At Penny Arcade Expo, there will be very few models in revealing clothing. In fact, they’ve been told that they aren’t welcome. It’s been common practice for PR groups trying to garner attention for their products at events like this to hire booth babes, but a recent poll of Penny Arcade’s online community showed that people going to PAX this year would rather have representatives that know about the product instead of just getting something to ogle at. There is an exception when it comes to cosplay (dressing up as a character), so models advertising products that show a little skin, some leeway is allowed there.
This ban on titillation was bound to happen. Stories of convention-goers waiting hours in line to learn about the newest piece of technology, only to be get a picture with a model/sales rep who couldn’t tell them the first thing about the wares they’re shilling, have been collecting on the Internet with every successive year of exhibitors selling to the lowest common denominator. This has always been a bit out of touch with the attendants, who have likely traveled quite a distance just to pay to see advertisements. These are folks who have a very definite goal in mind. While eye candy is nice, the crowd (some of which are younger kids) has a need that isn’t being satisfied.
All these exhibitors were doing was creating a series of awkward situations in which hired models are in an environment have no experience in, and attendees are encouraged to engage in behavior that they know is superficial and inappropriate. The poll wasn’t the only factor that caused this ban, though. The Penny Arcade creators themselves have stated their opinion on booth babes, too. Therefore, this years’ Penny Arcade Expo will have little of that, preferring to let guys there keep awkward interactions with girls to every other day of the year.