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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) on Monday January 23, 2006 @12:43PM (#14540775) Homepage
    I hope they don't cover up too much. A little distraction here and there keep the attendees happy and in the building longer.
  • "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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:03PM (#14541025)
    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 representation of one of the worst elements of Game Development "as long as we have pretty, half-naked girls in it someone will buy our game".
  • 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.
  • Re:"Booth babes" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NeMon'ess (160583) <<flinxmid> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Monday January 23, 2006 @03:25PM (#14542554) Homepage Journal
    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 along side it.
  • by Enoch Root (57473) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @03:44AM (#14546964)
    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.

    I beg to differ. Big publishers are parading their millions to let stockholders, investors and studios know that they are strong in the market, and the game is about business deals, very much so, and possibly more, than in the 'basement'. Most of the large publishers have soundproof meeting rooms, and trust me, there's huge business going on there.

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