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E3

Good Riddance To Booth Babes 210

Posted by Zonk
from the they-could-be-fining-folks-that-dress-poorly dept.
Colin Campbell has an editorial at Next Generation in which he applauds the decision to fine risque outfits worn by the traditional 'booth babes'. From the article: "Exhibitors at E3 employ a whole range of human beings to attract attention to their booths and excitement to their live events. The ones who attract the largest crowds are either celebrities (fair enough), well-loved industry-creatives (quite right) or so-called 'booth-babes', often behaving in ways that at least mimic the lowest sort of strip joint. People do not dress this way in normal life, not even in Los Angeles. There are some companies that seem more susceptible to this kind of technique than others. It's difficult to imagine, say, EA or Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo bothering with this nonsense."
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Good Riddance To Booth Babes

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  • by archeopterix (594938) * on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:56AM (#14558131) Journal
    Those vile practices reinforced the social trend to objectify females. I solemnly applaud the decision to ban them. Now take me to the pictures! What? No pics?!?!?!?
  • Boo! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Golias (176380) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:57AM (#14558139)
    Games are entertainment. Cute girls are nice to look at. Is that so wrong?

    If you want things more family-friendly, why not just apply the old anime-con cosplay standard of "30% coverage minimum, inlcuding all the obvious places", instead of applying an ambiguous rule that outfits can not be "too risque"?
    • Re:Boo! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by to_kallon (778547)
      If you want things more family-friendly, why not just apply the old anime-con cosplay standard of "30% coverage minimum, inlcuding all the obvious places", instead of applying an ambiguous rule that outfits can not be "too risque"?

      it's simple politics: if you don't specify what you mean, when you have to justify actions later you can use your earlier ambiguity.
    • Re:Boo! (Score:4, Informative)

      by AlterTick (665659) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:08AM (#14558290)
      If you want things more family-friendly

      Thing is, E3 isn't really supposed to be a "family event", is it? I mean, didn't they move it from weekend to weekday scheduling like four years ago because they thought it was getting to be too much like a "leisure time" attraction? And haven't they always required that all attendees actually be verified company employees, i.e. NO KIDS? I think the organizers want to turn it into some dignified, somber stuffed shirt convention. Not likely. GIVE US OUR BOOF BABES!

    • Re:Boo! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MikeFM (12491) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:52AM (#14558869) Homepage Journal
      As someone that lived in Las Vegas for a while and went to many conventions I'll say that this change is enough to make me much less likely to go. That was half the fun of conventions. Without the girls you're left with a lot of tired sweaty people who look like they aren't enjoying themselves. Not a nice enviroment. Seriously conventions are just not very fun to go to. I'm constantly unimpressed with the 'new technology' being shown off so the shows really need something.
      • Re:Boo! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jchenx (267053)
        Seriously, if booth babes are the only thing you look forward to in a convention, then I'd argue you don't belong there. Let someone else from your group or team go instead. The "new technology" may not interest you, but I'm sure there's someone who has a vested interest in the product, who doesn't need a gaggle of booth babes just to be attracted to the conference.
        • Booth babes don't just attract attention from lonely software engineers, they also capture the attention of the media, not only on-line but also in print and even on the occasional cable show. Nobody covers E3 without a photo or two of booth babes.

          Have cute girls in front of your display == get better chance of your display being seen in the E3 coverage.

          E3 is all about promotion, after all.
          • I'm not sure about the benefits of booth babes to a company's display. A lot of the times when the press covers booth babes, it's just a collection of pictures in front of lots of displays, and not much talk about the actual product itself.

            If you're a mediocre product that can't get media coverage, I guess you should use anything you can to get attention. But again I'd argue, maybe you're better off making your product better or more marketable. Or maybe E3 is just not the right convention for you (save tim
            • I'm not sure about the benefits of booth babes to a company's display. A lot of the times when the press covers booth babes, it's just a collection of pictures in front of lots of displays, and not much talk about the actual product itself.

