Geek Girls Rule! #93 – What the HELL, EA Games?

You have got to be kidding me.  THIS is repulsive on so many levels…  I keep saying I’m not going to swear so much in this column, because people keep telling me their kids read it, but son-of-a-bitch!!!!!

So, EA Games has decided to run a contest at SDCC.  The rules are “1.  Commit act of lust” by getting photographed with a booth babe.  “2. Prove it” by posting it online via Twitter or Facebook and “3. Repeat.”    The prize for the guy with the highest number of entries is a date with “two hot babes,” I’m guessing the aforementioned booth babes.  After a day or two of being the victims of “acts of lust” committed and memorialized for posterity by sweaty, mouth breathing assholes, that should be a fun night, hey. 

Just how do you put “be a ‘willing’ victim of mass acts of sexual harassment” into a job description and fly that by any legal department worth a damn?

I swear, this entire week has been an exercise in giving me a stroke.  Good thing I’ve started going back to the gym so I can work some of this anger off. 

I’ve been a surrogate booth babe for friends’ booths at smaller conventions than SDCC, and it kind of sucks.  I mean, I LIKE being friendly and flirty and talking to people.  But after a few hours of lame come-ons, open ogling and sweaty palms, not to mention the assholes who seem to think your position as advertising for your buddy’s goods means you’re public property and who try to sneak pinches or grabs, your smile gets brittle and strained, and you start to really, really, REALLY hate the male half of the species. 

It’s a phenomena you’ll find in a lot of women who do work which involves them playing the part of sexual fantasy girl in any sort of capacity.  And I don’t just mean booth babes, car show models, strippers or peepshow girls.  I also mean, bartenders, waitresses and any number of other service industry jobs, where, because of the sexism inherent in our society, women are expected to be nice, kind, friendly and accomodating.  Where your income and living depend on being nice to the kind of mouth-breathing douchebags and slimy, smarmy assheads you’d rather beat to death with a barstool. 

I mean, at least strippers have giant bouncers whose hobbies include “asshole origami” to protect them.  I highly doubt EA has hired any bouncers to protect these women.  I hope at least one of them knows Krav Maga or Jiu Jitsu and puts some neanderthals in the hospital, then EA winds up covering the bills for it. 

I just don’t know what they hell they’re thinking.  Do I really have to explain why this is a shitty and stupid contest idea?  Do I?  I mean, if you’ve been reading here for any length of time I’d think you’d have grasped a few of the basic tennants of Feminism. 

And hell, if you’re gonna do that sort of thing, why not have Booth Hunks for the Fangirls to “commit acts of lust” with?  Oh, that’s right… Women don’t play videogames and we certainly don’t like checking out hot men…  I certainly hope that sarcasm’s coming through loud and clear for you, there. 

As I’ve said many, many times before… I am not against being pretty or sexy, or whatever.  I am not against finding people hot.  I AM against setting up your employees for sexual harassment, and probably some sexual assault as well.  People, male or female, have a tendency to behave badly when feeling anonymous in a crowd.  Add that to this society’s view of women’s bodies as objects and public property, then give them permission to engage in one level of bad behavior…  The stupid starts to stack up pretty quickly. 

Ok, that’s enough for now.  I have to go lay down, this aneurysm I’ve got going is starting to overwhelm me. 

I think I’ll name it “Frank.”

15 thoughts on “Geek Girls Rule! #93 – What the HELL, EA Games?

  1. Don’t mind me. I’ll just sputter here and fume. I wonder what if they reversed it. What if there were a bounty on cute guys working the booths? I’m guessing it wouldn’t fly so well.

    I was thinking of getting NHL ’09. I won’t, unless it’s used and they get no money.

  2. Or, as I’ve said before: Consenting to “look” doesn’t mean consenting to “touch”.

    IIRC, it’s actually illegal in CA for patrons to grope strippers, so I don’t see how this would be any different.

