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  • 24Jul

    Sexism and the EA/Dante’s Inferno – ‘Sin to Win’ Contest

    19069190-bafaea435a1c84f5fccfeb7471d4f8604a6a14ae-scaledSo, at Comic-Con, happening now, the upcoming EA title Dante’s Inferno has issued a challenge to attendees: Sin to Win.  And what do you win?  A night out with hot girls – dinner and limo rides and some money.  But how do you win? “Commit Acts of Lust” with a booth babe at SDCC.

    Wait….what?

    No, you read that right.  The Contest flyer states in order to win you have to Commit Acts of Lust, “by taking pictures with a booth babe” (or an EA/Dante’s Inferno rep) and submit them over Facebook at Twitter.  Okay, so we all know there’s booth babes, and for whatever reason the girls are there, they head into the job expecting a certain amount of oogling by the general population of the convention.  But this sort of contest is sexist in a big way.

    Are there male booth babes?  No.  And if you won could you option to go out with two gorgeous men instead?  No.

    Alright, I get it.  The game is about the 7 Deadly Sins, one of them being Lust.  And sure, this is one of the easiest (aside from Sloth) sins to use to promote the game.  But really?  After the debacle with the IGN contest recently wouldn’t at least do a little thinking about the audience – not to mention the ‘booth babes’?  The contest is specific in stating “any booth babe” so, this isn’t even about the girls that might be at the Dante’s Inferno area – which means every girl working a booth at the Con is fair game in their eyes.

    I’m not linking to the contest – the picture says everything you’d need to know anyway.  And I encourage you all to leave comments and let us know how you feel about a contest like this.  Because I for one, think it’s a horrible way to promote your game.

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37 comments
Abloke
Abloke

What a load of bollocks. Stupid promotion, stupidly worded, stupidly aimed at only one segment of the market. And for all people quoting the tired old aphorism "all publicity is good publicity", I guess that's why nobody hires PR firms to make sure that the publicity they recieve is the good kind. Morons.

darkqueenb
darkqueenb

it sadens me to see women still being treated as trouphies...

seth
seth

I think the wording used could potentially cause a lot of problems. Some of the guys that attend comic conventions are book smart, but are severely difficient in the art of socialisation and most likely would take the "commit acts of lust" instructions quite literally. In fact, I would be very surprised if the convention ends without some sort of booth babe groping incident.

Germs
Germs

Poor taste, EA. extremely sexist, and will more than likely, end in a lawsuit. From the moment I heard about this I was disgusted. But more than anything, I feel really bad for the booth babes.

I understand it's "all in good fun" but try telling that to those poor girls that have to deal with nasty, sweaty men all day; now not only STARING and god knows what they SAY to them, but now they have an excuse to TOUCH them! ew.

Germs
Germs

Poor taste, EA. extremely sexist, and will more than likely, end in a lawsuit. From the moment I heard about this I was disgusted. But more than anything, I feel really bad for the booth babes.I understand it's "all in good fun" but try telling that to those poor girls that have to deal with nasty, sweaty men all day; now not only STARING and god knows what they SAY to them, but now they have an excuse to TOUCH them! ew.

Joycelyn
Joycelyn

My problem with this contest isn't that one could consider it sexist. I'm more disturbed that EA would encourage such a crass way to advertise their game, as well as the crass behavior that is sure to come with it. Even if it was meant only to be "a tongue-in-cheek" way of referring to photos with hired "booth babes", I still find the concept repulsive.

UsbCable
UsbCable

I hereby agree not to touch the internet either A: When awake for more than 24 hours... or B: When I haz adult beverages in my body :)

Question though..... Is there guards or something at these events? Not just in general but to protect the booth babes? lol I'm just curious, I've never been to a game/comic related event in my life even though I'm in NY and I love em both. Yes I know....

Btw: I shall take you up on that offer GamingAngel, it's gonna be awesome lol.

UsbCable
UsbCable

I hereby agree not to touch the internet either A: When awake for more than 24 hours... or B: When I haz adult beverages in my body :)Question though..... Is there guards or something at these events? Not just in general but to protect the booth babes? lol I'm just curious, I've never been to a game/comic related event in my life even though I'm in NY and I love em both. Yes I know....Btw: I shall take you up on that offer GamingAngel, it's gonna be awesome lol.

