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Booth Babes

In defense of boobies

Apr 25 // Vito Gesualdi
It’s the same realm of harmless fantasy that inspired my fourteen-year-old self to rewind the shower scene from Starship Troopers a few hundred times, or spurned me to save up an absurd amount of money for Chie’s maid outfit in Persona 4 Golden. A cheap erotic thrill which in no way influences my attitudes towards actual women. This would be the weirdest crossover ever. I bring this up because of the recent controversy surrounding Vanillaware’s upcoming hack-n-slash Dragon’s Crown, a game whose female characters possess some rather obvious assets. The game’s brazen character art inspired a news post by Kotaku writer Jason Schreier, who jokingly accused it of having a fourteen-year-old for a character designer. The insinuation, of course, was that only a teenage boy could design something so blatantly over-sexualized, scribbling his depictions of Amazonian fantasy women in a dark corner of the middle-school cafeteria. I personally found this joke both lazy and offensive, diminishing the abilities of character designer George Kamitani and missing the obvious elements of parody evident in the art style. See, unlike our fourteen-year-old strawman, Kamitani’s seems entirely aware that his absurd depictions of the female form are beyond even the realm of fantasy, which seems to be the point. The game’s art is obvious satire, taking the already unrealistic anatomies laid out by fantasy art masters like Frazetta, and cranking them to 11. The fact that his characters are being compared by critics to the outdated fantasy heroines of yesteryear is precisely what makes them such a brilliant homage. Frazetta - the reason fantasy women don't know about armor. While we could easily get sidetracked regarding Kamitani’s arguably offensive reply to Schreier, it did force the writer to elaborate on his particular criticisms of the game’s art style, an eye-rolling attempt to demonize Dragon’s Crown simply due to its attempts to titillate.  Says Schreier: “Why complain? Because it's embarrassing. Because I wouldn't want to be seen playing it in public. Because I love Japanese games and Japanese RPGs and I don't want them to perpetuate the ugly "boys' club" mentality that has pervaded gaming for almost three decades now.” For Schreier to make the point that he’s embarrassed by this game, or that he wouldn’t want to be seen playing it in public seems bizarre, insinuating that games shouldn’t offer material which might be offensive to certain audiences. No, I wouldn’t play Dragon’s Crown with most of my female friends, nor would I invite them over to watch the latest Girls Gone Wild release. Though the game doesn’t appeal to all sensibilities, why should we expect it to? It's kind of like arguing for more family-friendly porno stores. Though the gaming industry should be taking efforts to attract a more mainstream audience, this is something that requires a diversification of offerings, not simply doing away with potentially-offensive outliers. This is similar to how Citizen Kane can be rented from the same video store as Dangerous Dongs Down Under Vol. 5. Same media, though the latter is kept in that roped-off section in the back (which given the niche appeal of Dragon’s Crown is probably where it belongs as well). Meanwhile, regarding the “boy’s club” complaint, it is worth admitting that the gaming industry is definitely lacking in strong portrayals of women. However, I take special exception to Schreier’s claim that media does not exist in a vacuum. His argument is that while Dragon’s Crown alone is not cause for concern, because it contributes to a growing selection of games which fail to portray women maturely, it should be considered part of a larger problem and decried as such. This thinking is wholly unreasonable, burdening creators with restrictions on what sorts of characters are “acceptable.” The creators of Dragon’s Crown do not owe us effective female characters, nor are their elaborate cartoonish fantasies something that could be considered morally unsound. It’s a simple stylistic choice, and though the game fails to provide the positive-gender portrayals the industry needs, looking for such things in your silly arcade hack-and-slash is honestly absurd. You might as well complain about how the game unfairly stereotypes dragons. While some accuse Dragon’s Crown and similar games of “holding the industry back,” it seems they have a different idea of what direction the industry needs to head in. I personally don’t believe every game need to include fleshed-out characters and plotlines, that I can sometimes be content to simply hit bad guys until they fall down. I even think it’s okay to show players some boobs, even if there’s about as much character development contained within them as in those pornographic movies I’m so fond of. Now admittedly, there is an obvious sexism problem within the gaming industry, with some still believing it’s appropriate to display women-objects at our “professional” events, or for news outlets to publish booth-babe photo spreads. However, to try and hold individual games responsible for this culture is entirely misguided. Yes, these games are often male power-fantasies, though that’s not a problem in and of itself (even if the fantasy involves large-breasted women). Few games seem truly malicious in their sexualization of women, and are guilty of nothing more than providing some cheap (and often lazy) thrills. The real problem is when these cheap thrills are interpreted incorrectly by the audience, potentially contributing to an unhealthy attitude towards women. Though again, the solution is not to outlaw titillation, but simply to broaden the realm of media, giving people more exposure to how actual women both look and act. However this will still leave room for the occasional science-fiction shower scene, or RPGs which let you dress up your characters like little dolls. We don’t need such harmless sexual depictions to disappear entirely, just for them to be balanced out by the mature characterizations the industry obviously needs. More of this please. Point is, Dragon's Crown has boobs. I can both enjoy them while simultaneously hoping for more realistic depictions of women in gaming. You can too.
Keeping Games Sexy photo
Or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the fantasy
Let me preface this article by stating a few simple facts. I am a young, white, American male who consumes vast amounts of pornography. As such, I am occasionally drawn to depictions of the female form which are perhaps outsi...

