The word came down yesterday and it hit the gaming word like a ton of bricks. ESA, the owners of E3 Expo has decided to become politically correct. This is from page 13 of their exhibitor’s handbook.
Material, including live models, conduct that is sexually explicit and/or sexually provocative, including but not limited to nudity, partial nudity and bathing suit bottoms, are prohibited on the Show floor, all common areas, and at any access points to the Show. ESA, in its sole discretion, will determine whether material is acceptable.
Does this mean the end of booth babes at E3? No. But it does mean a $5,000 fine to any exhibitor who’s booth models are deem to be wearing clothing that are too “sexually explicit”. The sole decision on what is sexually explicated will be decided by the ESA.
While I’m sure many women’s rights group are applauding the move by the ESA, a greater number of young gamers are booing their heads off. E3 is as much about the booth babes as it is about the games. My games editor, upon hearing the news, wrote up a little editorial to sum up his feelings.
My personal feeling on this? The ESA should lighten up. E3 is about fun. And what fun can it be to crack down on booth babes? ESA has always had this rule but they just never enforced it. It’s like the MGM Skylofts and Bellagio having the rule about no more than 30 people in a penthouse suit for a party. The MGM enforced it on me during my party. The Bellagio never did. That’s why I’m going back t the Bellagio.