The promotion, "Sin To Win," is for the new EA release, "Dante's Inferno." One lucky winner gets a night out with "two hot girls," complete with dinner, limo service, and, um, paparazzi, for some reason. Gross. As Ben Kuchera at Ars Technica writes, "I can't imagine what it's like to be a booth babe, especially not at a show like Comic Con. You're being pawed at by huge amounts of sweaty geeks, you have to smile and be pleasant to people who may or may not have showered... it always seems like a hellish existence. What doesn't help? Having your employer offer a bounty if people sexually harass you."
Not only is this promotion gross and a bit sad, it also reinforces the notion that everyone at Comic Con is a horny douchebag loser who just wants to rub up against a Booth Babe for a cheap thrill. While I'm sure there are a few of those champs in attendance, the idea that women are essentially only at Comic Con as a means to get you off and win you prizes does, as one of our tipsters wrote, "nothing to dispel prevalent stereotypes of an industry composed entirely of 15 year old misogynist-dorks."
The backlash is in full swing: Twitter has already taken up the cause, with the hashtag #EAFail appearing as a reaction to the promotion. And even those who note that the job of Booth Babes is to glam up the product a bit have taken issue with the promo: as Joseph Leray at Destructoid writes, "Pictures with booth babes are a convention staple — it's going to happen either way.On the other hand, there's something repulsive about offering people up as prizes in your PR stunt, especially given game culture's bad habit of over-sexualizing its female characters anyway." A Booth Babe posing for a dumb picture is one thing; a Booth Babe being sought out for "acts of lust" in the name of dinner and a limo ride is another.
One can only hope that Comic Con attendees will pass on sinning to win and perhaps pay tribute to Dante's Inferno by simply telling EA Games to go to hell.
How Low Can EA Go? [Technologizer]
SDCC: EA To Prostitute Its Booth Babes For You, The Customer [Destructoid]
EA Puts Sexual Bounty On The Heads Of Its Own Booth Babes[Ars Technica]
Related: EA Provides "Girls," Asks Gamers To Sin To Win [Kotaku]