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Booth Babes Banned From Eurogamer Expo

Now there’s a title with some serious alliteration.

The folks who run Eurogamer Expo and put on a brilliant event this year have come to a final conclusion after several complaints were received concerning the “booth babes” that were working at this year’s Eurogamer Expo.

The Managing Director at Eurogamer posted the official response on the Eurogamer forums earlier today.

The issue has been rocking around the online community since the start of the Expo once everyone had caught a glimpse of the scantily clad booth babes that Virgin Media Gaming had brought with them.

Overall, only three companies brought “booth babes” with them to help create some noise for their games, and only two of the parties were deemed to be wearing unacceptable clothing.

The already mentioned VMG girls and the few booth babes that had been brought along for Company of Heroes 2. Both these parties were wearing little clothing and had QR codes printed on the buttocks of their clothing.

There was disgust and applaud, but the overwhelming feeling was that gamers didn’t want them there. Here’s the official response:

We’ve always had an informal guideline regarding booth babes: we don’t think they are right for the Expo. When we talk to publishers and exhibitors, we discourage them from bringing booth babes – and encourage them to bring developers.

Of course, exhibitors need to bring staff to the show, but they should be interesting, cool and exciting (Master Chief was /amazing/!) and knowledgeable (developers and publisher staff) rather than pretty girls in revealing outfits just for the sake of it. We want the show to be friendly, and all 50,000 attendees to feel comfortable.

At this year’s show three companies showed up with booth babes. Two in particular we thought were dressed inappropriately. As a short term measure we told them to move into the 18+ zone, and we asked some of them to put on leggings as well.

Although it was only a small number of booth babes, our regret is that we didn’t go further on the first day and just say “this isn’t right” and ask them to change their clothes – or not attend. Instead, with the huge pressures of putting on such a large show and everything that comes with it, we let it go. And that’s what has prompted this debate – and we’re sorry it happened.

For future shows we will be issuing formal guidelines: Booth babes are Not OK.

It’s great to see that the guys at Eurogamer are doing something about what was clearly a problem, but as soon as the light was shed on this? That’s when the complaints got a bit too unsavoury for my taste.

The first response in the thread is simply “tits or gtfo” followed shortly after by “I was expecting links to photos of the best booth babes”. It doesn’t exactly go uphill from there.

There are people who are all for booth babes, and those who are opposed and it’s clear that Eurogamer as a company is opposed to them being at their show. The immature attitude of some of the responses is appalling to say the least in certain scenarios.

Personally, I see it as a fine line treading the problem. The sexual objectification is appalling, but it’s well known that sex sells.

Eurogamer Expo surely isn’t the place for it though since it’s supposed to be a demonstration of the video games themselves and not an exhibition of how much skin it takes before geeks reach for their wallets.

The girls haven’t been forced into this position, it’s their job and their choice which is fine. This kind of advertising might have more of a spot in other venues, but it’s definitely not the kind of thing I want to see at Eurogamer Expo next year.