Earlier this year, I suggested that banning booth babes at E3 hadn't done a thing to deter the sexism in the electronic entertainment industry, so what's the harm in having them around? Clearly, I’m not imaginative enough. At this year’s Comic-Con, Electronic Arts ramped up the raunchiness by putting a bounty on booth babes. EA is actually holding a contest where convention attendees can win prizes if they “commit an act of lust” with a booth babe and photograph it. What sort of prizes? One lucky winner gets dinner with TWO hot booth babes and, of course, a lot of “booty.” Supposedly, it’s all tangentially related to their upcoming game, Dante’s Inferno. But judging by the explosion of Twitter comments tagged “EAFail,” it’s going to be hard to call this one a PR coup for the game. I admit, it’s unlikely someone will go out and sexually assault a booth babe in the name of the contest (much less photograph it for posterity and potential prosecution). It’s more what the contest says about the EA’s respect for the 40% of us who game and are female. I want to assure EA that it is possible to market to men without alienating potential female gamers. Case in point, I’m playing Prototype right now and loving it. But there is one good thing that came out of this dark-morality approach to marketing Dante’s Inferno. Thanks to this contest, I got to experience my own deadly sin: Wrath. (Via Ars Technica.) UPDATE: EA has now half-assedly apologized for its objectification of the "costumed reps" at Comic-Con.
—Posted by Rebecca Cullers