GamingAngel
GamingAngel

EA's official comment : (originally from Negative Gamer)

We understand there's a lot of debate right now around our "Sin to Win" promotion at Comic-Con and wanted to clarify a few things. We created this promotion as part of our marketing efforts around the circle of Lust (one of the nine sins/circles of Hell). Each month we will be focusing on a new Circle of Hell. This month is Lust. Costumed reps are a tradition at Comic-Con. In the spirit of both the Circle of Lust and Comic-Con, we are encouraging attendees to Tweet photos of themselves with any of the costumed reps at Comic-Con here, find us on Facebook or via e-mail. "Commit acts of lust" is simply a tongue-in-cheek way to say take pictures with costumed reps. Also, a "Night of Lust" means only that the winner will receive a chaperoned VIP night on the town with the Dante's Inferno reps, all expenses paid, as well as other prizes.

We apologize for any confusion and offense that resulted from our choice of wording, and want to assure you that we take your concerns and sentiments seriously. We'll continue to follow your comments and please let us know if you have any other thoughts or concerns. Keep watching as the event unfolds and we hope you'll agree that it was all done in the spirit of the good natured fun of Comic-Con.

GamingAngel
GamingAngel

EA's official comment : (originally from Negative Gamer)We understand there's a lot of debate right now around our "Sin to Win" promotion at Comic-Con and wanted to clarify a few things. We created this promotion as part of our marketing efforts around the circle of Lust (one of the nine sins/circles of Hell). Each month we will be focusing on a new Circle of Hell. This month is Lust. Costumed reps are a tradition at Comic-Con. In the spirit of both the Circle of Lust and Comic-Con, we are encouraging attendees to Tweet photos of themselves with any of the costumed reps at Comic-Con here, find us on Facebook or via e-mail. "Commit acts of lust" is simply a tongue-in-cheek way to say take pictures with costumed reps. Also, a "Night of Lust" means only that the winner will receive a chaperoned VIP night on the town with the Dante's Inferno reps, all expenses paid, as well as other prizes.We apologize for any confusion and offense that resulted from our choice of wording, and want to assure you that we take your concerns and sentiments seriously. We'll continue to follow your comments and please let us know if you have any other thoughts or concerns. Keep watching as the event unfolds and we hope you'll agree that it was all done in the spirit of the good natured fun of Comic-Con.

GamingAngel
GamingAngel

Just wanted to point out that the traceback "While !Finished ..EAFail Link Roundup" is a great list of various sites and blogs that are talking about this issue if you would like to read more opinions on this issue. Great job Iris!

GamingAngel
GamingAngel

awww USBCable just message me any time and I'll mentor you. My background is in IT.

First, it's late and I'm at SDCC so this will be shorter than I'd like. I don't think there is alot of hate outrage. I spoke to several of my EA friends at SDCC and joked with them about what backlash they may get from the contest. Several blogs that are traditionally aimed at men even wrote articles saying that the contest does make women feel uncomfortable and overall is just not needed at SDCC.

That is more my point. It's not the type of contest to have at SDCC. This place is packed. Every booth barely has places to stand. It's not E3 where there can be a stage or something where the model is standing outside of the booth. So now you have this contest where men and women are being asked to take pictures with the hired models. Yes, they get paid well but it's to take pictures with the person, not commit acts of lust. Whatever that may mean (yes fine print says pictures).

Also and more to the point, SDCC is a family con. Because of this, contests should be more inviting overall.

I think women like most of us on the site, tend to be able to shrug this off and ignore it. We don't get mad and keep walking justify actions with ideas that sex sells and that's the way it is. But that does not make it right. That does not mean that there aren't other women or men that find it offensive.

Gaming is for everyone. GamingAngels.com is a site for everyone, but we do have certain goals and things we strive to accomplish. One of those is encouraging more women to go into tech and gaming careers. While this contest is just that, a contest, the problem is it doesn't do anything to help the "boys club" mentality of video game industry and this could discourage women (and perhaps men).

Yes in the end, I'm not upset. The correct word is disappointed.

