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The Media Entertainment Games

E3 Grows Up - A Little 57

Posted by Zonk
from the put-some-pants-on dept.
Press the Buttons has the news that, thankfully, this year's E3 will attempt to return to the 'industry only' event it was always intended to be. From the post: "The first day of the show is only for authorized media (meaning no more paid-by-the-hour GameStop clerks roaming the floor just for fun and taking up a journalist's valuable time in line for the next big thing) and, as Portico points out, there's now a more dignified dress code in place for the 'booth babes'." I'm glad that PAX exists for everyone to attend, just as I'm glad there are events like E3 where game journos can do their thing. Update: 01/23 17:56 GMT by Z : Joystiq posits that these new guidelines may lead to censorship for mature games. Update: 01/23 22:16 GMT by Z : Additional opinions on this are available from Gamers with Jobs and Heroine Sheik. There's an official response to discussion of this decision from the E3 media relations team over at Gamecloud.
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E3 Grows Up - A Little

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  • by TPJ-Basin (763596)
    I hope they don't cover up too much. A little distraction here and there keep the attendees happy and in the building longer.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Being a heterosexual male it pains me to say this, but I don't know if I could care less about the Booth Babes. Now, I recognize that for a lot of the people attending E3 there is a certain novelty of a real girl who is reasonably attractive being nearly naked (something they have dreamed about since they created their female night elf priest and had her dance naked), but for the most part it doesn't really add anything and is mostly unnecessary. In fact, I think the presence of Booth Babes is a physical re
    • Yeah, although I've never actually been to an E3, I can understand that too much eye candy that isn't games can be too much.

      But bikini bottoms? No bikini bottoms? They might as well tell attendees to not go to the beach while they're there for E3.

      • But bikini bottoms? No bikini bottoms?

        thank Tecmo & Team Ninja for that little rule, the fire department had to shut their booth down twice because of fire code violations (aka guys who have never seen a real girl before were gathering around it so they could feel another guys boner poking them in the ass.)
    • You mean there aren't enough impressive games to check out to take up their time?
  • Fair enough (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HugePedlar (900427) on Monday January 23, 2006 @12:43PM (#14540787) Homepage
    But who decides who the "authorised media" are? Published paper magazines, sure - but news and reviews websites? Bloggers? Where's the cut-off: readership? Bandwidth?

    And what's to stop me making my own badge? Perhaps TFA explains all this, but, you know...
    • In 2000, some friends and I made up a fake company and business cards and used that to get into E3. Don't know if you can still get away with that though.
  • Real article (Score:4, Informative)

    by GigsVT (208848) on Monday January 23, 2006 @12:46PM (#14540816) Journal
    Following the maze of redundant blog posts you end up at this [igda.org], which appears to be the original article.

    Framed a little differently though, as it's titled "E3 Censorship".
    • I think that the original article makes for an interesting juxtaposition with the /. article title. E3 "grows up" which apparently means making the show more kid-friendly...!?

      I think that Zonk (who generally gets less respect than he deserves) made a real error here: "I'm glad there are events like E3 where game journos can do their thing."

      Their thing? What thing would that be, exactly? Selling positive reviews and cover stories in exchange for ads? [1up.com] I guess I'm a bit torn... I definitely number myse

      • It's not about makeing the show "more kid frendly" or "censoring" anyone, (only cencoring I've seen was Electronic Arts finally being told they couldn't have blasting music that nearly blew out your eardrums this past year which they NEEDED SEVERLY for the past 3 years) but more about being less horny fresh out of high school Gamestop/Target/Walmart/clerks that should not be there friendly. This past year with E3 was by far the worst year I've ever been to. I wanted to just say fuck it and head over to Disn
  • "Booth babes" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kutsal (514445) on Monday January 23, 2006 @12:47PM (#14540840) Homepage
    From TFA: "We shouldn't be there to critique the women. We should be there to critique the games. And don't even get me started on what the use of booth babes in the first place says about the industry's views of women in general..."

    Well, shall we, then, get the author started on booth babes in [Detroit|Chicago|<insert your favorite here>] Auto Shows?..

    Or, the commercials we see on TV?...

    The Modeling "industry" (female models in particular)?...

    Or the entire Hollywood?..

    Do we draw a line someplace? If so, where should it be?...

