More about Booth Babes

Candace, 21 April 2006, Comments Off on More about Booth Babes
Categories: Boothbabes, E3, Feminism, Sexism, Sexuality, Technology

So Noah wants to bring back the booth babes. He’s a 17 year old high school student (technically not even old enough to get in to E3) and he’s crying that taking booth babes out of E3 is a travesty.


There is more to life than booth babes. I don’t go to E3 for the booth babes. This will be my 3rd year going and I go to play games, try new toys, get warm, be a tourist, hang out with geeks, do some research, and of course, collect swag. I am thrilled with the decision to put an end to booth babes. It’s sickening to watch the geeks line up, with their state-of-the-art digital cameras no less, and take turns taking pictures of each other with their arms wrapped around one of the models. It’s sad to watch the wanna-be starlets pimped into this sort of role. According to Robin in 2004 there were women who “were also inserting candy between their butt cheeks (while clothed, but still) and asking developers to BEND OVER AND TAKE IT OUT WITH THEIR TEETH.” Barf.

It’s about time this conference applies the same standards of sexual responsibility that we apply everywhere else. Don’t like it? Don’t come. All the more swag for me.

A recurring suggestion is that we add some boothdudes to the mix to appease the women attendees.

roman 4449

Here’s a pic of a booth dude that I snapped last year, in front of the display for Gods & Heroes. Notice that he’s promoting this game without any problem and he doesn’t have to sell his body to do it. Go figure. I don’t need naked men at my gaming conference and I doubt I’d be seeing any. I’m all for a clothing optional lifestyle, but this is exploitation and that’s demeaning. I want to talk to the developers, try the latest stuff, learn something and have some fun. Isn’t anyone else there for that?

I’m really curious if there were more women attending last year as gamers/developers/industry pros or as boothbabes. I’d like to believe that the number of female attendees are rising and I’m hoping that this year with the new policy there will be even more women attending. I’m also hoping that the men who value women for who they are as individuals, fully complete with brains, personalities, ideas, thoughts, etc. will speak up and say they’ve had enough of this exploitation too. I’m hoping for the day when I can walk through the expo without having to see games like 3feel on larger than life screens.

Boothbabes are more proof of a patriarchal gender-power imbalance that is pervasive in our culture. Women’s bodies are exploited – discussion of it is all through this blog and many others. Evidence to see for yourself is easy to find in the media around you. Truth is, there’s a dominant group of men who have power, and they’ll do what they want. If they want bodies up there they’ll buy some. And if you’re into boothbabes then you fit with this group. If you support it you are condoning the subordination of women. No way around it. If women had other options do you think they’d honestly choose to be a booth babe? Like Wendy said in a comment of another post, also about exploiting women’s bodies, “is it that people really want to cook fries or is it that they would live in poverty if they didn’t otherwise”? There’s choice and then there’s choice. I applaud this progress. Now if only they could do something about the ERA.

I know Rob is going to say that taking the boothbabes out of E3 takes the fun out of the conference – but is that what you really think? Really really? Do you really believe it’s justified to use a woman’s body to sell a game? Would you want your daughter working there?


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  1. or maybe something uplifting...
    23 April 2006, 7:45 pm

    What do I think about Booth Babes?

    The daughter card? Right out of the gate? Isn’t that something like the thing about losing a thread by comparing the other party to Hitler? I’ll go remind her not to stick candy in her butt.
    Anyhow, let me say that I don’t

  2. Christian
    24 April 2006, 7:57 pm

    I say Brink back the booth babes!! E3 is a sausage fest, a few scantily clad woman never hurt anyone.

  3. Dog
    27 April 2006, 1:35 am

    Ah, the old exploitation of female bodies and the flunking of logic 101. What is being exploited is the weakness of male minds when faced with an even remotely-attractive female body, not the female bodies. Compare: you wave some meat in front of a dog’s nose to get the dog to sit. It’s not the meat that’s being exploited, it’s the dog’s weakness to meat.

  4. Candace
    27 April 2006, 7:14 am

    Wow. Gee. Thank you Rob, Christian, and Dog for leaving your comments, making your points and setting me straight on this one. I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess I got carried away. My bad.

