Game Expo Emphasizes Girls Over Games

Gstar1Korea’s four-day game expo Gstar 2006 ended on Sunday, with a little more exposure than its organizers had planned for. On the last day, a special event took place at the Nexon booth, involving a team of female dancers wearing bra tops. During the performance, the top of one of the dancers was pushed up, baring most of her breasts. She quickly fixed her attire, but many of the people attending the show, including minors, were quick enough to capture the moment with their digital cameras.The game developer apologized for the incident, but many Internet users took to Web boards to say the accident was not at all surprising, since the dancers and female models in the booths were mostly scantily-clad.

Similar to motor shows, where models ― dubbed “racing girls” ― pose in front of cars, game booths also have models at their entrances. In most cases, the models are in costume to look like characters from the games. But some exhibition booths, such as those for Internet game portals or those games that only have cute cartoon characters, have models dressed in attire unrelated to the games. “Game shows should be about the games and not the girls, but you have to have something visual and a lot of the players are men, so in a sense, it’s inevitable to have pretty models,” one exhibition organizer said. “You have to attract people to your booth in order to get them interested in the game, but a game is a conceptual thing while a gorgeous model is flesh and blood.”

Game companies made reservations three months in advance to book the more popular, sexier models. “The daily pay for a model is about 1 million won ($1,070),” an industry insider said. “Booths had at least five or six models each ― a couple wearing costumes and others standing around. The ones that actually explain the games, of course, receive higher wages.”

This year, Gstar’s second, the fashion was indisputably edgier. “I know I should be looking at the games, but I keep on looking at the girls,” admitted 27-year old Kim Kyoung-soo. Not everyone, however, appreciated the models. “The game developers should be spending money on developing their games, not on lavish presentations,” criticized Jo, a columnist for a game magazine. “The G in Gstar may as well stand for girl and not game.”

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