    Btw, for those challenged by the thought process here, "the use of booth babes in the first place" implies "sex sells", and that by putting a scantily-clad woman in front of anything will get attention drawn to it.. Since this marketing methodology has worked for the past, oh I don't know, thousand years or so, I'm thinking it would take a bit longer, and would require much education to eradicate...

    Besides, most industries view women as potential buyers of their products, just like they view men as potential buyers. Try to notice the pattern here..

    -K

    • Besides, most industries view women as potential buyers of their products, just like they view men as potential buyers. Try to notice the pattern here..

      Ah, this means that E3 needs a supplement for the female market. They need to hire HARD GAY [avoidinglife.com]!

    • Re:"Booth babes" (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NeMon'ess (160583)
      Most everybody buys cars. Most women do not buy videogames. The industry wants that to change. To do so will involve changing the image of the industry, and making games that women want to play. Women do watch movies despite the sex Hollywood uses for marketing "guy movies." So the video game answer could simply be making games for women. However, E3 is a showcase for the whole industry. Hollywood doesn't mix race queens into it's marketing of chick flicks just because there's a guy movie coming out
    • Well, I don't know about Chicago, but the Detroit Auto Show didn't really have "Booth babes", there were attractive women in business dresses around the cars doing spiels, along with men doing spiels, so it is really only during the charity event that the women are in evening gowns and even then it's classy.
  • by daVinci1980 (73174) on Monday January 23, 2006 @12:53PM (#14540910) Homepage
    It's been said a few times, but E3 wasn't about the media "in the beginning." It was about publishers selling their titles to retaillers, and developers selling their titles to publishers.

    E3 is thus not returning to anything, but evolving yet again.
  • "but the use of and attention paid to the models at E3 is just downright disrespectful to everyone involved"

    My god. What the hell is this guy talking about? There's always games on display. The booth babes are barely the "problem" as this guy sees it. The real problem are the horrible shows that the companies put on display that barely tie into the game. These shows deter from the games themselves and are there to make up for a lackluster title. This guy seems to make it out as if the women are seductress's
  • by davez0r (717539) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:03PM (#14541032)
    nowhere did i find a picture of (or a link to a picture of) any booth babes.

    so i did a google images [google.com]

    enjoy

  • by Kaldaien (676190) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:36PM (#14541366)
    This article is a little bit misleading. The first couple of days of E3 have always been used for commercial/press conferences. In order to purchase a pass for these days, you _must_ present at least two forms of industry identification, such as a tax stub, business card, etc... And even in the exposition portion of E3, the first day has had restrictions barring many of the stupid GameStop clerks and such from entering.

    On the bright side, GameStop clerks and most of the press are mostly relegated to the flashy wings of E3, rarely venturing into the lower cost booths rented by middleware companies - where the business end of things takes place. That said, it would be folly to assume that all of E3 is intended to be industry only. Publishers do not spend millions of dollars setting up the biggest most saturated displays and loudest speakers possible to entice potential investors, they do it to spread hype among their target audience. E3 can be thought of as a slight continuation of GDC, with the focus on marketing.
    • Those press conferences aren't officially part of E3. They're off-site entirely.
    • On the bright side, GameStop clerks and most of the press are mostly relegated to the flashy wings of E3, rarely venturing into the lower cost booths rented by middleware companies - where the business end of things takes place. That said, it would be folly to assume that all of E3 is intended to be industry only. Publishers do not spend millions of dollars setting up the biggest most saturated displays and loudest speakers possible to entice potential investors, they do it to spread hype among their target
  • by msuzio (3104) on Monday January 23, 2006 @02:02PM (#14541674) Homepage
    But... booth-babe gigs are the only form of employment for some of these nubile young ladies. What will they do now, E3? How will they afford their next adjustment to their fake cleavage without these vital jobs?

    Please, won't someone consider the poor booth babes?
  • I don't know where anyone gets the idea that E3 is for "game journos". The real work at E3 gets done between two sets of people:

    1. Game Producers pitching to Retail Buyers
    2. Game Developers pitching to Game Publishers

    Case in point, Atari only lets people into their booth by appointment. Frustrating for the digital-camera crowd, but Atari is there for business. The lookie-loos are stopped at the door.

    Most game industry people I know don't give a rat's ass about game journalists. In spite of what w

  • Game clerks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by superultra (670002) on Monday January 23, 2006 @02:24PM (#14541919) Homepage
    I worked at an EB for three years as an assistant manager (an assman, we called ourselves).