  5. Noah Powell
    27 April 2006, 8:55 pm

    1.) my name is noah, not justin.

    2.) i am in fact 17. yet i have gone to four of the last five E3s. huh.

    3.) you are ghey.

    no, seriously, all the people who hate booth babes act like they somehow take away from the e3 experience. but guess what? all that other stuff was there before. you can have your meetings and get your swag and hang out with geeks. how does ogling unemployed actresses take away from all that?

    granted, the whole “ass cheek” thing you mentioned is pretty stupid. i don’t think any self-respecting booth babe would agree to that.

    but seriously, why all the vitriol? if people don’t like booth babes, why not complain to the companies that use them? why a total ban?

    ps: thanks for posting your comments on my site. oh wait, you didn’t — you put them on your site. well, at least you linked to me.

  6. ross
    27 April 2006, 11:25 pm

    This guy is gay! Was anyone able to actually read his whole article? Sucks to be his friend. Who wouldn’t like half naked chicks in front of them? Doesn’t every sport on earth have them. You must not get out much. I would not be offended if my daughter was using her god given persona to make some coin in this matter. This ain’t porn. Due to the fact he went on and on about booth dudes, this queer should be banned not the hot chicks!

  7. Rob
    28 April 2006, 10:32 am

    @Justin, er, Noah, I posted a comment on your site a few days ago and it hasn’t shown up. Granted it wasn’t anything particularly insiteful, but why should anyone comment if it’s not going to go anywhere? And how about a credit for my pic?

    “Who wouldn’t like half naked chicks in front of them?”
    Maybe a hetero woman? Do you people read? “Third Wave Feminism”, “I’m going to BlogHer”… Is it possible the author here is a woman?

    I think Dog has a point – that the guys are just as exploited here as the women, but I don’t see it as a logical fallacy.

  8. Mooshu
    28 April 2006, 10:40 am

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, (I do this a bit, the number of limbs that have snapped below me! It would astound you.. I’ll never learn) by makeing a few comments, starting from the end and going to the begining, since everyone knows the last page is always more interesting.

    Firstly, Ross, I’m not “100 percent sure” because I don’t see an “About me” link, but honestly, my guess is this blog does “not” belong to a guy, and there are no “his” friends. This is because though I am male, and 99 percent of my thoughts come from between my legs, I was able to read a few things. The URL for one, is Femilicious. That sounds like a combination of Female, and Delicious. Also, If you do a really quick check on the “archives” the first post would point to this being a females blog.

    Next, while personally I’m going to have to agree, that nixing booth babes sucks, maybe, just maybe it will inspire companies to actually put something out at E3 that’s worth going for! I’m tired of standing in line to play buggy demo’s of poorley made games, and see previews of hardware I could watch online a week later. Honestly, E3 – Is a waste. It’s currently an expensive place where geeks can go and feel comfortable while staring at half naked women. I’m sure they are only saddened by the fact they have to keep their pants on. There’s nothing at E3 noteworthy of attending for. It’s hot, crowded, and most of the exhibits are lacking, or display poor workmanship in their games.

    Next, I don’t feel that “booth babes” for the most part are degrading themselves. Some women enjoy that kind of attention. I don’t understand it, but they do it. It’s also her choice to do, whatever she wants. While I’m personally not a fan of porn, and find it pretty disgusting, If a female wants to be a porn star, it’s her choice. I don’t care. I think the analogy that these “poor women” are selling their bodies for work, is silly.

    And in closing, I don’t have a “clue” how I ended up here, but GGL keep sending me newsletters, and like a fool I click on every link, and read every article. Even Mr. Powell’s blog ranting about booth babes. Anyone that want’s to call me out on my opinons, Go for it. In fact, I encourage it, MShuPork is always up for getting called out on AIM, esspecially if it means I can attempt to run rhetoric circles around you.

    Oh, and in closing, with a small amount of research (All of maybe 2 minutes) this blog belongs to Candice, so Ross, please, if your going to defend booth babes, find someone who isn’t so couthless to do it for you. You make all men look like rabid dogs on the prowl for any peice of ass they can find. Pitiful


  9. daveksystktttt
    28 April 2006, 7:20 pm

    heh, you guys are retards, give it up.