GamingAngel
GamingAngel

awww USBCable just message me any time and I'll mentor you. My background is in IT.First, it's late and I'm at SDCC so this will be shorter than I'd like. I don't think there is alot of hate outrage. I spoke to several of my EA friends at SDCC and joked with them about what backlash they may get from the contest. Several blogs that are traditionally aimed at men even wrote articles saying that the contest does make women feel uncomfortable and overall is just not needed at SDCC.That is more my point. It's not the type of contest to have at SDCC. This place is packed. Every booth barely has places to stand. It's not E3 where there can be a stage or something where the model is standing outside of the booth. So now you have this contest where men and women are being asked to take pictures with the hired models. Yes, they get paid well but it's to take pictures with the person, not commit acts of lust. Whatever that may mean (yes fine print says pictures).Also and more to the point, SDCC is a family con. Because of this, contests should be more inviting overall.I think women like most of us on the site, tend to be able to shrug this off and ignore it. We don't get mad and keep walking justify actions with ideas that sex sells and that's the way it is. But that does not make it right. That does not mean that there aren't other women or men that find it offensive.Gaming is for everyone. GamingAngels.com is a site for everyone, but we do have certain goals and things we strive to accomplish. One of those is encouraging more women to go into tech and gaming careers. While this contest is just that, a contest, the problem is it doesn't do anything to help the "boys club" mentality of video game industry and this could discourage women (and perhaps men).Yes in the end, I'm not upset. The correct word is disappointed.

UsbCable
UsbCable

Btw I'm extremely socially retarded sooooo yeah lol. Just a heads up :)

Now off to bed!

UsbCable
UsbCable

Btw I'm extremely socially retarded sooooo yeah lol. Just a heads up :)Now off to bed!

UsbCable
UsbCable

I haven't slept all day so if you can't understand me it's not your fault and the grammar train is gone....

I don't think this offends anyone but those that read into it to much. At first I was like wow, they're encouraging groping basically...... Then I realized yes some people are silly but men aren't that slow. No one is going just run up to a girl and start humping them, worst case is someone ask to take a pic while hugging them and they say no. I'm not being sarcastic here but it's funny when I read this post, Cherith seemed mostly angry that she couldn't lust at men lol (I don't mean this in a bad way, I really thought it was funny). I have to be honest and shed a tear lol. It seems that all these gamer girl committees really do hate men at times..... O_o I get that certain things can be annoying to woman like when games use boobs to sell a game but when it's discussed by woman i always get a vibe that they're cussing all men and me personally. I hear and read the phrase stupid men a lot lately sometime out of no where..... A certain podcast I was listing to they were interviewing someone at a restaurant type place and all of a sudden the female host yells "MEN ARE STUPID" for no reason and then they just continue talking and no she wasn't joking lol.
On this site in an interview with the super awesome GamerBeauties, GamingAngel (are we allowed to call you by your real name ? lol) asked if they had any last words and one responded:

"I am so excited about this partnership with GA. This is a wonderful opportunity for networking, for both parties, while they are promoting us, we are spreading the word about gamingangels.com, its win-win, and its a major plus working with an all female group. Not having to worry about retarded men hitting on you and sponsoring & promoting you just because girls are a minority in gaming."

There are so many examples but I can't feel my face so no more lol. I'm totally gonna cry if I see that here again! XD There's plenty of sites out there that finds things to hate on and try to make them change it or just hate some more lol. What you have going here Ms.CEO of GA's is super! The range of things yall cover, the community, everything about this site is sick. Everyone I've come across here just REALLY loves to game, read books/manga, etc. I really don't get the we're girl gamers hear me rawr vibe from here at all. Everyone is on the forums here, it just seemed strange to me to see the hey stop catering to guys and stop degrading every female on earth right in front of the site. I feel like this could instead be the spot for company's to come to to have constructive conversations with woman about what they agree and disagree with in the gaming world and what yall want. If anyone is mad at me about something or happy please, twitter me @UsbCable0, I'm gonna be messing with the insides of my computer tomorrow and I don't know if it'll turn back on lmao. Btw GameingAngel, um I understand your a tech y person? I fail at life help guide me to awesome zone pwease lol. I need a mentor, if any one else wants to help me fail less I'm all ears.

AGAIN! I haven't slept all day so this is a brain fart with heart lol!!!!! If I've offended someone please understand that wasn't my point. I don't think this has 1 point, I kinda just typed, what was in my head.....

