I’m going to preface this writeup by clarifying that E3 2010 was my first time attending as press, and that I still spent a large portion of my time on the show floor with the rest of the non press attendees. So the opinions you are about to read are given from the perspective of the average convention goer who isn’t waltzed to the front of a VIP line for behind-closed-doors access.

Alright, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…

The most common stereotype that I hear about guys is that all they care about is sex. However, if scantily clad girls are necessary to get a male convention attendee interested in a game, that attendee is no real gamer.

It’s not that I don’t understand who the main demographic that video game companies target are. I get it. I’m not a guy, and that’s not the end of the world.  But when the companies developing and publishing games act as if my friends and I are undeserving or uninterested in having access to credible gaming informants, that just makes me think, “Well, okay, you don’t want us to buy your product? Fine.”

And the excuse that it’s all just there to make the event “more fun” doesn’t work on me either. I’m actually annoyed by all the booth babes being there, and I find plenty of enjoyment at E3 without them. So you’d have a hard time convincing me that the lack of booth babes would “ruin the experience” for someone — unless that someone was some sort of booth babe connoisseur, at which point I could care less.

I understand that sex sells, and that the number one bottom line goal of any business is to make money, but a business also has to maintain a good reputation, and objectifying women and lining them up like manikins isn’t really the best way to go about doing that.

Nintendo graduated to "stage babes." I was expecting Howie Mandel to walk out and ask one of them to open 3DS #6.

There was a debate recently about whether or not video games could be considered art. If a game is so bad that it requires sex to sell it, not only is it not “art,” it probably shouldn’t exist. If we’re going to argue games as an art form, let’s focus more on the concept, the plot, and the gameplay mechanics — and less on the double D breasts pitching portable gaming devices.

None of the games I’ve purchased have ever been due to the main character being attractive. I’ve never looked a game’s box art and said “ZOMGZ SHE HAS NO CLOTHES ON!!” That said, I’ve got quite the game collection,  so taking sex out of the equation doesn’t mean people won’t buy the game, it just means they’ll buy it for the right reasons.

In fact, the majority of individuals that I’ve talked to about this actually think it would make more sense to have someone who knows what they’re talking about standing by the booth. That way, they’d get real information from a real person — a real gamer, instead of someone reciting a few lines from a script between nose powdering sessions.

Now, I saw my fair share of companies at E3 this year who actually employed non-booth babe personnel in their respective booths, and I applaud them for it. But that aside, most of the developers and individuals truly educated about the games were reserved for behind-closed-doors media access.  This not only insults the intelligence of gamers, it undermines the people who make games by implying that their game requires a model in a strategically placed outfit to make it appealing.

These are the only purely-visual headlights I want to see prancing around E3 next year. Got it?

In the end, I’m hoping we can all prove with actions, not words, that we’re into games, not boobs. If you’re a guy (which you probably are) and you consider yourself a gamer (which you probably do) booth babes shouldn’t be necessary to keep your interest at a convention packed with tons of hands-on gaming and cutting edge technology.

Gamers keep their eyes on the games, not the girls. So to all developers and publishers out there — give us what we really want. More educated gamers talking us through great games, and less of the other crap.


  1. i think you’d be happy to know that i fall under a large percentage of people, men and women, that have never attended a gaming conference. and, like you, i not only consider myself a gamer, but i have a large collection, and i dedicate time to reading insightful thoughts of people like you, as well as, the developers of my favorite games. so, if you’re asking us if t&a sells video games, i have a two-part answer. first off and to put it very simply, no, i don’t believe for a second that sex sells video games. and secondly, from an artistic standpoint i think that applying sexy gimmicks to the sales of a game, or the attraction of a gaming booth at a conference, is an act of insecure marketing on behalf of developers. kudos to you and your brave observations.

  2. Come’on, let the ladies work and if you don’t like it, then pay more attention to the games and write about what you did enjoy, rather then complaining

    • The ladies working as brainless sex objects are demeaning to themselves, their families, and to the attendees of the conference.

      As public taste and decency is defined ever downward by general prurient mindlessness, everyone involved suffers. All of us.

      The fact that there’s a lot of it doesn’t make it right, it’s just a commentary on what a sad, tasteless, amoral society we have become.