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Gallery: Welcome to G-Star 2012


'Booth companions'
Nov 09
// Dale North
Think of G-Star as Korea's Tokyo Game Show. This gaming expo, which I'm currently attending at the BEXCO in Busan, South Korea, runs through the weekend, and has already been pretty busy these last couple of workwee...
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TGS: Enjoy this floor gallery while we fight the crowds


Sep 22
// Dale North
Today is the first public day of TGS 2012, which means that we're stuck plowing through a sea of people to get to the good stuff. We've snapped some pictures of cool things and other oddities that we thought you might like to see, including wrestling matches, idol concerts, and more.  We've also included pictures of the crowd itself. Scary, right?

TGS: I took on a booth girl at Hot Shots Golf 6 and lost

Sep 20 // Dale North
Minna no Golf 6 on the PS3 looks a bit better than the Vita version, but it's more of a par shot than an eagle. They've bumped up the resolution to 1080p, and that's easy to appreciate, but while my lovely opponent was putting in birdies, I noticed that some background scenery objects look to have pretty low polygon counts, with closeups on things like mountains and fences looking a bit rough. Still, the game looks nice overall, with player models and UI objects seeing the biggest benefit from the visual upgrade. The Everybody's Golf mode lets you hand off a controller in matches for up to four players. Her handing off a still-warm controller threw my game off slightly, while her giggles at my imprecise swings really threw a wrench in the works. But the main point that really had me off was how she was probably hustling me. Her first couple of swings were widely off from the targets and greens, and she laughed these off as if to say 'oh well' or something. After she saw my confident turns she swooped in with near-perfect swings, knocking in a couple of birdies. One very long successful putt had me shooting her the 'really?' look. She just smiled and giggled.  If I had a chance to play her again, I'd try out the game's new cross-play feature, which lets Vita and PS3 owners take each other on. Maybe I'd have more luck using a Vita. Maybe not. Hot Shots Golf 6 will be released in Japan on November 22. It also brings PS Move support and all of the Vita's available DLC to the release. Cute booth girls not included.
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Look, I'm pretty good at videogame golf. I'm a seasoned veteran when it comes to Korean golf MMO Pangya, but I'm not half bad at Hot Shots Golf either. I've been an avid player of the series for 15 years now, so I'd like to t...

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Why GREE has the greatest booth at Tokyo Game Show


Sep 19
// Dale North
Seriously? This has to be a new record for the most booth girls ever at a gaming trade show. I can't imagine how much this many girls must have cost them, though I understand they have the money. Hats off, sirs.  Hit the jump to see a quick video walk-by of the GREE gals.
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HAWP: The splendiferous, monumentous E3 2012 trilogy


Jun 17
// Tony Ponce
Because Anthony was stuck rubbing his nuts on the Borderlands 2 booth for most of E3, it was up to Ash to get the Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? video content up this year. She manages to touch upon all the necessary bases: Papa ...

E3: Chest bumps with booth babes

Jun 07 // Jonathan Holmes
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I'm still not totally straight on the proper terminology here. Booth babe? Booth Companion? They both sound kind of creepy, which makes sense, as the whole concept of paying women to stand around at a videogame event so atte...

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HAWP: Anthony Burch has no shame


May 19
// Tony Ponce
So typical. Anthony Burch has a platform upon which he can share his insight into the value of videogames as a medium, yet he would rather throw all his credibility away for some cheap cheesecake exposure. He's not even all ...
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EB Games Expo 2011: The booth babes


Oct 21
// David Rayfield
On some levels, I don't really understand why booth babes exist. Sure, I get the whole 'sex sells' angle but I'm positive if I ever spoke to a booth babe, she probably wouldn't be able to tell me just how many Dark Brotherhoo...
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TGS: The lovely ladies of Tokyo Game Show


Sep 17
// Dale North
While I wish I could have stood around and looked at pretty girls all day, the Great Robot in the Sky sent me to Tokyo to write about videogames, so I had to enjoy them in passing, doing my best to snap a quick shot as I ran to my next appointment. These hastily snapped, semi-lit photos go against everything I've learned as a lifelong photo enthusiast. Forgive my quick and dirty job. 
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TGS: Before anything else, booth babes


Sep 14
// Dale North
Priorities, man. Sure, there's lots of games to see, but we need to get cosplay out of the way first.  The girls are lucky. I'm not sure if it's power saving measures or the humidity, but it's unbearably hot in the Makuh...
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China tells booth babes to show less skin


Jul 30
// Victoria Medina
Booth babes have become one of the attractions that people attending conventions and expos expect to see. They are sexy and usually scantily or outrageously dressed, they may not know anything about video games (or whatever p...
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Saints Row: The Third looks like crazy fun, and man, do I dig that slick trailer it's got! Hamza had a chance to talk with Drew Holmes, one of the writers at Volition, about how crazy the game is, the new vehicles, and Ham...