UsbCable
UsbCable

I haven't slept all day so if you can't understand me it's not your fault and the grammar train is gone....I don't think this offends anyone but those that read into it to much. At first I was like wow, they're encouraging groping basically...... Then I realized yes some people are silly but men aren't that slow. No one is going just run up to a girl and start humping them, worst case is someone ask to take a pic while hugging them and they say no. I'm not being sarcastic here but it's funny when I read this post, Cherith seemed mostly angry that she couldn't lust at men lol (I don't mean this in a bad way, I really thought it was funny). I have to be honest and shed a tear lol. It seems that all these gamer girl committees really do hate men at times..... O_o I get that certain things can be annoying to woman like when games use boobs to sell a game but when it's discussed by woman i always get a vibe that they're cussing all men and me personally. I hear and read the phrase stupid men a lot lately sometime out of no where..... A certain podcast I was listing to they were interviewing someone at a restaurant type place and all of a sudden the female host yells "MEN ARE STUPID" for no reason and then they just continue talking and no she wasn't joking lol.@UsbCable0
, I'm gonna be messing with the insides of my computer tomorrow and I don't know if it'll turn back on lmao. Btw GameingAngel, um I understand your a tech y person? I fail at life help guide me to awesome zone pwease lol. I need a mentor, if any one else wants to help me fail less I'm all ears.AGAIN! I haven't slept all day so this is a brain fart with heart lol!!!!! If I've offended someone please understand that wasn't my point. I don't think this has 1 point, I kinda just typed, what was in my head.....

ShadowWingLG
ShadowWingLG

http://bullyscomics.blogspot.com/2008/08/serious-note.html

That blog outlines several events of sexual harrassment that occured at the 2008 SDCC.

This is a HUGE problem in the Con Worlds and only AnthroCon has the most comprehensive and stringent Sexual Harrassment Policy out there. The main troubles with this contest it that it actively encourageing a bad trend at SDCC (and other cons) and REWARDS this behavior.

Also not covered is the fact that many cosplayers attend SDCC, some of these players are mistaken for actual "Booth Babes' and treated as such, not to mention the phrase "Any costumed promoter' so are the ladies at the DC or Marvel Booths free game for this contest? Did EA run this idea past ALL the other companies, promoters and sales booths that MIGHT have costumed promoters? Did they even warn their OWN Booth Girls and ask if this was okay?

This whole thing is a disaster waiting to happen, while many of the contestants (and some of the Babes) would play along. "Hey I need a pic for this constest you want to help me?" There is a severe risk that the ONE in a hundred will take it too far and the poor guy gets arrested for assault, the poor girl might have some scars for life.

ShadowWingLG
ShadowWingLG

http://bullyscomics.blogspot.com/2008/08/serious-note.htmlThat blog outlines several events of sexual harrassment that occured at the 2008 SDCC.This is a HUGE problem in the Con Worlds and only AnthroCon has the most comprehensive and stringent Sexual Harrassment Policy out there. The main troubles with this contest it that it actively encourageing a bad trend at SDCC (and other cons) and REWARDS this behavior.Also not covered is the fact that many cosplayers attend SDCC, some of these players are mistaken for actual "Booth Babes' and treated as such, not to mention the phrase "Any costumed promoter' so are the ladies at the DC or Marvel Booths free game for this contest? Did EA run this idea past ALL the other companies, promoters and sales booths that MIGHT have costumed promoters? Did they even warn their OWN Booth Girls and ask if this was okay?This whole thing is a disaster waiting to happen, while many of the contestants (and some of the Babes) would play along. "Hey I need a pic for this constest you want to help me?" There is a severe risk that the ONE in a hundred will take it too far and the poor guy gets arrested for assault, the poor girl might have some scars for life.

Jordan
Jordan

I'm a female gamer myself and I'm right up there in agreement with Dave and Zeel.

If focus so much energy to complain about gender neutrality, or how I'm not being accommodated as a female then I'd probably never get around to playing 90% of the videogames that I own and love.

Jordan
Jordan

I'm a female gamer myself and I'm right up there in agreement with Dave and Zeel.If focus so much energy to complain about gender neutrality, or how I'm not being accommodated as a female then I'd probably never get around to playing 90% of the videogames that I own and love.

