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01. 25. 2006

Booth babes banned from E3Expo video game trade show

booth babes.jpg

Hard to believe, but Reuters reports that booth babes have effectively been banned from the video game industry's 2006 E3Expo trade show taking place in Los Angeles this summer. Apparently, the show rule prohibiting sexually explicit or provacative material -- defined to include semi-nude models -- is not new. The uproar is over the show's new enforcement policies, which include a $5,000 on-the-spot fine for any booth owner who violates the rule.

Specifically, the rule from the show's handbook states: "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."

No one seems to have a clue as to what the impetus was for this tightening of enforcement. Something about the wording of the rule strikes me as a bit odd; like the show itself, the rule is not really about the booth babes. And what about bathing suit tops? I guess they're not as provocative as bathing suit bottoms?

There was no evidence of a similar rule at CES, where scenes like the one above were commonplace.

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Posted by Hoyun    Category: current affairs
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Comments (8)

bonnie:

It's not unlike the shirt and shoes requirement in most restaurants. But making people wear clothes in LA is a more involved battle than taking first place in a QuakeCon championship.

Laura:

I don't get either the thing with the bottoms-only rule... I think we'll see plenty of smart types trying to pull a "legs covered/almost bare top".

Either way, maybe it's for the kids, who knows? I'm not in favor of booth babes anyway, but they seem to be just as important as the releases at those events, these days.

laura:

eh, we'll just see a great resurgence in micro-minis....

As someone pointed out to me, it doesn't ban them from costuming their models in skin tight PVC or something along those lines.

It doesn't ban booth babes at all. They will still be there. The PR folk will just be more clever about clothing them in sexy outfits.

Robyn:

I read something recently about how tech conventions are one of the few professional arenas where there's this kind of blatant sexism. so maybe that's good--trying to get professional?

jen:

Booth babes attract fan boys and in a tradeshow setting all fan boys do is clog up the aisles and hog the demos.

Exhibitors need to move large units of product to the Best Buys and electronics retailers of the world. The suits/buyers at E3 may be titillated by the eye candy but at the end of the day its an unprofessional and unnecessary distraction.

Organizing an annual tradeshow overrun by fan boys and booth babes only works to further marginalize the game industry.

JC:

The idea that this will some how reduce the amount of people that want to go to E3 is just... crazy. Even if all the booth babes are banned guys will still go to play the latest games and try to get some free stuff.
So that theory has been busted.

And this whole nonsense about marginalizing the industry (because its sexist) is total malarkey as well. E3 is basically a giant party for the target demographic of a product (Yes the people in the industry are part of that demographic.)

Calling it sexist is like going to female empowerment convention and complaining that its not geared towards men.

Women wear shirts saying men suck, men go to places with half naked women, sounds fair enough to me.

The problem is that we are too concerned with political correctness and feminism.

It is up to the companies to decide for who they want to make products and how to market them.

Come on, who doesn't love booth babes? E3 is such a sausage fest, give the majority what they want and that's scantily clad women!!
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