Banning E3 booth babes isn’t good manners, it’s good business
Really good article on the lack of perception the game industry has over who is actually looking to buy games nowadays, and the serious gender imbalance in the atmosphere and marketing at the whole event.
From the article:
The Entertainment Software Association’s own data shows how large the female audience has become. “Forty-seven percent of all players are women, and women over 18 years of age are one of the industry’s fastest growing demographics,” the group’s 2012 report stated. “Today, adult women represent a greater portion of the game-playing population (30 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent).” Of course, you wouldn’t know this from walking the show floor at E3.
The ESA is, unsurprisingly, unwilling to give more than a standard response to the issue of promotional models. “Exhibitors determine for themselves what is the best representation for their companies,” Dan Hewitt, Vice President of Media Relations and Event Management, Entertainment Software Association, told me. “Models are welcome if companies would like to have them, but that’s an individual exhibitor decision.”
The problem is that booth babes have become a pervasive part of the show, and that’s an issue for an industry that hopes to attract a mainstream audience. “E3 and other trade shows featuring half-naked booth babes, who know nothing about the games they’re promoting, do a disservice to the entire industry,” Tami Baribeau, the Editor in Chief of The Borderhouse Blog, told the Penny Arcade Report. “They reinforce the fact that games are marketed and predominantly designed for a demographic that excludes us. With every direction we look, from box cover art, to character design, to professional trade shows, to narrative, to costumes and equipment, to the game industry’s wage gap, it becomes more and more clear that we’re not ‘supposed’ to be enjoying games and they’re not for us.”
It’s worth reading the whole thing. I have been continually surprised by the quality of PAR’s coverage since it launched. Not the kind of thing I’d have expected Gabe and Tycho spearhead.