This morning Nintendo had their keynote at E3, unveiling the new 3DS. As part of the event, they had an army of models bring 3DS units into the audience, to let people get up close with the hot new hardware.
Look carefully at the image. All the models are women. All of them. I looked through as much footage of the keynote as I could find, and I can’t find a single dude in that group.
I’m generally the last person to get up in arms about stuff like this. But really, what the fuck Nintendo. Wake up. Women play games. Women design games. Women produce games. Women write games. And while the audience at E3 undoubtedly skews male, is that really an excuse to use women exclusively as furniture at your press events? It says a lot to me that the only women on that stage are there as set dressing. Specifically, it tells me I don’t want to buy your products. It upsets me on a deep level to see this sort of BS from a company I like and have spent thousands of dollars with over the years.
Look, I’m not trying to funnel all of feminism into this one photo, or say that it’s not OK to have hot women hawking your stuff. I’ve got no problem with hiring attractive people to show off your products. It’s marketing and it works. But the number of women interested in gaming has exploded lately. And I’ll let you in on a secret: you don’t have to paint everything pink and brand it with Lady Gaga to market to us. You just need to stop acting like we don’t exist.
Update: A few folks have asked, why get upset about just this. Why not booth babes (a staple of industry events for god knows how long) as well? After talking it out with my fiancee, who doesn’t quite get what I’m so up in arms about, he summed it up pretty well:
so the scale of the model force needed highlights the fact that it could not possibly have been an oversight to include men … [making it] worse than the average smaller scale promotion where the gender preference is merely implied.
Yeah, that’s about right. After all, I find it hard to believe that LA has a shortage of male and female models looking for work.