  10. Noah Powell
    28 April 2006, 7:26 pm

    What pic?

  11. loltoyourface
    28 April 2006, 7:56 pm

    your gay arent you? yes you are dont lie.

  12. Rob
    28 April 2006, 9:53 pm

    The pic I took at GDC then posted at flickr, Candace reposted here and you’ve got hosted at imageshack. It’s not a big deal to me, but if you’re going to gripe about bloggers writing about you instead of commenting on your page (where they won’t get posted anyhow)…

    I just wish I remembered who it was at GDC that had the thing up. They used their boothbabe for an analogy to their automatic game balancing system. Not the perfect analogy, but pretty funny.

    Btw, since then I’ve seen it cropped down on joystiq too. Anywhere else?

  13. Mooshu
    29 April 2006, 7:53 am

    In the Archives under “Who am I?”

    Reading through even a few of the posts here you should be able to figure out in mere seconds that this belongs to a female, if of course the URL wasn’t enough of a clue.

    If your still stumped, clink on the contact link for the quickest route of noticing her name is Candice.

    And, please, do everyone a favor and try to act as though your maturity is at least a notch or two above that of a 3 year old, by finding a better retort to someones opinion then “3.) you are ghey.”. After someone reads that, other then the rather immature crowd who will laugh and think “he pwnz0red j00 hahahahahaha”, they are predisposed to think of any further comments as worthless, even if they do hold any noteworthy points, even though yours didn’t, it most deffinitly did not help you in the long run.

  14. Noah Powell
    02 May 2006, 2:07 pm

    t’s not a big deal to me, but if you’re going to gripe about bloggers writing about you instead of commenting on your page (where they won’t get posted anyhow)…

    sorry, didn’t realize you were a n00b. let me help you with the internet thing:

    1.) put up a pic, and it’s not yours any more. this is why many n00bs put stupid “watermarks” on “their” images. the rest of us just crop them off. wanna keep a photo your own forever? print it on photo paper and put it in a scrap book.

    2.) which has nothing to do with not responding to people’s blogs. i responded to your blog in two places — my blog AND yours. just responding on my own blog would have been dumb for two reasons. (1) it’s not a “conversation” – we don’t know we’re responding to each other, and people can’t follow. and (2) we’re driving hits to each other’s sites. which is the point.

    where they won’t get posted anyhow
    i know what each of the words means, but it makes no sense as a sentence. if YOU post a response on my blog, then you have posted a response on my blog.

  15. Noah Powell
    02 May 2006, 2:08 pm

    apparently, my html skillz = teh suxk

  16. Administrator
    02 May 2006, 2:41 pm

    Actually Noah, you’re posting on my (Candace’s) blog, not Rob’s blog. I found your blog when you first linked to me. I wrote about it here because I thought it would interest my readers. I’m sorry I got your name wrong. I fixed it as soon as it was pointed out to me.

    About Rob’s pic (or any pic for that matter) – Rob put it up on flickr, which is where I found it. I asked his permission to use it and I credited him when I posted it. This is pretty standard. You didn’t ask or credit, neither did joystiq. Photosharing happens, and Rob has said it’s no big deal – but it is good form to give credit. He has a creative commons license on the original and it is technically *his* intellectual property. I’m glad you thought it was a cool picture. It’s certainly cool to see it getting around.

    As far as posting comments on blogs re Rob’s comment: if set for moderation, comments won’t show until they’re approved by the admin. That’s the case here and might be on yours as well if Rob says his comments haven’t appeared on your blog. (btw, you can use a trackback if you want to respond to a post on your own blog, but feel free to continue responding here if you can tone down the ad hominems).