Zeel
Zeel

um... soryy but i'll have to go and agree with dave there, you can't say that the contest is sexist or that it is even appealing to only men, perhaps you might have forgotten but there are also women who would partake in such a contest, those who prefer the comfort of other women perchance, that aside, it can't be sexist if it is not discriminatory to the other sex group, which is in your case, female gamers, the contest never stated that female gamers where not allowed to partake in it, or that their participation/enties would not be accepted, it is just for promotion for the game, which is about a dude, going through hell, to get his wife back, the theme and manner of the contest fit well into the games', If you say the contest is sexist, then i would be expecting you and it would only be natural, for you to go ahead and say that the game itself is sexist, because that is the whole theme of the game, a man as a hero, going to rescue his wife, and this sin, lust, which is in the game, would definitely be about man lust, not the other way around.... now if you take my word and say that yes, the game is sexist as well, then we can go ahead and call super mario bros. and every other game with male thems and such sexist, cuz that's what the world is turning into, everyone must be satisfied before it's not sexist i guess.

Now on to some pressing concerns about your comment up there gamingangel, you said booth babes have to put up with a lot, like men coming to ask for their pictures and having to smile all the time and the smell from the unwashed lot (ill get back to this one) it is their job, if they want to be booth babes, sign up and accept the job, they should already know that all the picture taking and such comes with the job, smiling? you must smile at every job you do that has you relating with the public, i should know, i've done a few public relations jobs and i know that it is compulsory you smile and are friendly (generally enjoy the job) else you/you company gets no customers, and in turn you get no bonuses, so what i'm saying is, if they don't enjoy being booth babes and want to frown all day, the doors there, they weren't forced into the jobs in the first place... now unto the "smelling" comment, why would you say that, i go to all events i can here in the UK and i always have my bath everyday before each show/day n such, i know i can't speak for everyone but i'm pretty sure a huge percent of people do too, notice i said people? but you, you only singled out the guys, like i said before, there are girls that oogle the boothbabes as well and there are also girls that don't take showers, it's not only guys, just had to get that one out...

Now after reading your looong comment/rant gamingangel, i take it you really despise all things men, for what reason i have no idea, but if you call yourself a GAMER, you wouldn't be so quick to pick up everything as gender bashing or what not, hell you don't see me complaining when ubisoft and nintendo release all the pony games and such, even played a few (not bad as games really) i don't go saying "they shoulda made a gender neutral version" . Can i just say, if this game, is men only, so is a lot of other games out there, does that mean there shouldn't be any female gamers playing them because of this? well, personally, i hope not, but even if it were to mean that/happen, people will still make games like Dante's Inferno, and a lot of guys would still buy the games, and enjoy them, and the girls would only be missing out on a lot.

sorry for the uber long post, just got carried away there, hope it actually makes sense :D

Zeel
Zeel

um... soryy but i'll have to go and agree with dave there, you can't say that the contest is sexist or that it is even appealing to only men, perhaps you might have forgotten but there are also women who would partake in such a contest, those who prefer the comfort of other women perchance, that aside, it can't be sexist if it is not discriminatory to the other sex group, which is in your case, female gamers, the contest never stated that female gamers where not allowed to partake in it, or that their participation/enties would not be accepted, it is just for promotion for the game, which is about a dude, going through hell, to get his wife back, the theme and manner of the contest fit well into the games', If you say the contest is sexist, then i would be expecting you and it would only be natural, for you to go ahead and say that the game itself is sexist, because that is the whole theme of the game, a man as a hero, going to rescue his wife, and this sin, lust, which is in the game, would definitely be about man lust, not the other way around.... now if you take my word and say that yes, the game is sexist as well, then we can go ahead and call super mario bros. and every other game with male thems and such sexist, cuz that's what the world is turning into, everyone must be satisfied before it's not sexist i guess.Now on to some pressing concerns about your comment up there gamingangel, you said booth babes have to put up with a lot, like men coming to ask for their pictures and having to smile all the time and the smell from the unwashed lot (ill get back to this one) it is their job, if they want to be booth babes, sign up and accept the job, they should already know that all the picture taking and such comes with the job, smiling? you must smile at every job you do that has you relating with the public, i should know, i've done a few public relations jobs and i know that it is compulsory you smile and are friendly (generally enjoy the job) else you/you company gets no customers, and in turn you get no bonuses, so what i'm saying is, if they don't enjoy being booth babes and want to frown all day, the doors there, they weren't forced into the jobs in the first place... now unto the "smelling" comment, why would you say that, i go to all events i can here in the UK and i always have my bath everyday before each show/day n such, i know i can't speak for everyone but i'm pretty sure a huge percent of people do too, notice i said people? but you, you only singled out the guys, like i said before, there are girls that oogle the boothbabes as well and there are also girls that don't take showers, it's not only guys, just had to get that one out...Now after reading your looong comment/rant gamingangel, i take it you really despise all things men, for what reason i have no idea, but if you call yourself a GAMER, you wouldn't be so quick to pick up everything as gender bashing or what not, hell you don't see me complaining when ubisoft and nintendo release all the pony games and such, even played a few (not bad as games really) i don't go saying "they shoulda made a gender neutral version" . Can i just say, if this game, is men only, so is a lot of other games out there, does that mean there shouldn't be any female gamers playing them because of this? well, personally, i hope not, but even if it were to mean that/happen, people will still make games like Dante's Inferno, and a lot of guys would still buy the games, and enjoy them, and the girls would only be missing out on a lot.sorry for the uber long post, just got carried away there, hope it actually makes sense :D