  3. I actually just yelled “What the Fucking FUCK?!?!?!” at my computer screen!

    I’m too incensed right at the moment to do much more than sputter semi-coherent obscenities right now (and it took longer than I like to think of just to be able to type that my hands are shaking that much)…

  4. What I especially love is that the contest is for pictures with any booth babe. So even if EA’s girls agreed to this extra in advance, the booth babes at all the other companies sure as hell didn’t.

  5. Ugh, I read that earlier and couldn’t believe their legal dept signed off on it. The legal dept needs to talk with their HR dept to get caught up on sexual harassment law.

    I know the thought process, ’cause as a guy I’ve had similar before thinking about all the ramifications. They said “Hey, lets come up with a contest that promotes out game while the Comi-Con attendees do what they normally would do anyway, getting pictures with Booth-babes”, it gets lots of people to post pictures of their booth (Free advertising) and gives guys an excuse to get even more pictures with booth-babes (Good-will association).

    But someone should have pointed out the extreme cases, the guys who take the “Act Of Lust” concept too far and move to lewd and uncivilized conduct, possibly even sexual assault in order to “win the contest”. Something tells me months of stories on the “EA Rape Case” did not cross their minds and if they did they were not thought of as “Good Publicity”.

  6. Considering these cons and the gamer demographic keep getting more and more diverse every year, I have to wonder why the FUCK the marketing departments keep pulling this breed of bullshit. I don’t reasonably expect your average male gamer to behave (wish I could), but I do expect better out of the companies. The ones who I keep assuming want to make money, but I think I’m fooling myself: they’d rather uphold the status quo and terrible image that we gamers have than avoid actively excluding and alienating possible customers.

  7. As a guy I feel insulted by the concept of booth babes. Like my libido has anything to do with my motivations as a consumer… And no I’m not gay. This contest is a shame and makes me gag. I wish this industry would grow up and find more creative ways to attract people to their booths. Maybe there could be a way to keep track of the pricks who participate and expose them for the abusive pigs they are.

  8. As I said at dinner tonight, this news actually makes me glad The Sims 3 sucks. I’ll be damned if these asses will get another penny of my money.

  9. God.

    Damn.

    It.

    *SIGH* First there was that idiotic article by the LA Times, that stupidity of the contest where only MALES could apply to see District 9, and now this BS…

    I’m a geek, proud to be a geek, but dammit, I wish these morons would stop making it seem like to be a male geek is to be an inconsiderate moron and that said morons have to be marketed to in such sexist, disrespectful ways. I know one doesn’t HAVE to be a geek to be some throwback to the 50s, but still…

    Dammit, I LIKE the RTS games that EA points out, especially the tongue in cheek Red Alert 3, which I bought… UGH! Why is this year shaping out to be so vile and mean towards women of geekdom?

  10. The thing I find truly bizzare about this whole shinanigans is that at some point you had a number of marketers, most of whome would consider themselves relatively clever people, in a room together talking about this idea in a serious manner.

    Somewhere, there was a GROUP of people who sat down, brainstormed up a bunch of ideas, and then picked THIS idea as the most appropriate marketing message for their product. Think about that, someone had a list of ideas and picked “Grope the booth babes” as the best one.

    Considering how incredibly crass and moronic this contest is, it makes you wonder what else was on that white-board if sexual harassment was the best of the bunch…

    “Commit an act of wrath at the con! Extra points for blood!”

  11. The thing that pleased me about this was that when I looked at Twitter to see if anyone was actually stupid enough to do this, all I could find was people telling EA that this is a stupid idea and that EA sucks.

  12. […] Geek Girls Rule!: As I’ve said many, many times before… I am not against being pretty or sexy, or whatever. I am not against finding people hot. I AM against setting up your employees for sexual harassment, and probably some sexual assault as well. People, male or female, have a tendency to behave badly when feeling anonymous in a crowd. Add that to this society’s view of women’s bodies as objects and public property, then give them permission to engage in one level of bad behavior… The stupid starts to stack up pretty quickly. […]

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