  17. Adam
    03 May 2006, 7:18 am

    i got as far as reading ‘There is more to life than booth babes’ before seeing the irony in this statement. Apparently there isn’t more to your life than booth babes..let’s face it you’ve spent your own personal time writing some 650 words debating about them… obviously there isn’t much more to your life at the moment…

  18. emilio
    05 May 2006, 1:19 pm

    Well, I’m not going to pour over the archives to see the arguments on either side, but I think it is important to point out the behavior of people that feel this issue is important.
    On the pro booth babe side we have comments such as “you must be gay”, and “E3 without a bevy of nerd-tantalizing semi-clothed babes is like Christmas without Santa Claus.” So no argument actually, just young males complaining that sex is cool, and fun, and a natural part of video games/electronics, oh and that the coca-cola inspired holiday we call christmas (supposedly in honor of the birth of the christian messiah) is really about some old man bringing you free stuff.

    Here is the problem _boys_ your mental environment is shaped by your beliefs AND by your behavior, and you paint a sad picture of yourselves. You either want to stare at half-nakid women, flashy video games, and anyone who challenges that dim-witted perspective is labeled a “ghey”. Thats it.

    I’m not saying sex or video games (in and of themselves) are bad, but a mind focused on them is going to be stunted b/c ther is more to life than material/superficial gains.

    Second, and this point really grates on my nerves, the use of the term ghey/gay whenever you want to put someone in their place. You are using the negative stereotype of being homosexual (created by fundamentalist christians AND making fun of homosexuals and attempting to make the other person feel that their might be gay) as leverage to win a COMPLETELY inane argument. Of course, you don’t see it this way a) b/c you are young aka self-centered, and b) b/c all you focus on is what you want and how you are going to get it. So, you use your knowledge that we live in a democracy to say whatever you want, yet you do exactly what democracy fights against, you marginalize, trivialize, and manipulate anyone you desire.

    Your behavior says “I just want to have sex” “I just want to play” “anyone who wants me to think beyond that is oppressing me, and since I live in a democracy I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to, so help me god, or so long as I have money”

    I’ll have to finish later, sorry, gtg.

  19. Errant
    07 May 2006, 2:25 pm

    Sigh I’m sorry Emillo, you are almost entirely correct – however you used alot of the negative arguments thrown up by the ‘young males’.

    Ok, hold on, comment on the topic of booth babes. It is just a case opf the sad fact (or not so sad really) that sex sells – and in the case of elctronics / gaming the main customer base is male (at the moment). No one can disagree with that, wether it is wrong or not the majority of E3 attendee’s are male! Hence the use of booth babes. The way I see it everyone wins with boob baes.

    The ‘babes’ get hard cash, the stands get customers and the geeks get to oggle. If it offends you look past it!

    The problem I think (on this article at least) is feminism. Something that I have a big problem with. Not because I feel women deserve a minority role (as if) but because there should (and really is) very little need for it. In modern society people are no longer judged by their sex, maybe by ethnicity / colour etc. but not sex. Sure there are many cases of individuals who promote sexist ideas BUT that goes both ways. The number of times a 40odd yr old female shop assistant behind the counter leaves me till last (even if im first) simply because I am young and male! And that is just one example.

    Sure stereotyping and hate of someone different is wrong but trust me, try being a 19yr old male Stundent computer geek who wears a beanie hat (because I like it) and a long coat, oh and no good at sports. Older people don’t trust me, younger people dislike me for being older. My image never scores trust marks with most people. Oh and I am a computer ‘geek’ and proud so that makes me essentially a social leper.

    My point is this, ask the majority of people going to the E3 wether the booth babes bother them (including the booth babes even) and I bet most of the dissenting voices will be women! On the basis that it is demeaning. Well at least they have chosen to demean themselves! Alot of people get no choice in the matter.
    Ok so back to emilio, are you a women? Do you consider yourself a feminist? Well you are not making a good show. You purport to be all in favour of dropping the booth babes for lack of reasonable argument aghainst it, and you also say that it is important to point out the behaviour of both sides.
    Yes it is, and how about yours? You have (as far as i could work out) introduced at least one social stereotype into your comment, and probably a few more. Oh and how about this:

    “Your behavior says “I just want to have sex” “I just want to play” “anyone who wants me to think beyond that is oppressing me, and since I live in a democracy I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to, so help me god, or so long as I have money””

    Well you seem to have the same attitude! We should all listen to everoyne and learn from them, that is how it works.

