Booth babes have been a fixture at video games events for as long as I can remember. Some events, like PAX, have banned the use of booth babes, but they remain prominent at events like E3 and the Tokyo Game Show. But here's the interesting thing: apparently booth babes do not work.
Whether they love them or hate them, video game industry watchers are well aware of booth babes, the women paid to wear revealing or form-fitting clothes and draw attention to various companies' wares. They've been the subject of scorn and missed connections. Now, people have different hotbodies to ogle. Male ones.…
There's being funny. And then there's being whatever FIFA-loving YouTube video game commentator JJ "KSIOlajidebt" Olatunji was in the video up top.
At the recent China Joy gaming expo in Shanghai, a young man in mirrored sunglasses stormed the stage with a bouquet of roses that were made from 100 yuan bills. He presented the roses to a booth companion and confessed his love to her. She didn't exactly seem pleased and neither did show security.
If you've attended E3, chances are you've probably had some interaction with booth babes. There's simply no avoiding them, even if they are one of the tackier aspects of gaming's biggest convention.
The Penny Arcade gang aren't exactly known for their tactful and effective approach to gender relations. But PAX, on both coasts, does do one thing right: they forbid exhibitors from hiring scantily clad models who don't know anything about the products just to attract visitors. In other words: no booth babes.
You don't see them as much at E3 these days, but events like the Tokyo Game Show or Germany's GamesCom are full of young women (and sometimes men!) wearing very little clothing while trying to sell you video games.
During this year's Tokyo Game Show, Japanese website Inside Games thought it would be a good idea to film this year's booth companions. Maybe it was.
After stepping off at the station, it's a walk to the Tokyo Game Show. Along the way, there were some booth companions (street companions?) handing out fliers and promotional material.
They help you with games. They pass out fliers. They smile. They are booth companions—not "booth babes". And Tokyo Game Show is crawling with them.
If these two aren't the most hugged girls at PAX 2011, well, shame on all of you. Shame. But kudos to Good Old Games, for their clever casting, both eye-catching and well within the bounds of PAX's costumed booth-representative policy.
Good Old Games booth babes, as spotted by our own intrepid Stephen Totilo, might not be what you were expecting. But now that you're here shouldn't you sit down for a spell and have something to eat. Stop slouching!
Well, maybe not you, but judging somebody. And it's not just a Gamescom booth companion that's doing the judging, but a news lady and a news announcer. How mean!
ChinaJoy, the country's biggest online game convention, is less for video games and more for something else: ladies in skimpy outfits.
Wonder Festival is a bi-annual event to showcase gaming and anime figures and models. It's also a chance to showcase fancy booth babe outfits.
About a year ago, PAX sought to ban booth babes (pardon me, "costumed booth representatives,") using a number of tests to determine booth babe-iness (as opposed to garden-variety sexy cosplay). One of them was a lack of familiarity with the product represented.
For years, ChinaJoy, the country's premiere gaming show, rolled out girls in skimpy outfits and heels to promote games. But year after year, the games continue to move into the background, and the ChinaJoy booth companions move to the forefront.
At the end of each day, the Tokyo Game Show booth companions line up in front of their respective booth. Then then bow one-by-one as evident here in this Kotaku Japan clip of Sony's booth.