"The brass BALLS on EA to put a bounty on OTHER booth girls," writes one woman, a costumed rep fed up with the predictable reactions to EA's "Sin to Win" promo at San Diego Comic-Con.
"Iola," commenting on Ars Technica, one of the first and loudest to decry the Dante's Inferno "Acts of Lust" contest asking horny dudes to snap photos of themselves with hot women at the comic-con, rips EA for subjecting not just their own "costumed reps" to such treatment, but others as well. Iola equates it to sexual harrassment.
I love all the privileged, dismissive boys passing judgment 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.
Further, she says, the idea that this is all harmless fun couldn't be further from the truth. One might assume there's no implication of permission made by placing attractive women in the presence of a predominantly male audience, but Iola says she's seen otherwise.
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.
Let's play this down the middle, as much we can. "Costumed representatives" are there to make a physical appearance, both sides would agree. But Iola is right: Neither Comic-Con, nor E3, nor any other convention, is a strip club. It's no more appropriate to assume she's there for casual opposite-sex companionship than it would be to think a well dressed public relations professional - who's also there to promote a product and likewise is expected to look good on the job - is after the same thing.
The problem is that EA's promotion projected just that image - not only on their own reps, but reps of other companies as well, whether or not it was consistent with the spirit or tradition of Comic-Con, E3, or any other show. That's the reason for the furor, and that's why you got an apology.
EA Puts Sexual Bounty on the Heads of its Own Booth Babes [Ars Technica comments, thanks Brinstar]