assumption that in this day and age simply shouldn't be made.

Only by your standards.

It doesn't matter what day and age we are in, until every man on the planet has absolutely no thoughts of sex ever again, sex sells will always be true. (Edit: Almost forgot, same thing applies to women too in the thought department.)

Sleekit:
it's a gaming expo it doesn't need to be like a hooters field trip.

Again, advertising. What does expo stand for?

Expo (exhibition), short for "exposition"

----A trade fair, an exhibition where companies in an industry showcase and demonstrate their latest products

--------Computer expo, a trade fair focused on computers and electronics

Why would they do such a thing? Advertising.
What is one of the main points of good advertising? Using something to grab the attention of a consumer. Note that I didn't say all consumers. That is why there usually isn't just one type of advertising for a product; there are usually multiple ones with each one going after a different demographic.

Sleekit:
and the fact that it is in some cases is insulting to gaming and gamers.
it assumes this is us:

I don't know what image you intended to post since it didn't show up, but I'm betting it had something to do with the point that you are saying that companies assume that all gamers like to look at attractive girls.

Now the problem with your argument is that you are looking at the gamer demographic as one single entity, and also that you think that companies are doing the same. They aren't, which is why the sex styled advertising isn't the only advertising companies use.

Sleekit:
well that's not us -.-

Who are you talking about? Considering you have no qualifiers, you appear to think that all gamers think like you.
News flash: Not all gamers are the same. Different ways of advertising attract different types of gamers.

Sleekit:
and the more idiotic marketing men learn that the better.

It's not idiotic marking; it is smart marketing. I don't buy games just for that point that an attractive girl will be in it(doesn't matter if she is a ditzy stereo type or a strong woman), but it will get me more interested in games I'm already interested in. But of course there are the gamers that occasionally buy a game just for that(it isn't wrong; it is just something they like). Everybody has a guilty pleasure, doesn't matter if it is mundane, exotic, or "taboo".

Sleekit:
hooters is for hooters. gaming expos ARE FOR GAMES (and "all the family").

Yes expos are for games. But again, what is one of the things expos are for? Advertising.

Now the Eurogames Expo said that as a short-term measure, they asked the companies to move their booths and/or booth babes to the 18+ section.

As far as that label is concerned, that is where all the worries and/or complaining should have stopped. It is an 18+ section, that means adult, and what is a part of being an adult, sex. It's not like they didn't have clothes on. So what if they wore skimpy clothes. Boo-hoo!

Oh, did the thought of QR codes on girls shorts or maybe printed on there skin near their butts offend some people? Boo-hoo!

If Eurogamer doesn't want such advertising, then they can just not have an 18+ section(and watch a good chunk of the patronage they get disappear).

The only fault on the companies is that they didn't originally have these girls prancing around just in the 18+ section.

And again, boo-hoo! So, some people were offended.....and the world keeps turning. The Eurogamer Expo will lose more business/attendees from the banning of booth babes than from people that were offended.

People can be offended by such things, but I say so what, I don't care.

Sleekit:

the only T&A i wanna see at one are animated ones and they better be more than just T&A for the sake of T&A.
(imma lookin at you team ninja...)

So what if a game has T&A for the sake of it? If a game designer wants that in their game, then that is there choice, and they get the rating to match the content.

I'm all for games having strong and independent women that are there for more than just looks, but I don't all games to just have that, because that would be boring. Just as it is unrealistic that all girls in games are dependent weaklings that need to be saved or wooed, it is also unrealistic to have it where all girls in games are strong and independent.

Because realistically, it doesn't matter how much education there is out there about how all people with some work can be strong and take care of themselves, there will always be people that will not become that.

Andy Chalk:
So to clarify: It's okay to allow people who flash skin and pimp products because they want to, but not okay to allow people who flash skin and pimp products because they want to get paid?

A woman who gets paid to put on a costume is being exploited by the patriarchy.

A woman who chooses to put on a costume for fun suffers from internalized misogyny.

Rocklobster99:

A woman who gets paid to put on a costume is being exploited by the patriarchy.

So who is a man being exploited by when they get paid to put on costumes that appeal to the sexual fantasies of women?

Because that happens as well, maybe not with gaming as much, but with other products.

Rocklobster99:

A woman who chooses to put on a costume for fun suffers from internalized misogyny.

Yes because women that like dressing up in costume suffer from some big bad thing. --sarcasm--

You know, it couldn't be because she actually finds if fun....could it?

Oh no, she couldn't be doing it for fun or that she likes the character she is dressing up as. She has to secretly hate her sex or herself.

Ugh, seriously, there are too many people that look at these matters like they are some absolute black and white subject.

Sonic Doctor:
News flash: Not all gamers are the same.

well done for noticing.

now tell the marketing men and explain to them why using sexual advertising via "babes" at a show that is open to all and no doubt hopes to attract as many as possible including women, familys and children is dumb.

when you pander to a stereotype it reinforces it.

reinforcing the stereotype that gamers are all single men that want to ogle scantily dressed women harms the gaming industries growth and wider public acceptance as does actually having the women there at all because vast swathes of people who now play video games find that kind of thing inappropriate in an arena they have entered TO LOOK AT NEW VIDEO GAMES AND NOT IN PURSUIT OF SEMI NAKED WOMEN.

it's simply not needed and it most definitely is not "smart".

and its not "just me".

E3 got slated on this very site by articles saying the exact same thing: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/firstperson/9741-Lets-Stop-Pretending-E3-Is-A-Professional-Event

NameIsRobertPaulson:
That's a load, Andy, and you know it. One group is there because they want to show off their costumes, and the work that went into them, and their dedication to their favorite franchises. One group is there because some marketing genius realized that sex sells. Entirely different.

