May 22nd, 2005

It appears from their website that Agetec’s “unattractive” women have turned out, in reality, to be unshaven men in slapdash drag. It does make the whole thing slightly funnier, I’ll give them that. And now, at least, there are probably knowledgeable gamers under the blond tresses (fake or otherwise) that grace the E3 show floor. Still, the overall idea is pretty much the same: Concern for gender issues masks a quirky publicity stunt, and women aren’t real gamers. I understand they’re mocking booth babes here, not the female population, but it certainly doesn’t bode well for us girls that, in the mind of Agetec, putting the spotlight back on actual gamers means hiring a troop of guys. A few laughs at the expense of femininity isn’t such a big deal; it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself. But somehow it doesn’t seem quite right. Until the industry figures out how to treat women well normally, maybe it should lay off on the wigs.

We won’t even talk about the missed opportunities for quality drag. Ask me, that’s the real answer to the booth babe dilemma: cross-dressing. Get women gamers to dress up as men; get male gamers to go totally glam. Cover E3 in glitter. Confuse the crap out of everyone. Now that’s the kind of equality I could really get into…

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