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May 18, 2006

Thrill of the joystick

The Beeb discovers E3 booth babes and worries at a specific lack of interactivity (via Alan).

Two curious moments at the electronic entertainment expo in Los Angeles reinforced the point. One was a fascinating display of courage, skill, agility, fitness and imagination: a skateboarder flying out of a man-made canyon, risking broken bones if not broken neck to perform stunning stunts for the cameras.

Another was a raw, rhythmic presentation by a troupe of female dancers. Dressed in designer-torn clothing and body paint, they played on the most basic instincts to attract attention to their display.

On both occasions there was a video screen in the background, replicating through computer graphics what human beings could do in the flesh.

The BBC frets that the E3 crowd were more interested in the video games than the promotional stunts. This, it should be noted, at a video game exhibition. I can only conclude from this anxiety that for a substantial part of our self-appointed betters bitching is the first and last line of flight. Let's say the punters were paying more attention to the booth babes than the video games. "Ahh," they would hector us, "people are being sold on the (sexist) sales pitch instead of the product." Then something about commodification. But when presumably hard-up-for-sex gamers ignore the booth babes this is also meant to be a catastrophe. According to the BBC the culture is at risk from too much self-gratification with the joysticks and not enough "blood to the muscles" from the vicarious booty.

Frankly, there is no winning with some people.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at May 18, 2006 10:14 AM