Whether is it PAX EAST or PAX WEST they have one thing in common, a ban on hiring scantily clad women aka booth babes. It is a common practice at most events even E3. Sony, Microsoft and many other companies hire models who are unaware of the product itself and are there just to grab our attention.
It is a popular technique and it works; those attending the event can see a clear difference between booths with and without booth babes. However, Penny Arcade has prohibited the use of Booth babes saying that it makes people feel unwelcome and uncomfortable, it takes the attention off of the game/product itself.
Some consider it taking women’s freedom away and feminists often like to jump into the conversation and attack PAX. While I do understand their point of view in this matter, we also need to understand why this policy is in place.
It is there to protect women from being objectified and not allow companies to turn them into the product, rather than hiring them to sell the product. And this policy only applies to hired staff while cosplays with permission are allowed.
The policy helps foster an environment that keeps a check and balance on companies and their marketing tactics while making sure visitors do not feel uncomfortable.
Many would understandably disagree with the policy but in my personal opinion, PAX’s ban does create a better environment for all of us.
E3 has no policy in this regard and the environment during the event can become uncomfortable at times. Back in 2016, Microsoft hired dancers at a GDC party which resulted in a community backlash. The company later had to issue an apology.
Penny Arcade’s ban is not on the freedom of women and how they wish to dress. The policy is in place to make sure companies are not using cheap marketing tactics and objectifying women for the sake of attention.
Anyways, that is just my take on it and I would love to know what you think of PAX East’s “no booth babes” policy. Feel free to take to the comments and share your opinion on the matter.