What do you get when you mix a bad PR stunt, booth babes, pixelpoet, and twitter? Hilarity.
Well, as many of you may have seen in the gaming news on Friday, as part of a publicity stunt for their upcoming game, Dante's Inferno, EA decided to run an ad campaign around the sin of Lust to go with the San Diego Comic Con that went a little sour. They tried to encourage patrons of the SDCC to take "lustful" pictures with their booth babes, or other booth babes, at the convention and then post them to the team's twitter page. The contest had the grand prize of one person winning a 'lustful' evening with two of EA's booth babes. Needless to say, the contest was not received very well by people who saw this as encouraging people to harass booth babes and/or as objectifying women.
The timing of this PR stunt is pretty sad considering not a week ago here in the Bay Area EA help put on a panel with GLAAD about homophobia in online communities and now one of their development studios basically decides to put on something like this. Luckily I take these things in stride and see what humor I can extract from them, and what boundaries I can push. With that I signed up for a PixelPoetGG twitter account (feel free to follow me) and decided to enter in the contest with some of my own pictures of my favorite booth bear and I. Pretty sure those is not what the danteteam had in mind for their contest, but I was willing to play along if they were.
Turns out that they are willing to play along and tweeted this morning about me in their feed, saying that I need to follow them in order to be entered. So I've done that and we'll see just how far down this rabbit hole goes (probably all the way to Hades). If I do win the prize, I'll make sure to take the ladies out to a nice gay bar and dance the night away, and be sure to blog all about it. If you want to see what other people submitted or said about this stunt on twitter, just do a twitter search for #lust (or follow this link).
EA puts sexual bounty on the heads of its own booth babes [Ars Technica]