EA's fantastic new ad campaign

How do you hold a contest based on sloth, exactly?

“Sit in your chair for as long as possi… ah fuck it, titties!”

Jesus FUCKING Christ. I hope the booth babes have tasers. I hope everyone involved in this ad campaign gets cockpunched for eternity by the righteous fist of an unmerciful deity.

I hope that happens only after they get their balls sued off by every booth babe on the receiving end of a grope by some “contestant”.

Angie, what’s the source of that picture? It’s pretty… striking.

I believe it is actually from the game.

I can honestly say these ads are both interesting and annoying at the same time.

First, it is interesting how whoever made this campaign is risking the chance of alienating female gamers. While I understand we are a much smaller portion of the market, that doesn’t make it less significant. Granted I don’t have any precise numbers to speak from, I know from personal experience I have heard and seen more women gamers around, leading me to believe that section of the market is growing at a decent rate. Why risk alienating us? I imagine it will, although I can’t speak for myself, as I had no intention of buying this game before their silly campaigns.

On the other hand it is also just annoying. Not so much from some raging feminist perspective, but that it feels as though gaming just took a step backwards with such a campaign. I honestly felt the industry as a whole had grown up over the years, as females generally seem to be represented better. They are more proportional, more interesting roles, etc.

Now we have a well known developer creating a campaign asking people to take photos with scantily clad women for a contest and post it on the internet. While that in itself may not sound entirely terrible, the rules also state judging will be based on creativity and entertainment value. So I can only imagine how ‘creative’ some will try to be and push the limits, encouraging some pretty bad behavior.

I found the apology letter amusing though. I do not believe for one minute they are sincere about having ‘misworded’ their campaign. They went through the trouble to create a fake religious protest to attempt to create controversy. No doubt every bit of this was intentional, look at the coverage it has received so far.

Lady, get the fuck off your high horse, film have porn, some priest molest kids, teacher fuck their students, there are high and low in every industry.


A key difference: Angie worries for and hopes for the cockpunching of individuals. You lambasted the entire industry for the actions of some individuals.

Many individuals, and the many companies that continue to support this incredibly offensive crap that they willingly chose to represent our industry with.

That these folks represent the game industry is only because people such as yourself choose to view it that way. Undoubtedly, many people not intimately familiar with the industry share your view. However, that doesn’t imbue EA with a responsibility to act in a way with which you wish to be represented.

Ooh, why not steal a page from the Spike VGAs and have the booth babes be stripped-down and bodypainted-up with game logos and artwork. It’ll add even more incentive to take a picture with them, I think.

Please tell me you are joking, that that did not happen.

The competition is completely stupid. If I’m reading the poster right it’s encouraging them to take photos with people not on the EA booth too. I mean there’s stupid and then there is encouraging people to harass strangers.

Anyone who thinks this doesn’t reflect on the industry is blinkered- people are more likely to hear about stupid PR stunts like this and the goat thing Sony did than anything good. That a major company making what looks to be a key game for them promotes it in such a way is going to reflect badly on the industry for the reasons covered above.

That’s before I get on to the anger about this stuff being tied to a game about one of the parts of an incredibly important work of poetry and literature.

It’s not the rules that are necessarily the problem. Uploading snapshots with booth models as the basis of the contest if it were strictly judged on number of models (either total or random entries) is fine. It’s the way the poster frames a typical act of lust for these events.

Comic-con is huge, and there are reports of harrassment - probably not unique to a con of this size, but as Telefrog says earlier, an industry with a reputation for being a little hostile to women should probably not be pimping out its models, even for a chaperoned date with a nerd.

Again, I don’t really see the problem other than the characterization. It would have been better to reward the winner with 1000 bucks, a night on the town, and a limo, perhaps with a stop at a strip club. At least then, the context would be appropriate and rules apparent. What’s a sinful night with two hot models really mean? Any normal person would know they are embellishing, but we are talking about nerds.