              90% of marketing is branding. That's why Nike pays Tiger Woods a fortune to wear their dorky hats. Remining people (and in particular, potential investors) that you exist and are doing well enough to blow money on advertising, endorsements, and trade show booths will ul
            • by MikeFM (12491)
              The problem being that damn near everything at these shows is a mediocre product. Wow so you made your frob purple this year instead of blue. Oh great now I'm excited. Getting rid of all these posers would be my first choice. Since that isn't going to happen at least we can let them avoid boring me to tears by having an interesting display with some booth babes included. I'd vote for a special section for the 1% of booths that actually have something that isn't mediocre but that'd just be to much work and t
  • by F_Scentura (250214) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:57AM (#14558141)
    The rules have always been in place, they only recently decided to start "enforcing" them.
  • It's difficult to imagine, say, EA or Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo bothering with this nonsense

    Developers, developers, developers.... ;)

  • Did you just say GOOD riddance to booth babes?

    That ain't right.
  • by Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:59AM (#14558175)
    yeah, Sony would just have guys to rape you.

    What? Too far?
  • Oh well (Score:3, Funny)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:59AM (#14558179) Journal
    It's not like I was getting into the event anyways.

    This just means more booth babes for other events.

    I see this as a good thing.
  • by Godeke (32895) * on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:01AM (#14558201)
    Considering that in reality E3 is supposed to be an industry event (I have attended the seminars wearing my game programming hat) and yet recently it has become a giant circus similar to Comdex right before the collapse, I think this is a good move. The press day in particular will be helpful (more so that the clothing requirements): the poor people in the booths are besieged by loser fan boys while the real interviewers can be recognized by the desperate looks of someone under time pressure they wait for a bunch of store clerks to stop hassling their interview target. Or they just get pushy, which I don't blame them for.

    Reducing the booth babe exposure (literally) won't prevent people from hiring pretty young women and placing them in the booths. I don't think that practice will ever end (check any other convention and see who is most prominently displayed in each booth: the best looking women of the company or some "spokeswoman" who they hired because the women at the company refused to be so exploited). It will hopefully reduce the circus like atmosphere and restore the event to something that industry actually interacts at.

    (On the flip side of the coin, the private parties are even more outlandish than the show floor. Make of that what you will.)
    • (On the flip side of the coin, the private parties are even more outlandish than the show floor. Make of that what you will.)
      Yes I predict an upsurge in booth-midgets on the convention hall floor and dwarf tossing during the private parties.
  • People do not dress this way in normal life, not even in Los Angeles.

    They do in Las Vegas. Just FYI.

    (No, I'm not being paid a retainer by the Vegas tourist board. And no, I'm not talking about people paid to dress that way in casinos--I'm talking about the girls dressed in skimpy near-transparent outfits you see heading from club to club.)

    • I'm talking about the girls dressed in skimpy near-transparent outfits you see heading from club to club.

      Umm... those are their "working clothes." A uniform of sorts.

      Let's just say it's not the casinos paying them to dress that way.

    • Also in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan. Or Miami, which is (in)famous for it. Or how about Victoria's Secret commercials?

      It' very simple to me. You don't like the booth babes? Don't go to the conference. You don't want your kids to see the booth babes? Don't let them go to the conference.

      (sigh)

      Just more unwelcome intrusion into my personal life.
  • It's a private function, so they can of course, but sexuality has become such a common advertising practice (sick) that it seems unusual that this has been done. What's next, the Dallas cheerleaders having to wear sweatpants and full shirts to football games?
  • Farewell booth babes...

    ...hello entertainment [roboppy.net] and gaming [gamesblog.it] costumes instead!*

    *Stormtrooper outfits not permitted on account of "been there done that".

  • The photos are here (Score:5, Informative)

    by kill-1 (36256) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:10AM (#14558317)
    For everyone complaining about the lack of pics, you find them here [e3girls.com].

    3840 entries... That's what I call comprehensive media coverage.

    • That's what I call comprehensive media coverage.

      No. Adding a "hot or not"-style rating system and a "top 100" link would be comprehensive. The current site is just a way to trick young Slashdotters into viewing banner and Google ads on 400 consecutive pages.

  • these folks aren't in Japan. If they think the booth babes at this convention are bad you should see what the babes wear at the Tokyo Auto Salon [mainichi-msn.co.jp] or the Tokyo Motor Show [mainichi-msn.co.jp] and most certainly the Queens [mainichi-msn.co.jp] of Rally Japan.

    The censors in this country would assplode if they had to deal with those women.

    • That's why Japanese Culture is Superior
    • The censors in this country would assplode if they had to deal with those women.

