E3GoMania Is A Statement About Booth Babes At E3 Hidden Inside A Physical Trivia Quiz


Despite recent criticism of the use of booth babes at E3 and other trade events held by the games industry, they’re still a part of nearly every show and used prominently by most companies showing their products off to prospective “gamers.” But The Wise Guys, creators of Twistianopolis 500 and Pickpocket Junction, have found a more creative way to make their criticism known with their physical trivia quiz that’s being hosted at the Indiecade booth at E3; it subverts the use of booth babes by using male hunks in tight outfits as the avatars.


Celia Pearce clearly enjoyed co-producing E3GoMania

Called E3GoMania. It’s a quiz for three players, and the questions that are asked of them have been sent in by people online and chosen by Greg and Myles of The Wise Guys. It’s being played in two sessions every day until Thursday 13th June at 3PM and 4PM at the IndieCade booth in South Hall at E3. It’s simple enough to play, as you just need to answer questions correctly in order to move your game piece. Of course, the “game piece” on this occasion just happens to be a male hunk. Either Kevin, James or Ethan is assigned to each player, and they will move a step forward on the mat laid on the ground representing the board when their player gets a question right.

When asked what E3GoMania is, The Wise Guys said the following:

“The game is social commentary disguised as a trivia quiz. We’re making a statement about objectification of women at trade shows like E3.”

Of course, the game and the commentary that it divulges is all rather tongue-in-cheek, but it makes a point. The idea is that the male hunks are being objectified through their use as a piece in a game. They have no greater purpose than to look like they do in their revealing (ish) outfits and have their actions dictated entirely by the player that controls them. The connection here to the use of booth babes is the objectification of the male body (rather than the female body) to their purpose within a game as just a piece to move about, devoid of any deeper meaning or character. Similarly, booth babes and the purpose they serve don’t really have much to do with any game, but their bodies are used to grab the attention of passers-by, who are perceived as being attracted by such a thing and wouldn’t be if there was just a game on show.

A game on show, but no cleavage or ass to look at? How am I possibly supposed to be attracted to your booth to check out your game? What do you think I came to this event for? Games?!

These presumptions come from the research big companies do into the gamer demographic and the kinds of things they like, as well as a long history of female objectification in games themselves, let’s not forget. Personally, the presence of a person, male or female, whose positioning is to merely cause eyes to be averted to a particular direction, just makes me uncomfortable and, funnily enough, doesn’t make me want to check out the game on display any more. In fact, it probably makes me want to check it out less.


Anyway, once someone emerges as the winner of E3GoMania, all the players are then lined up with their various trophies and other rewards alongside their avatars. Once in position, their photos are then taken, because you definitely need to have your photo taken with these hunky male bodies in order to emulate what so many people do with booth babes. You can see a few of the players of E3GoMania being interviewed by The Wise Guys after having just finished playing in the video below. The winner says that he felt “manly” while answering the questions due to the hunky male avatar he was represented in the game by. I can’t tell if he’s joking, saying what he thinks he should say or totally not getting the point of the game at all. My suspicions lie with the latter, not to look down upon his understanding of the game.

I wonder if the presence of booth babes meant to lure in the many teenage boys that make up the typical understanding of the gamer demographic make women feel any more womanly. Hmm…

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