A gay gamer who submitted a photo of himself with a "booth dude" to EA's "Sin to Win" contest at Comic-Con got a bit of a surprise when he was selected as a runner-up winner.
The "Sin to Win" contest in support of Dante's Inferno did not go over well. While intended to be tongue-in-cheek, the idea that EA was urging Comic-Con attendees to commit "acts of lust" with every booth babe at the show struck many people as stupid, offensive or, most commonly, both. Among them was PixelPoet of GayGamer, who thought the contest was not only sexist and misogynist but was also yet another example of the industry overlooking the LGBT demographic. So he decided to take action.
"I sent in my photo of me with a burly man that I took at PAX last year as a humorous portrayal of how [the] contest is not only misogynistic and demeaning to the women that attended the conventions, but also to anyone that doesn't follow the hetero-normative ideal," he wrote. "I know booth babes (and guys) get paid to man those booths and deal with gawkers, but there are also PR, production, and development people at those booths caught in the crossfire of dealing with people trying to do 'acts of lust' with them to win your contest."
But his fun, light-hearted approach took a turn for the interesting when he was "randomly" drawn as a runner-up, which earned him a free t-shirt and $240 EA Store gift card. Staying true to his principles, he sent a polite email to EA declining the prize and requesting they put the money toward other, more worthy causes. He also expressed hope that his selection wasn't entirely random at all and that EA is actually trying to appeal to a broader audience.
I wouldn't be terribly shocked if that's the case and even if not, the fact that EA didn't reject the entry outright casts the company in a positive light. The contest itself most certainly didn't, but this can at least be seen as a little bit of good coming out of a really bad idea.