Booth Babes of E3 2012


The hiring of models, or “booth babes” as they’re more popularly referred as, is a common occurrence at major industry events. From the North American International Auto Show, to CES, to E3, you’ll see them at just about every trade event in North America and around the world. It’s interesting to watch as event-goers, both attendee and media, line up to get their pictures taken with the girls as they sport big smiles as though they’re on some achievement hunt to fill their digital memory cards with as many poses with beautiful women as possible.

Few words are generally sspoken to these ladies, who often are clad in not much more than the bare minimum amount of clothing necessary so as not to get arrested for indecent exposure. It’s almost as though there is a taboo against actually speaking with the skin-bearing maidens, which is a shame, because many of them are quite intelligent, have high aspirations, and are more than just another pretty face. I took some time to speak with these ladies about their ambitions, what they do, and their views on videogames.

At a party held for the upcoming mech shooter, Hawken, I spoke with one individual between her stints of having her picture taken with fellow journalists, “Oh, I’ve been backpacking in Europe. I really want to go to Hong Kong next year,” she said excitedly. Travelling was one of her favorite past times, as well as videogames. She regaled me of tales of waiting till her boyfriend got up from the couch and for a few minutes, “I’d grab the controller and play while he was away. I’d sometimes mess up his game, but I didn’t care.” She didn’t really consider herself a gamer, but loved to play.

During our visit to the booth, amidst the action of team tournaments and color commentary booming over the loudspeakers, we spoke to another young woman dressed in an outfit designed similar to the old USO girls from World War II, albeit a bit more revealing than the original uniforms. She was going to school and did the gig for spare cash. She loved fighting games such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, and considered herself more of a button-masher than a true player. She was all smiles, and seemed taken aback by the fact that we were talking to her and were genuinely interested about her, instead of wanting to pose with her or try to get her number.

We received this reaction a number of times speaking with the models. It was disappointing in a way to see how they were very much treated in the same way that the Kratos statue in the Sony booth –as part of the display, something to walk up next to, make a funny pose, snap a picture and keep on walking. The ladies of course didn’t seem to mind; most of them were having fun at the event, and even got to attend some of the parties. When they had a slow moment, many of them would even sneak over to a console, grab a controller and play a few rounds of Persona 4 Arena or some other unattended game kiosk.

So while you peruse the slide show below, remember that these ladies are more than just pretty faces to compliment the games that they’re showing off. Also, if you get the opportunity to attend E3 or a similar event, take a moment to say hello, ask them about their day, or what they think of the event before you strike your funny pose next to the young, pretty lady known as “the booth babe”.  You might actually find that there’s a story behind all of those lovely faces.

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