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.
Who knows who made the call on this one. Their intentions, if misguided, may have been good. Afterall, as Brenda points out, the new restrictions may kill the booth babe phenomenon — though I would bet, no matter what nominally kiddy-safe attitude the ESA is taking, that traditiona won’t be dying any time soon.
Of course, the implications against sex games and erotic content is self-evident. Maybe it was just overlooked; maybe it was a deliberate comment. Either way, this makes a definite statement about the place of sex in the mainstream games market — at least the place E3 would like it to have. And, unfortunately, E3 has sway. Be there or be square.
The whole thing is also a bit baffling, probably due to hypocrisy covered up by funny language. Are we supposed to think that E3 has always been a non-sexified event, only now threatened by boobies in games? Conforming to calm political and parental fears about the (supposedly dangerous) sexual content in games can’t make E3, and gaming, anything other than what it already is. Now all it needs is balls.
The really ironic thing is, sex is being censored because it’s seen as shady. But what makes it shady? Certain not the sex developers. As with sex workers, what makes the topic taboo is the people who are scared of it. Just look at the recent creation of the Sex in Games Conference. Sex in games would like to come into the light. It’s everyone else who’s pushing to keep it a dirty little secret.
After all, in some sense, it’s sexier that way — because it’s shameful. Is that the kind of sexy we really want? Maybe the better question is, Is that the kind of sexy we’ll ever be able to avoid? It’s a vicious cycle. Society marks sex as sinful, nasty, so we grow up associating attraction with shame. Soon enough we can’t deal with sex that isn’t self-deprecating, that’s proud.
And another thing, can we talk about this “bathing suit bottoms” thing? WTF, mate?