The totally awesome and not at all insulting to

  • women who resent being viewed as a walking support system for attractive curves and to
  • men who resent being viewed as a random collection of lustful urges

EA advertising campaign is attracting a bit of attention.


Just a bit.

Zubon at Kill Ten Rats has a modest proposal.

Since the approach is apparently, “any publicity is good publicity,” I’m just not going to mention any EA games for the rest of the year unless this is somehow made right.

Sorry, Bioware! A commenter at Ars Technica has some experience, being an actual attractive female company representative at conventions. You know.

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.

The irony: this has happened before. Last year we had legendarily creepy LiveJournal ‘celebrity’ “The Ferrett” announce that you know, it would be a better world if he could just walk up to random strangers at ComicCon and feel their boobs. And being a totally Aspergian geek, he MADE IT OPEN SOURCE.


We talked about this. It was an Open-Source Project, making breasts available to select folks. (Like any good project, you need access control, because there are loutish men and women who just Don’t Get It.) And we wanted a signal to let people know that they were okay with being asked politely, so we turned it into a project:


The Open-Source Boob Project.


Why would anyone take offense at this? WHY GOD WHY? Oh.


This sort of thing happens frequently at cons. Don’t believe me? Ask isako or purpletophat. Women who wear skimpy outfits at cons or even slightly flesh bearing outfits at Cons hear this all the time. Or worse, people just go ahead and do it. I’ve slapped many a fanboy hand.


The idea that you can touch whatever on display is not body positive. It hearkens back to the common plea: “Well officer she deserved it! She was wearing a mini-skirt! She asked for it.” That idea is frankly repugnant. To be fair, I think however that this is more the writer’s salivation than the project’s.


To be fair, I don’t actually believe that the EA marketing droids that came up with this juvenile drivel thought for a moment that they were encouraging the mauling of female convention-goers. Given the history of the marketing for their project, they were really just pulling a Madonna and dancing in front of a burning cross because, hey, fire pretty. Thoughts about consequences? That’s for lame-os!

That doesn’t make their ‘I’m sorry you were offended by our witty marketing, oh, and please buy our game!’ standard corporate straight-from-image-management pseudo-apology any less disgusting.

We apologize for any confusion and offense that resulted from our choice of wording,

And I apologize for any confusion in how I worded my belief that your marketing team was devoid of common sense, views its female employees as sexual objects, and reflects poorly on our entire industry in its juvenile pursuit of attention.

and want to assure you that we take your concerns and sentiments seriously.

How nice for you.

I wish I could be surprised. Unfortunately – not really. Really, the only way this sort of complete and total nimrod idiocy will ever get addressed is if the industry as a whole starts actually, you know, hiring women and promoting them, so that at some point the fratboy “huh huh” atmosphere breaks down and sexual harassment isn’t viewed as a clever in-joke.