GamingAngel
GamingAngel

When I got the press release, I automatically wrote EA back and just shook my head. First, it's a contest that is obviously only for men at a con that should be more welcoming and recognizing of it's female audience. I have been attending San Diego Comic Con for 10 years and this year there are more women here than ever before. Maybe some of that is due to Twilight but at the same time, Twilight is one panel and those same girls are on the showroom floor. Exploring and buying. So why not embrace this opportunity to reach to a wider audience? Instead EA decides to market to the stereotypical male gamer demographic.

Second this contest is incredibly demeaning and insulting to the "booth babes". While I don't see the need for booth babes, I understand that sex sells and women can be more inviting to talk to than guys. Booth Babes already have to deal with alot. They have to smile as men continually ask for their picture and deal with sometimes unpleasant smells from the unwashed lot. Now you are giving your male audience a freedom of doing anything to these women in the name of an act of lust? Is EA their pimp? Because while it could just be a picture, the Press release did not read that way. In fact it was encouraging people to be creative. And you know there is one nerd out there that will try to take it too far.

For as much as sections of EA reach out to a female demographic, this contest has set EA back in terms. When I read Dante's Inferno, I didn't see it as a story that appealed to a male only audience. I LOVE the story of Dante's Inferno. But now I'm faced with this marketing that is basically telling me that EA's market for this title is only for men. Perhaps this time, I won't be just that woman that buys a title that is so obviously being marketed to men silently, and this time I won't give them my money. Maybe if more women did that when a company acted like this (and men!) then it would make a financial impact and then we can start to see a change toward Gender Neutral Video Game Marketing.

GamingAngel
GamingAngel

When I got the press release, I automatically wrote EA back and just shook my head. First, it's a contest that is obviously only for men at a con that should be more welcoming and recognizing of it's female audience. I have been attending San Diego Comic Con for 10 years and this year there are more women here than ever before. Maybe some of that is due to Twilight but at the same time, Twilight is one panel and those same girls are on the showroom floor. Exploring and buying. So why not embrace this opportunity to reach to a wider audience? Instead EA decides to market to the stereotypical male gamer demographic.Second this contest is incredibly demeaning and insulting to the "booth babes". While I don't see the need for booth babes, I understand that sex sells and women can be more inviting to talk to than guys. Booth Babes already have to deal with alot. They have to smile as men continually ask for their picture and deal with sometimes unpleasant smells from the unwashed lot. Now you are giving your male audience a freedom of doing anything to these women in the name of an act of lust? Is EA their pimp? Because while it could just be a picture, the Press release did not read that way. In fact it was encouraging people to be creative. And you know there is one nerd out there that will try to take it too far.For as much as sections of EA reach out to a female demographic, this contest has set EA back in terms. When I read Dante's Inferno, I didn't see it as a story that appealed to a male only audience. I LOVE the story of Dante's Inferno. But now I'm faced with this marketing that is basically telling me that EA's market for this title is only for men. Perhaps this time, I won't be just that woman that buys a title that is so obviously being marketed to men silently, and this time I won't give them my money. Maybe if more women did that when a company acted like this (and men!) then it would make a financial impact and then we can start to see a change toward Gender Neutral Video Game Marketing.

Dave Turner
Dave Turner

Not really sure that this is poor marketing. It is not gender neutral, but neither is most art. Much has been made of having booth babes or the existence of booth babes but they appeal certain fans even if they upset others, much like all art. Many gamers, including this author, appreciate the booth babes at various events.

