Eurogamer Expo Bans Booth Babes
No more naked flesh at future Eurogamer Expos.
The Eurogamer Expo, held in Earls Court last week, was by most accounts a smashing success for gamers, journalists, and videogame publishers alike. But one thing that stood out like a sore thumb amidst all the good press and good karma the event received was the presence of “booth babes” at the event who were there at the behest of a few publishers.
The organizers received heat from numerous professionals who objected to how certain publishers (e.g. Virgin Games) put so much naked skin up on display to essentially pimp out their products to the unwashed masses in attendance.
To that end, the Eurogamer managing director Rupert “Rauper” Loman wrote a lengthy post on the EG forums regarding the “booth babes” and how they’ll be banned from the show next year onwards.
Included in the post is his apology that it was even allowed to happen this year, like fending off the presence of booth babes is comparable to antibodies fighting off a viral infection or something.
When we started the Expo in 2008 we set out to create a different kind of gaming show. We’ve been to hundreds of trade and press events ourselves and we knew that our show had to be different to most of the others. In fact, we borrowed a motto from one of our forumites: “It’s all about the games”.
We want the games to do the talking and we want to present games and gamers in the best possible light. That’s why every game on the show floor is playable. It’s why all the booths are open (so you can watch and talk about games while you’re waiting). It’s why we cap the number of tickets on sale to make it a more pleasant experience (although we know there’s more we need to do in this area to reduce queue times). And it’s why we have game branding rather than publisher branding.
One of the things we also decided was that we didn’t want booth babes at the show.
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.
Not too keen on having their privileges taken away, some of the forum members have lashed out at Rupert with angry comments.
“The best thing about the show was the booth babes,” wrote NOSAVIOUR. “There’s no fun in waiting 2.5 hrs for a 10 minute go on a game if you can’t flirt with a game. Eurogaymer.”