After a few years of smaller Electronic Entertainment Expos, organizers of the gamer conference have rolled out a bunch of changes aimed at returning to the glory and pomposity of riotous 2006. Apparently, the exhibitor list is over three times last year's size and growing, and the invitation-only policy has been dropped to bring in a lot more attendees. One of the most visible changes will be the decision to let vendors bring back promotional models, aka "booth babes." The babes were banned back in 2006, when E3 imposed a $5,000 fine for exhibitors with "semi-clad" models. Despite the fine, there were still plenty to be found, but it did make a difference in the years to come. If you want to see how big the booth babe epidemic had gotten, check out E3girls.com, which features the tagline, "It's not about the games." As a female gamer, I admit I looked on the initial ban as a sign that our market presence was finally being felt. But clearly, optimism is for suckers. Banning booth babes didn't diversify the gaming industry at large. We didn't even get equal opportunity objectification in games. So why not bring the babes back? Of course, it'd be nice to have a few more booth boys. Photo by Jackace on Flickr.
—Posted by Rebecca Cullers