    First, I know game clerks can be nerds and, even, assholes. That said, I would say that ultimately we influenced at least 30% of the purchases from our customers, especially around Christmas time when the moms come in and want something for their kids. Sometimes they have an idea that we talk them out of, like buying GTA for a 6 year old. Other times they might have a choice of three, and we'd advise them on the best for their dollar. And when it came to the hardcore gamers, we had established enough of a repore that they would walk in, literally ask us what to buy, and walk out with whatever we suggested. Myself and the staff at the store prided ourselves on knowing the games, and it always felt good to see a customer come back and ask for more of the same. I know more about the Sims demographics than anyone at EA. I know more than I care to know why people play the hell out of MMORPGs. I can tell the GameBoy cover marketers which colors attract kids' eyes more than others. Although sometimes we entertained fantastical ideas like Rez selling really well, we could generally predict the total sales of every game that came across our counter.

    Excluding gamestore clerks out of the equation is a bad idea. We're too important. Usually at least one of us would hit up E3 every year, and report back to everyone else. We'd run videos on the store TVs to show off what we saw to the hardcore customers. Even in the age of up-to-the-minute E3 reporting, being at the convention was always a necessary part of the chain. It let whomever went notice games the press often passed up on. I can partially understand why E3 wants to start barring clerks, but to suggest that "industry-only" excludes one of the most important parts of the selling chain is ludicrous.

    Game clerks, or at least the professionals, the ones that try to do their job well, are the kind of people the industry should be courting, not ignoring.
    • > And when it came to the hardcore gamers, we had established enough of a repore that they would walk in, literally ask us what to buy, and walk out with whatever we suggested

      Sorry to disagree, but a "hardcore" gamer doesn't need to ask a clerk what to buy. ;-)
      • Re:Game clerks (Score:5, Interesting)

        by superultra (670002) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:57PM (#14544514) Homepage
        I don't know you, but unless you're buying literally 2 or 3 games a week, I'm not sure you know what qualifies as a hardcore gamer. I'd say we had at least 15-20 people spending $200 a month - outside of fourth quarter mind you, and maybe 20-40 we saw an average of once every three weeks buying a game. I think even second tier qualifies as hardcore. They played these games out. I knew this because they'd come back and give us a very extensive review. If they didn't finish them, we knew the game sucked. And we knew these people well enough to hear from their wives when they'd found a game that was too good. All of us at the store could not figure out how they managed to play as many games as they did and still have lives. For the most part these were regular people, as in regular, normal Americans. Some, sure, were stereotypical ubergeeks. But most had wives, kids (whom they played games with), and 40+ hour a week jobs to support their "habit."

        It was pretty cool, and I miss it sometimes. We had relationships with these people (and those still at this particular store still do). We played with them on Xbox Live, or invited them to LAN parties and they invited us. I often thought of it as a type of old school, Old Towne hardware store. Not only a store, but also a clearinghouse for gossip. But instead of gossip about the Rogers family down the street, this was gossip about games. It was our job to know about games, and so we did. The people who dropped $50 a week didn't have the time to go through all the sites and find trusted reviews. We were their trusted source. We had the unique advantage of networking on a person-to-person basis. We'd see Frank come in and gush about Game X, and even though Frank might never have net Joe, we knew that they shared similar tastes. So we were sort of a proxy among gamers, a trusted source filtering buying information among gamers in the city.

        What I'm saying is that it was more than them walking in and saying, "WHAT IS GOOD," and us replying, "X IS GOOD" (although it did sometimes transpire like that). We had conversations with these people, and we usually gave a fairly complex rendetion of the game ("X has great graphics but is really short, but it seems that people who like Game Y really like Game X.")

        Sadly, our game store was probably unique among its peers (it was an EB), and I imagine that it's becoming even more unique as Gamestop tightens its reins. Even though I really miss getting to know really interesting people and getting paid to talk about games, I'm glad I got out.
    • Unfortunately, in the actual scheme of things individual store employees are not very important. I work my company's booth at E3 every year, and I can tell you who the real VIPs are... It's the representatives from Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and so forth. They don't tell 7-year-olds which Pokemon title is the best, true, but they make the decisions of which launches to throw their support behind, which platforms to carry, and the promotions and things. They are the ones the show is being thrown for, and they're
  • The ladies can be covered up as long as its with one or more of the following skintight materials/fabrics: spandex, latex/rubber, leather, or vinyl. :)

    Bodypaint is also an acceptable option. :D
  • Material, including live models, conduct that is sexually explicit and/or sexually provocative, including but not limited to nudity, partial nudity and bathing suit bottoms, are prohibited on the Show floor, all common areas, and at any access points to the Show. ESA, in its sole discretion, will determine whether material is acceptable."