This is apparently only the first step in a series of events based around the seven deadly sins. With class like they’ve demonstrated so far, gluttony will involve harpooning an obese gamer and wrath will be a youtube of a street fight.


Well we’ll see if they learn anything from this.

So earlier today I happened to stumble across an item where someone was describing an incident wherein a racist puddle of fuck posted a crudely photoshopped picture of President Obama with a bone in his nose, dressed up as a witch doctor. The author of the item, a conservative, was bemoaning the idiocy of people who post things like this, because they inevitably make other conservatives look bad, and was particularly bemoaning the fact that the other people on the forum weren’t actively disavowing it. Sure enough, on that very thread, some not-very-bright folks stood around and started trying to discuss the merits of the photo, and how one might be able to construct arguments that it was somehow reasonable and totally, totally not racist at all to distribute a photoshopped photo of a black president with a fucking bone in his nose.

Then I get to this thread and find out that people are trying to say, with a straight face, that EA somehow doesn’t represent the game industry to the world.

EA does, in fact, have a responsibility to not run sexist marketing campaigns that make them, and gamers in general, look like a bunch of misogynist pigfuckers. That they have managed to fuck up this responsibility is not anyone’s fault but EA’s. But to the extent that people on this thread are actually defending them and their marketing campaign is a sign that there’s plenty of idiocy to go around.

Tangentially, I was really disappointed they brought booth babes back to E3. I think, for example, it had a fairly negative impact on the way E3 was covered by G4. And I always feel bad for Morgan on X-Play when they have to plug booth-babe related programming.


Ignoring the argument about how much it hurts the industry as a whole (meh), I’m more curious about how EA thought this marketing would be EFFECTIVE. You always hear that any publicity is good publicity, but that’s mostly just spread by PR companies to excuse sub par and poorly thought out work.

So I guess the theory is to generate excitement via a random contest, and someone had the great idea that Dante’s inferno is about hell so the contest should have “sin” all over it! And then someone who had no idea what the game was about (the graphic design of the dante’s site and all other materials I’ve seen are going for a serious “dark fantasy” tone)… made a bunch of designs based around tattoo art. It doesn’t reinforce the theme of the game at all, and even the logo of the game is tiny on the flyer.

In conclusion, EA REALLY needs to change their PR policies. There’s no way this is doing more good then harm, let alone justifying whatever they’re paying people to make this stuff.

The booth babes at E3 in general don’t really help the industry’s image. This particular campaign is just an extreme bit of the same problem. It puts it right there with car shows in the “dude this is for us dudes, dude!” level. That’s fine and all, but it’d be nice to see one of the biggest industry events be more welcoming to women in the industry.

The campaign is obviously in the “there is no bad press” and “aren’t we so edgy” school of thought. I have to wonder about the designers and developers working on Dante’s Inferno – they probably don’t have much say in marketing, and what if they are actually as embarrassed as they should be by the whole thing? What if they wanted the game to be a deep rumination on the divine comedy?

A better take on this campaign: “Come to our booth and commit acts of lust on the booth babes!”. Only when they step inside they find themselves in a circular wind tunnel being repeatedly lashed by flying booth babe posters, porn DVDs and sex toys. Canto 5, Circle 2, Bitches.

Oh, and they can never leave.

No, it totally is a big deal. If you were a woman who enjoyed videogames, this contest basically says “We don’t see you as a customer, we see you as a sex object.”

The existence of “booth babes” at all is in that distasteful-but-normal part of the sexism continuum, where every thinking person hates it, but it’s so widespread that you despair of things like that ever getting fixed. But a contest encouraging people to harass women for a “prize” of spending an evening with other random women is just so far off the scales in so many ways. There’s no way to defend this, nor any reason to defend this, and it saddens the hell out of me that people even here are trying.

What kind of cleavage is that?

I guess EA and AXE share the same marketing department?