The idea of suggesting that the marketing is "sexist" simply because there is not male booth staff that can be "oogled" undermines that accusation by implying that it's only sexism if one gamer group's interests are not appealed to in an equally "base" way. If the marketing team wants to appeal to one gamer group (say male or female gamers that like attractive women) that does not make the marketing "sexist" just because you are not a member of that group. This would like saying that the name, marketing and mission of "Gaming Angels" is sexist because has a needed female voice which may not directly appeal to some male gamers. Fans of Gaming Angels (including this author) would agree that this is not the case, but they would probably also agree that Gaming Angels is not gender neutral.

Next that idea of an alternate gender prize package ("to go out with two gorgeous men instead") is not defensible. Clearly contestants who want this particular prize should enter, you can't buy a ticket to win a state lottery and demand to be paid in gold or jewels. The prize is what it is for this promotion. Again one has no moral high ground if you argue that the prize is "sexist" simply because one group's interests are not appealed to and then rhetorically lobby for the prize to appeal to one's own interest group.

You can argue that you disagree with the use of sexual elements in all marketing (and if you do this you must be gender neutral across the board) or you can argue that you envy the appeal being made to another interest group, but doing both and calling this marketing piece sexist is a little like driving on both sides of the road.

Dave Turner
Dave Turner

Not really sure that this is poor marketing. It is not gender neutral, but neither is most art. Much has been made of having booth babes or the existence of booth babes but they appeal certain fans even if they upset others, much like all art. Many gamers, including this author, appreciate the booth babes at various events.The idea of suggesting that the marketing is "sexist" simply because there is not male booth staff that can be "oogled" undermines that accusation by implying that it's only sexism if one gamer group's interests are not appealed to in an equally "base" way. If the marketing team wants to appeal to one gamer group (say male or female gamers that like attractive women) that does not make the marketing "sexist" just because you are not a member of that group. This would like saying that the name, marketing and mission of "Gaming Angels" is sexist because has a needed female voice which may not directly appeal to some male gamers. Fans of Gaming Angels (including this author) would agree that this is not the case, but they would probably also agree that Gaming Angels is not gender neutral.Next that idea of an alternate gender prize package ("to go out with two gorgeous men instead") is not defensible. Clearly contestants who want this particular prize should enter, you can't buy a ticket to win a state lottery and demand to be paid in gold or jewels. The prize is what it is for this promotion. Again one has no moral high ground if you argue that the prize is "sexist" simply because one group's interests are not appealed to and then rhetorically lobby for the prize to appeal to one's own interest group.You can argue that you disagree with the use of sexual elements in all marketing (and if you do this you must be gender neutral across the board) or you can argue that you envy the appeal being made to another interest group, but doing both and calling this marketing piece sexist is a little like driving on both sides of the road.

ToeKnee
ToeKnee

Well you have to remember the age old quote that "any publicity is good publicity", it's my uneducated guess that this was EA's intention...and they have the track record to back that up. Remember, this isnt the first time EA has done something stupid to promote a game. But being the major Corp. that they are they were smart enough to let their lawyers write in some lame back door for them to use once this blew up in their faces.

Overall I think it was a bad move, it's not going to win them any female fans thats for damn sure and it just oozes sleaze. But being a man myself (at least that's what my mommy tells me) I know how men react to certain things and a game contest fake-tattooed across a woman's rather large bust will certainly attract attention, which was their intent all along.

Now, as for male booth "babes", I'd like to be the first to sign up for this job. I'm sure my pastey white body and portly figure would draw the masses to whatever game I was to promote.

ToeKnee
ToeKnee

Well you have to remember the age old quote that "any publicity is good publicity", it's my uneducated guess that this was EA's intention...and they have the track record to back that up. Remember, this isnt the first time EA has done something stupid to promote a game. But being the major Corp. that they are they were smart enough to let their lawyers write in some lame back door for them to use once this blew up in their faces.Overall I think it was a bad move, it's not going to win them any female fans thats for damn sure and it just oozes sleaze. But being a man myself (at least that's what my mommy tells me) I know how men react to certain things and a game contest fake-tattooed across a woman's rather large bust will certainly attract attention, which was their intent all along.Now, as for male booth "babes", I'd like to be the first to sign up for this job. I'm sure my pastey white body and portly figure would draw the masses to whatever game I was to promote.

