E3: Booth Babes


The first E3 that I can remember attending was in 1999, at the Los Angeles Convention Center; 1999, the year of the Dreamcast. I will never forget walking onto that crowded showroom floor, choked full with geeks and sweaty nerds, and getting to check out Sega’s latest entry into the console market. Sonic Adventure blazed across the huge screens that had been set up in Sega’s booth. However, what really caught my eye was the speed of 3D fighter Power Stone. In no time, my friend and I were swinging off lamp posts and dealing cartoon damage to one another. Good times indeed. In the midst of all the excitement of being able to play with games and consoles that would not be on shelves until months later, E3 contained what was once a video game industry norm, the booth babes.

Using sex to sell video games to buyers and those in the video game industry, the practice of using women to arouse and entice was largely a norm. I have distinct memories of lines to get your pictures taken with your favorite scantily clad video game vixen. I also remember my Uncle wanting to hang around where the official Tomb Raider model was. Boys will be boys right?

Scantily clad women no doubt helped sell the latest and greatest video games (until E3 2006, when they were banned), but I wonder at what cost? No, I’m not talking about what the models were paid per hour to be ogled/ groped at. I’m talking about the eternal costs of lust. What we take into our minds will eventually come out in some way…causing all sorts of trouble when it does.

“Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” (Song of Solomon 8:4b)