C’mon Dude: GameRant and Promotional ModelsPosted by Mat on 19th June, 2012
In a piece for GameRant today, Jason Weissman decided that missing the point was an excellent method for informing the creation of articles. Despite having little to offer the ongoing conversation about the appropriate placement of Promotional Models at E3 or other events, the writer still decided that he would chime in with a pumped up: I don’t understand why this is a problem.
I’ll say first, I congratulate him on laying down that “booth babe” is absolutely a horrible term that should really come to an end. That’s about the only thing in the article that isn’t immediately insulting.
The article begins by denying the merit of any complaints about the process of hiring women specifically to be human decoration. Weissman suggests that this is all “naval gazing” and “faux controversy” and doesn’t stand active consideration since the process is not a “new phenomenon”.
I’m left wondering when we decided that a process’ age meant that it becomes incapable of being discussed. We’re constantly re-examining our position on societal standards that have been commonplace and completely accepted for about as long as things have been deemed inappropriate. Being unable to discuss anything through a concern that it is out of relevance is an oddly ungrounded complaint that isn’t reflected by any other situation.
Regardless of whether anything has been done before, if someone finds it unacceptable it’s completely worthwhole to bring it up. As long as something you disagree with continues, it remains a target for complaint.
He moved to refute a piece that he doesn’t link to, but assumedly it’s Ben Kuchera’s regarding the business benefits to changing Promotional Model tactics on top of the social considerations. The article suggests that because more and more women are playing games now, offending them by essentially reducing their influence on the promotion of games to “someone who stands around and looks pretty so people will walk over” isn’t worth it. Jason lists a few figures to suggest that the majority of women that Kuchera’s research concerns aren’t playing the same kinds of games that would be being shown at E3; therefore we needn’t even bother.
Regardless of the amount of women there; there are still some, and rather than continue an environment where they are uncomfortable and driven away, why not fix it to create one where more might flock to? I like women, dude. I think they’re pretty cool. I’d like to hang out with more.
He returns to his point that “pretty girls” are used to market all sorts of things everywhere without complaint. I’m sure he’s heard stories of people jumping off bridges and whether we should follow them too so it’s probably pretty needless to go over the problem with his cognitive dissonance here.
Then he makes the mistake of suggesting that there’d be “booth dudes” at E3 if it could be marketed properly, as if this is an issue that is on par with the current situation. We’ve talked about this in another piece; it’s not nearly the same. At current E3 is a male catered and male focused event to promote content made by males for an audience of primarily males. Putting a “booth dude” somewhere doesn’t suggest that the other dudes standing around won’t know what they’re talking about; there’s no trope of the clueless attractive man just there to make you want to fuck him/come see the game he’s promoting.
The problem is not an abundance of attractive women. The problem is an abundance of attractive women used specifically for the purpose of drawing attention to a game without any formal training, undermining the expectations on other women who are knowledgeable and there for legitimate purposes like demoing the games, representing the brand from a PR position or there as a journalist covering the game. Booth Dudes would be a novel inclusion because sexism, yo.
Weissman makes his worst point near the end which immediately reveals his complete lack of understanding of the issue. He suggests that female journalists are under the same scrutiny for being attractive. These are knowledgeable people foremost that are there specifically to cover information and convey it to the public. They are there to do a job that involves skill and wisdom; not to be objectified. This being even considered as the same thing is almost exactly the reason that we’re having the conversation about the place of Promotional Models at the event at all. The author has condensed the worth of a female reporter down to her looks foremost.
He caps it off by suggesting that having this conversation is removing our ability to talk about objectification and exploitation in the games themselves. That’s not true. We’re totally doing that too.
So, if we could just sort all this out we’d fix gender inequality forever. Thaaaaaanks.