But you're not answering the question. Is it okay for her to attend as an independent cosplayer with the intent of promoting and advancing her own career and business?

So many of you guys want to paint this as a simple, black-and-white issue, and yet what you're really trying to do is set the terms under which people can and cannot flash cleavage at game shows. How do you argue that that's not a completely arbitrary distinction?

Some people clearly don't understand.

Apparently, most folks think the only thing at stake here is whether or not you find the booth babes appealing.

"I'm not sexist, so I'm okay with this."
"I like booth babes, so I'm not okay with this."

Some people touched on the glaring breech of rights and how these are not children but adults making a decision. Not many people here considering the civil rights and controversy in that...

"First they came for the booth babes, but I wasn't a booth babe, so I didn't speak up." etc

nexus:
Some people touched on the glaring breech of rights and how these are not children but adults making a decision. Not many people here considering the civil rights and controversy in that...

its a business enterprise in a privately owned venue : they can place any restrictions on the exhibitors they want.

Sleekit:

Sonic Doctor:
News flash: Not all gamers are the same.

well done for noticing.

now tell the marketing men and explain to them why using sexual advertising via "babes" at a trade show that is open to and hopes to attract all gamers including children, familys and women is dumb.

when you pander to a stereotype it reinforces it.

reinforcing the stereotype that gamers are all men that like to ogle women like they have never seen one before harms the gaming industries growth and wider public acceptance.

and its not "just me". E3 got slated on this very site by staff articles saying the exact same thing: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/firstperson/9741-Lets-Stop-Pretending-E3-Is-A-Professional-Event

Your first point:

On children: They said they had a 18+ section. So that point is moot, because it would be the parents own damn fault for letting the kids go in that section.

On women: Really, so what?

I'm offended by people wearing big fuzzy bunny costumes, but you wouldn't see me raising a stink at a store that had one there for the little kids that like such things.

I would have the same mentality with a game that was aimed at women and had suggestively outfitted guys at the booth. If the company is doing it to attract those types of people to buy their product, more power to them.

Short of doing anything illegal, if I ran a company that sold some-kind or multiple products, I would do anything to get more people to buy my product. I would be looking to make as much money as possible. Of course I would way the amount of people I turned away with the advertising, but seriously, the number of people those companies offended are a whole lot less then the number of people they attracted.

On your second point:

Stereotypes: The reason stereotypes are a big problem or even seen as a big problem is because people make such big stinks over them. Those booth babes are choosing to do what they do, they want to make money. If a girl wants to use her looks as an asset to make money, we should be standing there saying she can't.

That article says nothing to me, because I for one think that people have no business dictating how a company can and can't advertise with legal tactics.

There is way too much pushing towards controlling people and their messages and actions these days, probably more then ever before. Things will be better with more freedom, not less.

the 18+ section was separated off from the main show and the women were moved there until they covered up.

a private company running an event in a private arena can make any restrictions on who gets in it wants.

i know: i used to run raves and man the door.

so quit using the "freedom" argument.

or better still try it out when a bouncer stops you getting in a club...

Normally I'd probably say to let them do whatever the hell they want, but really, I just can't. I always feel insulted when companies think that they can spark my interest in their product by flashing some tits in my face, after all we are just stupid fat neckbeards in our mother's basements that will never touch a vagina in our lives.

nexus:
Some people clearly don't understand.

Apparently, most folks think the only thing at stake here is whether or not you find the booth babes appealing.

"I'm not sexist, so I'm okay with this."
"I like booth babes, so I'm not okay with this."

Some people touched on the glaring breech of rights and how these are not children but adults making a decision. Not many people here considering the civil rights and controversy in that...

"First they came for the booth babes, but I wasn't a booth babe, so I didn't speak up." etc

Of course I'm in the category of your second quotation marked line, but I also agree with that last point you made at the end.

I also am looking at it from a the freedom of a company aspect as well. My play on it would be, "First they came for the booth babe advertising style, but since my company doesn't use that style of advertising, I didn't speak up."

What's next? Companies aren't allowed to attract kids to cereal with cartoon characters, because some adults don't like that the company is pandering to kids to get them to like a cereal that said adults like.

Sonic Doctor:

nexus:
Some people clearly don't understand.

Apparently, most folks think the only thing at stake here is whether or not you find the booth babes appealing.

"I'm not sexist, so I'm okay with this."
"I like booth babes, so I'm not okay with this."

Some people touched on the glaring breech of rights and how these are not children but adults making a decision. Not many people here considering the civil rights and controversy in that...

"First they came for the booth babes, but I wasn't a booth babe, so I didn't speak up." etc

Of course I'm in the category of your second quotation marked line, but I also agree with that last point you made at the end.

I also am looking at it from a the freedom of a company aspect as well. My play on it would be, "First they came for the booth babe advertising style, but since my company doesn't use that style of advertising, I didn't speak up."

What's next? Companies aren't allowed to attract kids to cereal with cartoon characters, because some adults don't like that the company is pandering to kids to get them to like a cereal that said adults like.

do you have ANY idea what a false equivalence is ?

these are events open to the general public which are there to show VIDEO GAMES hoping to attract as large an audience as possible as is gaming itself in general.

its an entertainment industry that appeals to everyone.

there are no "booth babes" at film festivals.
there are no "booth babes" at music festivals.
there is NO justification for "booth babes" at game "festivals".

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