    Homer: Whoa, let's not go crazy, theres nothing wrong with a little Hey-Hey.

    You can't take away the booth babes, that's the closest some of these guys get to a naked w

    • No Scantily Clad women, Next they'll want to do away with violence, crates, exploding barrells, and coin & jewel powerups. Where will it end?
      I didn't see anything in the article about censoring games, just censoring booth-babes, who usually have little to do with the game. Do we really need a naked woman to tell us to play CoD2? I don't think so.
      • I didn't see anything in the article about censoring games, just censoring booth-babes, who usually have little to do with the game.

        2 words.
        DOA series.

        Do we really need a naked woman to tell us to play CoD2? I don't think so

        Need is a little strong. Ask us if we want a naked women to tell us to play video games. Hell, ask me if I'd like my fully-clothed wife to tell me to play video games. I think you see the point.

        Your average gamer teen boy, would like nothing more than to split his time evenly b

        • If the booth babes are representing DOA, fine. The DOA games feature nearly nude women, so why shouldn't their booth? I see your point about the 'average gamer' wanting a woman, be she naked or not, to tell them to play games, and I guess I agree with it. But they really shouldn't be at E3. You say that the average gamer is a teen boy, which is probably true, and that said average teen boy gamer would love to split his time between an attractive model and an xbox360. As true as that may be for some teens (
  • I don't understand the obsesion with E3. I have had to attend E3 every year for 7 years straight and I dread it with all my soul. I generally avoid the place as much as possible and only pop in for the meetings I have to attend. I do get plenty of business accomplished at the show, but dread the noise, crowds, and general additude of the average show floor attendee. Honestly, I never really cared about the booth babes... well except for the ones that impersonated real game characters. I always enjoyed
  • by urikkiru (801560) on Monday January 23, 2006 @04:16PM (#14543068) Journal
    So, in 2005 I went to E3 for the first time. I didn't feel too much like an outsider, my company was there to do business, and I had an industry invite, etc. I was excited, and curious to see what it was all about. While there were many cool things about the show, I ended up disappointed for three reasons. First was of course, the booth babes. I thought it was a bit silly. Now, I'm a man, and enjoy looking at women, however having scantily clad women there with absolutely no real interest in the industry whatsoever was actually a turn off.

    However, that wasn't actually the worst detractor from the show. The noise levels, and the blaring loud stage performances were just way too much. I couldn't take more then an hour straight of being in the larger show halls, and had to go outside just to keep my ears from bleeding. The noise made it highly difficult to meet with the various people who actually wanted to talk about their upcoming games in any detail, and have normal conversations.

    Lastly, something that I just didn't think about before going, was that there is no place to *sit down*. I mean, I don't mind wandering the show floor, but if I'm going to stop for a while in a booth or view/play something, I kind of expect to be able to have a small break given to my feet :P

    Anyway, here's hoping that the booth babe restrictions/changes, while not the most annoying thing about the show, will lead to alleviations of the other 2 larger issues(in my opinion anyway).
  • E3 "grows up," and then is not allowed to view or show mature content??

    That's what we'd been saying is the problem with censorship like that all along!

    • I agree - why aren't we having a censorhsip discussion here? E3 is for grownups afterall - the average gamer is 27 for chrissakes! People should have the right to display their titles with Booth Babes or Babies - depending on the subject matter of the game. You can't very well advertise Victoria Secrets Bra's with big hairy men, now can you - so having a few Lara Croft Lookalikes is no big whoop. If companies doing FPShooters think they need booth babes to sell their war games, well then that's just pat
  • ... says that the FIRST TWO HOURS of the first day are for media. I mean, even /.'s article is basically a copy/paste but they edit out that obvious and specific detail anyway.
  • Glad that once again it's once again going to be another elitist convention. I seriously doubt that industry insiders/celebs/wealthy people aren't going to be going.

That does not compute.

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