For years, ChinaJoy, the country's premiere gaming show, rolled out girls in skimpy outfits and heels to promote games. But year after year, the games continue to move into the background, and the ChinaJoy booth companions move to the forefront.
A few years ago, Chinese gamers lit up message boards with photos of booth companions in hot pants so tight that they left absolutely nothing to the imagination. Companions wear dangerously skimpy clothing and show ample cleavage. Then, there's the stripper-type poles, the girls in cages, the whole in-your-face spectacle of it.
This year's ChinaJoy is apparently going to be tightening regulations regarding booth companions and game companies. According to reports, event organisers will be stricter about the booth companions' outfits and the booth events. What form this will take, if any, remains to be seen. ChinaJoy isn't the first gaming show to toughen up over the amount of real skin on display.
Likewise, Los Angeles-based game show E3 cracked down on "booth babes", banning them from the 2007 event. The 2006 E3 featured ear-splicing rock bands, fire juggling, and random ladies in skimpy clothes. Booth companions did finally return to E3 with the 2009 show, albeit somewhat tamer than in years past.
Last year, China cracked down on sex in online game advertisements, even issuing a notice that allows local officials to force game companies to delete content in online game promotions that is deemed inappropriate. The stipulation not only bans the use of sex, but also gambling and violence in game promotion.
First held in 2004, ChinaJoy is the largest game gathering in China. This year's show will be held in Shanghai from July 28 to July 31.