  3. The booth babes aren’t really meant for ‘real gamers’ who already know about the product they’re showing. They’re for that one guy who came with a friend and want’s to see some boobs, and oh wait, now he’s at a booth. Mission accomplished booth babe.

  4. Funny thing is, the photo at the beginning of this story is not a “Booth Babe” but a writer/contributor of sfx-360. SFX Pryde to be exact, who in her own right, is a BABE of the hottest nature and who is also a “REAL GAMER”. How do I know, because I work and write for the same site. You should worry more about and report more about the awesomeness that is gaming and worry less about what someone does for their daily job. “Booth Babes” know why they are there, hell they get paid for to promote large companies at car shows, game shows, dentistry shows, hell any and all shows. So sit back relax and play a game!

    • Hey Shawn, the intro image will be updated to exclude your sites reference. The writer of the piece had nothing to do with the images — that was all me. That said, I think you totally missed the point of her article. It’s not about booth babes being there as much as it is booth babes being delegated as game/hardware presenters.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • /highfive Shawn. I would have looked past the image of SFX Pryde initially incorrectly chosen as well as the majority of the sweeping generalizations laced with feminism in the article myself had it not been for the banner on the right side of the page advertising Vagina Hero. If it comes down to standing up for my peeps and Vagina Hero, well, all the booth babe banter gets drowned out by harmonized moaning. All a coincidence, I’m sure, but you gotta love the irony. And Vagina Hero.

      • Last I checked my site was a collection of individuals, all with their own opinions and outlook. This has been a part of our site information and outlook since day one. 

        Danielle (the writer of this piece) and Dan (the writer of Vagina Hero) are both entitled to express their opinion here at RipTen. That said the primary flaw in your comparison is that one is obviously a parody, while the other clearly sums up an individuals opinion on the topic. An opinion you disagree with, but an opinion she has the right to share.

        Thanks for the comment.

  5. Well, its the same situation of a Sport Car Event: It could be far more interesting to a jornalist if a very informed person show him that car, but it is much more actrattive if a beauty girl show him that thing. What matters really isnt the people who look outside of the window, but that people who REALLY want to know the product, so: I applaud every dev/pub who have a booth babe outside and a informed guy inside.

    I dont know if I wrote everthing correct. =P

      • Wait, so it is NOT okay to be nothing more than female body parts for a company, but it is okay to be female body parts for a “personal blog,” which just so happens to be on a video game website?

        It seems rather hypocritical to me to suggest that these companies are wrong to hire attractive women, yet promise pictures of yourself on a blog to ensure that your readers come back.

  6. I love all the attractive female characters in games. Face it, not every guy can go out every night and score the hottest girls in the bar in their town, and if they took them out I would consider gaming to be a much more desolate place.

  7. Maybe if they added booth studs it might be a little different? Somehow I doubt it. I don’t see any problem with booth babes. I love gaming and and well I like chicks.. nothing wrong with that. That’s my thing. I would go to E3 to enjoy the games and all the news and all that and take a lot of pictures, with staff and booth babes alike. Its just entertainment. What I’m pretty much getting from this is “I’m a woman and I think this is offensive.”(denied?) And if companies think they need to do this they should burn in hell.

    You can try and separate gamers from real gamers all you want but we’re all just gamers, rather you like or don’t like booth babes. And if someone decides to spend their money just to see booth babes.. well.. its their money… it doesn’t(it shouldn’t) add or subtract your overall experience at E3. You can let it bother you if you want but whats the points? You’d just be wasting your own time and probably shouldn’t of even gone in the first place.

    Some people go to an anime convention for the anime… Some go for the cosplay. And some go for both. E3 is no different.

    I hope you actually enjoyed E3..

  8. Good read. I work at trade shows and video game expos and I’m sometimes mistaken as a booth babe, but I’m an actual gamer. I know what I’m talking about and I play the games I demo at events. I just wish more people understood the difference.

  9. Meh. Society has been spiraling for who knows how long and it’s not likely to radically change any time soon unless developers and publishers do.

    In this day and age, most gamers want the “core basics” out of a game (in no particular order): Simple gameplay, pretty graphics, badassery, online play, and arousal. Take ANY of those out of the equation and you’ve lost a sale from a great deal of people. It’s a sucky formula to be sure, but, unfortunately, its track record is consistent.

    If we want things to change, we need to be in a position to change things ourselves.