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E3: Girls of E3 photo gallery


Jun 12
// Neranjan 'Venom' Bissoon
What do Snoop Dogg, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Mr. Destructoid all have in common? They really have an awesome sneaker collection. They also happen to be super-star babe magnets and we all know that magnets work by magic. So whi...
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E3: Dude...


Jun 08
// Dale North
You always see galleries of booth babes in E3 coverage. Females. But what about the guys? There should be some lookers in the biggest sausagefest of them all, right? We...we found some. Kinda. Enjoy Destructoid's E3 dude gallery. Sorry.
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E3: Booth babes and dudes from the show floor, day 1


Jun 07
// Dale North
You want booth babes? Well, we're working on that. We've got some, but we threw some dudes in there. Dudes and a lombax.  The E3 floor is really fu*king crowded. It calmed down a bit this afternoon, but then someone star...
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TGS: The Accidental Pervert's best of booth companions


Sep 18
// Jonathan Holmes
So, as it turns out, there is a law in Japan against taking a girl's picture without her permission. Not only did I not know this, but even if I did, I have no idea how to ask a girl in Japanese if I am allowed to take her p...

PAX 10: The lost photo gallery

Sep 12 // Niero Gonzalez
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If you've ever packed into a sweaty hotel with all of your nerdy friends at PAX you've probably come to know one fact of life: you're going to lose something.  Virginity aside, one guy will end up with your laptop charge...

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Sundays with Sagat: Final Fantasy


Jul 21
// Jonathan Holmes
[Update] Looks like LonexWolf606 actually won the contest. Sorry! Worse still, I can't PM him/her for some reason. If you're reading this  LonexWolf606, email me at [email protected] so I can get you your winnin...
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E3 10: Precious moments with a booth babe


Jun 18
// Jonathan Holmes
While wandering the E3 show floor, you will see a men touch women that he doesn't know. You will see this many, many times. You will see them touch these women for a few seconds, usually by wrapping his arm around her. Then,...
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Want to know which E3 gallery was our most popular last year? Take a wild guess. The disparity in fact was so great that one editor suggested we just forget about video games and just turn Dtoid into a porn site.  The lo...

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No, Gladiator Begins is NOT a porn movie


Feb 03
// Josh Tolentino
[As posted on Japanator] I love Acquire. Creators of the Way of the Samurai games, they put the "quirky" into "quirky Japanese game." Part of being so quirky is their willingness to insert all kinds of random, non-sequitorial...
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CES 2010: Booth babe horror stories documentary


Jan 11
// Samit Sarkar
Here’s a news flash for guys who attend conventions: it isn’t okay for you to treat booth babes without respect. Gizmodo posted a short (under four minutes) documentary of sorts in which they asked a number of CES...
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Saucy Korean booth babes banned for being too sexy!


Nov 30
// Jim Sterling
This is not really news so much as an excuse to post pictures of sexy Asian women, but at least we'll admit that. In any case, a pair of booth babes have recently been thrown out of South Korean game show G-Star for having co...
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TGS 09: Scandal! Censorship! Underboob!


Sep 26
// Matthew Razak
Underboob. It's like some rare form of cleavage that is scarcely seen in the real world, and often times when it is it's hardly as good as it looks in the magazines that men get for the "articles." However, could it...
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TGS 09: Day 3 in pictures: Bodies, Babes and Birds


Sep 26
// Dale North
We thought we'd bring you more than just booth babes today. Today was the first public day of the 2009 Tokyo Game Show. Even though I've been attending for a few years now, the insane number of people in attendance on public ...
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TGS 09: Day 2 booth babe bevy


Sep 25
// Dale North
Yesterday I said that I was worried that there were less booth babes at the Tokyo Game Show this year. Today has made me feel a bit better as I ran into a few more that I didn't see yesterday. Are they increasing by the day? ...
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TGS 09: First day booth babe blowout


Sep 24
// Dale North
It just wouldn't be Tokyo Game Show without some booth babes. Who am I to mess with the tried and true formula?While our first day schedule was packed, I still managed to sneak in some booth babe pictures for our first galler...
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SDCC: EA to prostitute its booth babes for you, the customer


Jul 24
// Joseph Leray
Oooh Lord. Where to even start with this one? Let's get right to it: Electronic Arts and Visceral Games have cooked up another awful PR campaign for Dante's Inferno called "Sin to Win." If alienating Catholic gamers...
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E3 09: Bona fide booth babes touching my face video recap


Jun 09
// Jonathan Holmes
I went to E3 to learn about videogames, and I did, but by the end of the show, I had also learned a whole hell of a lot about women. While hoofing it around the show floor, it seemed to me like there were actually more women ...

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