E3: There for the Games

Attending E3 can be very uncomfortable for women because the majority of attendees are male. Hence, Kotaku blogger Tina Amini’s post about “The Creepy Side of E3.” Other than the “booth babes,” who companies hire to dress up in revealing outfits and thus attract visitors to a game, female E3 attendees are scarce. The amount of good-looking women present is not something I worry about, though, because after all, I’m there to see new games. But I wonder every year I attend, why  women there give me their most uncomfortable looks. I’ve thought, “Maybe I look creepy. Maybe I’m bleeding or I have pink eye.” Whatever their reason is, it must be something gross.

My goals at every E3 are to network, play games, and take pictures to last me forever. I’ve noticed that a goal a lot of men have is to take pictures of the booth babes, and that’s ok. Women demonstrating the games are usually very attractive and seem to enjoy posing in front of a camera. But some of the men go too far. They’ll try, despite their untrimmed facial hair and sweaty armpits, to talk to women, and are totally oblivious to women’s body language and clear discomfort. I’m usually in line behind guys like this, waiting to play a demo. When it’s my turn. I now have to deal with the ladies’ perception of male E3 attendees. I feel dirty, and all I did was witness what other men are doing. It’s no surprise that women would be approached by sleazy men at these kinds of events, but I feel like I get the “shit end of the stick” tossed right back to me from female attendees.

At my first E3 in 2010, I had a very unpleasant moment when I saw a small group of booth babes in skimpy outfits consisting of bras, short shorts, and a pair of bear claw gloves and ears. A tidal wave of men rushed toward them with cameras flashing, like a thunderstorm causing a tsunami. At first I thought, naively, the group of men have probably spotted someone established like Super Mario and Zelda creator, Shigeru Miyamoto. I walked over to check it out and  it was just overweight, nerdy and most likely lonely men drooling over these half-naked women. I couldn’t really judge them. The girls seemed to like the attention, and the men were so close to women for the first time that they had to forever document the miracle in their digital cameras.

What bothered me was what happened next. A booth babe showing off a PC game next to this perverted fiasco saw me walk up, hold my camera ready to shoot pictures of what I thought was Miyamoto, and then said, “Calm down tiger. Don’t get too excited now.” My jaw dropped. My spirit dropped. My enthusiasm died and went to burn in hell. The only thing that I could spit out of my mouth was, “No…umm…I’m…I thought it was….” Only to be interrupted mid-stutter, “Sure, sure guy. Whatever you say.” Screw that! I’m there for the games, and not the girls.

There’s no denying women get harassed at E3. But some men have it bad there, too.

Photo Credit: www.pcper.com 

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