To make sure they’d understood what the gaming community really wants, they took the unusual step of actually asking them.
“6,313 people took the poll, with 60 percent of respondents either liking or loving the ban on booth babes. Only 12 percent of respondents hated the ban, putting public opinion firmly in the anti-babe area. The major addition to the policy stipulates that the models need to be “educated about the product,” and “partial nudity” has been banned. Models can dress up like characters from games and wear revealing clothing, as long as it’s true to the original character.
The numbers are striking, and the rule saying models need to know about the product is important. It seems that those going to PAX want to see and learn about the games, not ogle scantily clad ladies who pretend to really like having their picture taken with sometimes-stinky gaming fans.”
Even though I’m several thousand miles away from PAX, I voted in the poll on point of principle.
It’s not that I’m adverse to appreciation of beauty. After all, my own admiration for the male form borders on the fetishistic. It’s just that beauty is about so much more than looks that when we are invited to admire someone solely for where the features land on their face, I feel like it’s debasing the whole thing.
My absolute lack of any kind of respect for models aside (I mean, seriously – we as a culture worship people for being tall, thin and plain. Last time I checked, there wasn’t any actual skill involved in being tall, thin and plain, so what can we possibly find to admire?), the idea of hiring models to attract people to your booth is something I’ve never understood.
Isn’t your game interesting enough for people to want to know about it unless they think they’re going to get laid with the vacant-looking girl in the hotpants?
Then there’s the whole thing about booth babes always being female. I used to joke that we should have male booth babes to balance it out – but really, if a guy stood there with a well-oiled six pack, I’d think he was just as f***ing ridiculous.
I’m glad they’re still allowing cosplayers, because there is a skill involved in creating elaborate costumes based on your favourite characters – that’s called art and craft. Make it about the costumes, and not just cheap titillation for adolescent boys with no social skills to get a real-life girlfriend. (Think stereotyping all gamers as adolescent heterosexual boys with no social skills is offensive? Good! So stop acting like they are.)
So now PAX is laying down the law that the people hired to flog the games must be appropriately-dressed and knowledgeable about the games.
This is the bit I don’t get: that they ever bothered with the models in the first place. The actual game marketing people are all over the press anyway, and they’re good-looking, socially-skilled people of either gender who know about the product. I’d think having my photo taken with someone who’d actually had a hand in producing the game would be cooler than some half-undressed random stranger.