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The Booth Babe Backlash - EA apologizes for dumb idea "sin to win" promo.


Like Adfreak said on Friday EA takes booth babe lechery to a new level when they announced their competition, take a photo of your self “commiting an act of lust” with a booth babe at ComicCon and twitter it under the hashtag #lust and you'll win a hot date with said booth babe (presumably). The result - pissed off people taking over that tag discussing how dumb the idea is, and a new tag invented just for EA - #EAFail. people are tweeting directly to the game creators official twitter name @Danteteam what they think about this, fun for whomever runs that account, I'm sure. Congratulations to the copywriter with the poorly chosen-words skill.

Kotaku has the full apology

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.

The major obvious dumb assumption that the EA game people and Dante's Inferno are making is they are assuming that all hardcore gamers are straight males (or possibly sex crazy lesbians). This is simply not the case and when you keep doing shit like this rather than flaunt what makes your game cooler than other games, you are alienating the gay males and straight females from your buyer group. You'll never be on the forefront of expanding market with tactics like that. (Full disclosure: I'm an ex hardcore gamer. There are only so many booth babes a girl can put up with in a lifetime)

Update I'm a scatterbrain today, meant to add the link to the screengrab of EA's apology tweeted to me by @digitalartform with the nice blog Digitalartform. Thanks for that.

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Dabitch's picture

This comment from iola must be read by the EA. Nice point at the bottom as well, not only are they encouraging the climate of sexual harrassment, they seem to be insinuating that their buyers can't get a girl on a date any other way.

I love all the privileged, dismissive boys passing judgement on here. You know, the ones who've never had to go to a con as a female and deal with some (certainly not all) knuckle-draggers who don't understand that a con does not suddenly suspend personal rights for anyone with breasts. Gals who go there to dress up and have a good time get sexually harassed, NEVERMIND the "booth babes" who "signed up for it" and then have their employer put them out for a contest.

Those of you using the "they can walk away" excuse please go back to the playbook for "she was asking for it" and figure out how you're being a sexist asshole. A job--even one based on someone's looks--DOES NOT EXCUSE OTHER PEOPLE of CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR.

Have any of you BEEN a "booth babe"? No? Then STFU. Myself, I've been a "booth babe" at many comic, scifi and anime cons for the last several yrs. I was also the training manager for ALL employees, running the booths and overseeing the product of two major companies. I also happen to be attractive and enjoy wearing costumes. I have a four-yr degree and my day-job is in the comic industry. But I guess I'm ASKING to be groped because I'm one step up from a hooker, right? Even if I WAS a fucking hooker, that gives no one the right. I can walk around in a thong and pasties and it's nobody's license to touch.

As for those that think the "fine print" settles everything, you're sadly wrong. I just worked a con last week where about 2-in-3 people would come stand directly under a large sign and STILL ask me the question answered on it. People don't read. You'd be lucky if they read the whole ad, let alone some fine print bullshit.

Then there's the girls. The brass BALLS on EA to put a bounty on OTHER booth girls. Hell, girls in general. Afterall, how does someone know who other booth girls are? At one SDCC I was trying to have a converstation with my editor off on the fringe of a booth, not wearing any "booth babe" identifiers--just being a girl in a costume--and we kept getting harassed by people who thought I was one of the booth's "babes."

Lastly, you guys think that people offended by this are over-reacting because SANE people at a con would never do something criminal? Spoken like someone who's not female and dressed up at a con. Last week I had some moron ACTUALLY STALK one of my new girls. Kept coming back to the booth even after she told him she wouldn't hang out. He kept getting more insistent that she hang out with him and give him her phone number. Kept telling her he'd come back when she asked him not to. Tried to FOLLOW HER. Yah, that's obviously not dangerous AT ALL. I've had my own issues over the years, including stalkers, men trying to take invasive photos, or grabbing things they shouldn't. I have at least a couple of guys a con who cross the line. Please don't downplay the seriousness of a situation that you know NOTHING ABOUT.

Why aren't you guys pissed that EA thinks gamers or con-goers are all socially-inept virgins anyway? Way to piss on ALL of your gaming audience.

Both beaucoupkevin.com and BullysComics have a post up on the climate of sexual harrassment at last years San Diego Comic-Con.

Neo's picture

That's an interesting forum thread you've found, I found this comment enligtening;

The reason this is a problem is the same reason we haven't hired some of the guys we've seen who have experience with EA.

It's a general lack of social skills and sense of what's appropriate. They may know how to test, but what they don't get is how to relate with other human beings in a professional environment. And I've heard stories, believe me. . .

That EA promotes or, at the very least ignores, this sort of behavior is not a shock, but it is a disappointment.