      Did you visit those sites you linked? I was expecting something obscene, or at least bikini swimwear level exposure or something.

      The people in all these photos (except 2 or 3), however, are fully clothed... I don't get it?
      • Unfortunately the Rally Japan photos didn't show much due to the weather. As a rule the Rally Queens wear hot pants, sports bras and boots. Exactly what the original article was talking about.

        As far as the auot show ones, the previous years booth babes had skimpier outfits (on the whole) but I couldn't find a link for them. The usual rule for the auto show is short skirt, form fitting, low-cut top and either boots or heels.

  • A while ago I went to my first trade event as a potential buyer and for the most part the show was professional and well run. The stands were tidy and the people running them helpful and polite. There is, however, one stand that has really stuck in my mind and that was the one with the "booth babe". Maybe I'm naive but I didn't expect it at all as this was a professional event. My first response was shock my first thought was "I wouldn't deal with them if you paid me". After talking to the other suppliers I

  • "People do not dress this way in normal life, not even in Los Angeles. There are some companies that seem more susceptible to this kind of technique than others."

    This could also have read, "there are some PEOPLE that seem more susceptible to this kind of technique"...

    Me being one of those people. Ahem.
  • Just Get Around It (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blueZhift (652272) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:22AM (#14558469) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure the more creative types will find a way around the booth babe restrictions. There are plenty of ways to be sexy without showing a lot of skin or behaving in obviously lewd manners. But if E3 is hoping to somehow clean up the image of the games industry by "cleaning" up the trade show, forget it! As long as violent games like the GTA series and others grab the spotlight, what happens at the trade show really doesn't matter. And it certainly doesn't matter how people are dressed. I mean really, if the adult film industry held high class swanky industry events where everyone was impeccably dressed and behaved with the highest manners, would that gain adult films any more respect than they get now? I doubt it. Window dressing is nice, but ultimately it's the product that matters the most.
  • ...there are very few reasons most guys do ANYTHING at all except to "get chicks". It's the truth as mush as it might be unpleasant for people to accept. The whole concept of the "booth babe" isn't only to sell the product but to also attract males to the industry as a whole. If you're a guy, put some thought into it. Why did you work hard at a particular interest? I mean at the core... You did it because at some very core point you really wanted to attract female attention. This is why I got into mu
    • Why did you work hard at a particular interest? I mean at the core... You did it because at some very core point you really wanted to attract female attention. This is why I got into music and then later computers.

      You mean you got into computers in order to attract women?!? What the hell were you thinking? One needs to get away from computers to get women.

      Most of those booth babes don't care one bit about the geeky gamer that takes a picture with them. They really don't. And geeky gamers know that (at l

  • Come back booth bunny....

    Come back booth bunny's sister!
  • by Jeff85 (710722) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:28AM (#14558547) Homepage
    "There are some companies that seem more susceptible to this kind of technique than others. It's difficult to imagine, say, EA or Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo bothering with this nonsense."

    It would appear at least Microsoft is no stranger to booth babes. A quick glance at e3girls.com easily reveals one of many pages of Microsoft using so-called "booth babes" to promote products.
    http://www.e3girls.com/display.cfm?startrow=1909&p agenum=213&type=full&query=full [e3girls.com]

    What? I was only visiting that site for uh... proof to refute the summary's claim... yeah...
  • by wedgewu (701989) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:32AM (#14558605) Homepage
    I've had about 20 people link me about the new booth babe regulations, but no one seems to be talking about the other changes that have happened to E3 this year. To me, it doesn't seem like this is some arbitrary regulation that they just happened to start, but rather just a part of an overall restructuring of the event. For example, one of the other rules that I know which has changed is that retail folks can no longer get in just by being your regular Joe working at a game store. They are only distributing a certain number of passes for those involved in retail companies, and the upper management in said companies gets to choose whom they would like to attend. This will hopefully limit the number of gawkers and people who have a very loose connection to the industry, and keep the place less crowded. There are probably other changed rules, how come we never hear about them? Oh, because... sex sells. ;-) Or the lack of it, in this case.
  • The purpose of a tradeshow exhibit is to communicate a message about your company and your products. Using booth babes and attracting a pool of excess testosterone could concievably help deliver that message, but in reality all it does is squander on of the best sales opprotunities available.

    Companies that repeatedly use this tactic eventually get weeded out by Adam Smith's invisible hand.