Jacki
Jacki

But then it wouldn't be as publicized. It's just like the protesting that was done at E3; it was publicity.

Germs
Germs

I wish they would have clarified this BEFORE everyone got into an uproar!

Faith
Faith

Reading both EA's comment and all the comments here, I tend to think there's nothing wrong with what EA did. There are tons of male targeted contests out there (i.e the beer company's contests) that don't offer up prizes that would make women happy. It sucks but it happens because that's how these companies see their targeted audiences.

Sure, maybe EA didn't word the contest right, but in the long run, if any person went up to any booth rep or costumed attendee and did anything inappropriate with her without her permission in order to win this contest, that on their head and not EA's. No where in the contest did EA give permission for anyone to do anything with a woman without her permission and honestly people should just know better anyway.

I know some of the reps at EA and they would never promote the sexual harassment of woman. This contest was just suppose to be all in fun with the idea that the girls at Comic Con would be just taking pictures.

Faith
Faith

Reading both EA's comment and all the comments here, I tend to think there's nothing wrong with what EA did. There are tons of male targeted contests out there (i.e the beer company's contests) that don't offer up prizes that would make women happy. It sucks but it happens because that's how these companies see their targeted audiences.Sure, maybe EA didn't word the contest right, but in the long run, if any person went up to any booth rep or costumed attendee and did anything inappropriate with her without her permission in order to win this contest, that on their head and not EA's. No where in the contest did EA give permission for anyone to do anything with a woman without her permission and honestly people should just know better anyway.I know some of the reps at EA and they would never promote the sexual harassment of woman. This contest was just suppose to be all in fun with the idea that the girls at Comic Con would be just taking pictures.

Cherith
Cherith

...not to mention the phrase “Any costumed promoter’ so are the ladies at the DC or Marvel Booths free game for this contest? Did EA run this idea past ALL the other companies, promoters and sales booths that MIGHT have costumed promoters? Did they even warn their OWN Booth Girls and ask if this was okay?
---

That, overall was my biggest problem with this promotion. Yes, most of the girls there know when they sign up for the job that there's some level of attention that they're going to receive that's unwanted. However, it's the wording to encourage contestants (male or female) to 'commit acts of lust' is a pretty underhanded way to advertise - and to create a lot of potential for some form of harassment at what is a work environment for the both promoters.

Cherith
Cherith

...not to mention the phrase “Any costumed promoter’ so are the ladies at the DC or Marvel Booths free game for this contest? Did EA run this idea past ALL the other companies, promoters and sales booths that MIGHT have costumed promoters? Did they even warn their OWN Booth Girls and ask if this was okay?
---That, overall was my biggest problem with this promotion. Yes, most of the girls there know when they sign up for the job that there's some level of attention that they're going to receive that's unwanted. However, it's the wording to encourage contestants (male or female) to 'commit acts of lust' is a pretty underhanded way to advertise - and to create a lot of potential for some form of harassment at what is a work environment for the both promoters.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The prize is listed in part as "Dinner and a sinful night with two hot girls". Many are understandably outraged at the blatant sexism and the encouragement of sexual harassment. This incident comes on the heels [...]

  2. [...] are understandably outraged at the blatant sexism and the encouragement of sexual harassment. This incident comes on the heels [...]

  3. [...] GamingAngels points out that the hub-bub over the “male only” IGN contest should have tipped them off (H/T Brinstar): Alright, I get it. The game is about the 7 Deadly Sins, one of them being Lust. And sure, this is one of the easiest (aside from Sloth) sins to use to promote the game. But really? After the debacle with the IGN contest recently wouldn’t at least do a little thinking about the audience – not to mention the ‘booth babes’? The contest is specific in stating “any booth babe” so, this isn’t even about the girls that might be at the Dante’s Inferno area – which means every girl working a booth at the Con is fair game in their eyes. [...]

  4. [...] -Lujuria. Durante la Comic-Con de San Diego, EA hizo un concurso en el que el premio era una noche con dos chicas. [...]

  5. [...] all that, this video does in no way absolve EA from their past shitty behavior. I still remember their charming “Sin to Win” contest at SDCC 2009, in which they encouraged men to sexually harass EA employees, “booth babes,” for [...]

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