    To sum up, life is much more complicated than right or wrong. The subject of booth babes is a prime example. As Rob (mentioned by the ariginal poster) says they are part of the E3 for good or for bad, and really the bad is not that bad! Give me a resoned and quantified argument (other than it is demeaning) that it is bad, not that I am saying there is a reasoned argument that it is good of course just that this is a silly topic that was better left well alone!

    Oh and yes gay as an insult is disgusting, unfortunately the younger generation doesn’t seem to understand that!!

    Apologies for the appalling spelling but I am in a rush 🙂

  20. Toprob
    09 May 2006, 2:03 pm

    Hi all I stumbled on this blog while browsing Clanbase, which is a sister/daughter of the GGL as u may or may not know. I take it you are all Americans. I am Dutch, so exuse the bad English..
    To get ontopic, I really hate to see the boothbabes go. You say that it is one of the bad things of the E3. And while I’ve never been on the E3 myself, the only interesting things on the E3 where the boothbabes. This is because the developers only produce CRAP these days.
    Maybe its sad, but the only thing that could make the EA stand interesting is some smoking hot ass. And well if ur a women on the E3 I can imagine that ur in some way threatend by those babes their appearance. But Thats what the visitors want to look at.
    Why is it bad that attractive girls pose in skimpy outfits next to a gamebooth? Degrading? Thats just bullshit, these girls chose to be a boothbabe and no one is abusing them in any way. I think that if u ask them they’d say that they enjoy beeing a boothbabe. And anyone that opposes boothbabes must be either a middle aged or older women, a feminist, some hag that’s jealous of the attention and the pay they get, a realy ugly girl who can’t even score a nerd or some guys who has a feminist girlfriend that hacked his penis off.

    Its not that I hate feminists, but I really like to look at hot girls. Its a hobby! Would u rather have me be a serial killer, rapist or something in that direction? I mean its not like these babes get abused or anything, they are also not being objectified. They are just being admired, and girls thrive on attention from guys even if they are unatractive. And if u don’t u really are gay.

    Gz Robert

  21. wangmauler
    10 May 2006, 12:26 am

    women > quake1 > christopher lower > counterstrike. end of story. .

  22. Sentinel
    10 May 2006, 7:20 am

    Booth Babes out of E3. There are three words for this Fascist (or F*cking) Christian Censorship (oops, I censored myself ;)). Oooooh sex is a scary thing. Once I saw a boob and since I have nightmares every night. Ah! come on! They are just normal girls (probably more beautiful than girls posted here) making some money to pay the bills.

    Forgive my bad english (spanish dude).

  23. Bryan
    20 June 2006, 12:30 am

    Since ya’ll haven’t noticed yet, which, you should’ve, SEX SELLS. It is one of the most basic principles in advertising. And yes, “cute” males sell also-popular movies, abercrombie (just take a look at their website, intro picture hmmm….. 3 males, no shirt, nah, not selling sex here), just take a look at some of those ads and movies and tell me men aren’t presented as cute or good-looking. And it works. It sells. To males and females. SO GET OVER IT! Booth babes are simply an extension of this advertising. What’s next-banning car-show babes? They usually wear ALOT less than the booth-babes, and most of the cars they pose with aren’t even for sale.

    Besides, degrading to the booth-babes? If they were forced, perhaps. And when was the last time you went to the beach? OMFG-THEY’RE WEARING BIKINIS!!! Run hide, quick, it’s skin!!! No!!

    C’mon ppl, you can see more skin at a beach than at E3, the only differnce is no games, no swag, not to many geeks, and the girls aren’t paid to wear skimpy outfits. Yet they do it anyways…odd, isnt it? Perhaps they like to show off their body….wierd, I know.

  24. boothgirl1
    21 May 2007, 4:32 pm

    booth girls work for a promo company, and its great money.

  25. Candace
    23 May 2007, 10:56 am

    Ahh, the money’s good. But ever wonder why it is that the only industries where women compete in earnings are modeling and sex? And out of curiosity, what percentage of those promo companies were started by and currently have female CEOs? And who did the hiring?

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