    --Mike--

  • by phorm (591458) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:48AM (#14558820) Journal
    Given the turn in many of the games I've seen lately to produce "larger" more realistic (visually if not dimenensionally) boobies, I'd say that booth babes are rather representative in ways of the games being advertised.

    For that very reason, FFX-2 sits uncompleted on my shelves to this day...
    • Given the turn in many of the games I've seen lately to produce "larger" more realistic (visually if not dimenensionally) boobies, I'd say that booth babes are rather representative in ways of the games being advertised.

      "Realistic physics in games will never catch on. Lara Croft would keep falling over forwards." - Stephen Turner

  • Who did... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:54AM (#14558898) Homepage Journal
    ...put a stick up that guy's ass? I've locked at the article, I've locked a a few pages of booth babes pictures - and I wonder if "risque outfit" has the same definition in american dictionaries as in mine.

    All of these girls are fully and appropriately dressed. Aside from the fact that they have logos all over and some of them are wearing obvious custumes, the only reason any of them would be looked at even twice if they were to, say, go shopping in the center of my city tomorrow was because it doesn't fit to the damn cold.

    I've seen much more revealing outfits at pretty much every party and not few during normal summer shopping.
    • the only reason any of them would be looked at even twice if they were to, say, go shopping in the center of my city tomorrow was because it doesn't fit to the damn cold.
      I dunno, man. The last time I was in Hamburg, there were naked people walking around in public, all right. Too bad they were all 90-year-old men.

      <shudder>

    • Yeah I agree, this stuff is pretty tame. I helped with the rigging off several erotica conventions in europe and this guy would have a heart attack if he saw what went on there.

      Then again it is hard to imagine an area of public sales where a pretty girl won't do the trick. Wether it is the stewardes or the receptionist a pretty face works better.

      As for it being sexist. Advertising aimed at women either uses the most perfect male or a mental retard. "Normal" men need not apply to sell products to women.

      He

  • Would you feel comfortable at a game conference surrounded by scantily clad men flexing their muscles?
  • Bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 1WingedAngel (575467) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @12:12PM (#14559143) Homepage
    It's difficult to imagine, say, EA or Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo bothering with this nonsense."

    You mean like when Microsoft brought in the Laker Girls? Or when Sony got Denise Harris to dress up as that half-nekkid elf chick? Please.
  • Good Riddance To Booth Babes

    Noooooooo!I guess I won't be attending any more expos. The only thing that'll make me stop (or slow down) at a booth is a booth babe or they have something really cool.

    Colin Campbell has an editorial at Next Generation in which he applauds the decision to fine risque outfits worn by the traditional 'booth babes'.

    Is Colin gay? Would he prefer Booth Stud Muffins?
  • Researcher: "So what did you kids think of the Colin Campbell article?"

    Stan: "Gay"
    Cartman: "Gay"
    Kenny: "Mphy"
    Kyle: "Liberace gay"

  • The ones who attract the largest crowds are either celebrities (fair enough),...

    Why do you also not have a problem with celebrities being used to draw people to the booths? Some B-list actor is no more relevant to the products being sold than some chick in hot pants is. They're placed there for only one reason, to make people gawk and hopefully notice the products being pitched. While you're at it, how about regulating the rampant appearance of celebrities in public; the world would truly be a better

  • Longer lines (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mackman (19286) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:05PM (#14559892)
    Booth babes had the wonderful effect of attracting lines of single guys wanting a photo or autograph. That means shorter lines for the game and hardware demos the rest of us want to see. Without booth babes, everyone will look at the games, which ruins it for the rest of us.
  • People do not dress this way in normal life, not even in Los Angeles.

    Boy, you really do need to get out more! Here in Norway, girls dress like this any summer day.

  • is provided a few of the more egregious examples for us to downl^^^ view so we can see how bad it really is!
  • Where are we?! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by peter1 (796360)
    Are these shows in Las Vegas (aka the USA for those that forgot it) or somewhere in the Middle East? Last time I checked we had Freedom of Expression and Speech in this country and we do not dictate what our women can or cannot wear!

    If somebody is willing to pay a beautiful woman to wear a skimpy outfit, and she is willing, then hey so be it! As for those that do not like it, do not look at them or go to these shows! Remember freedom of choice applies to you as well!

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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