It's not that I mean any disrespect to the women who take these jobs, (if anything, the TV special shows some of the realities of what they really have to put up with at trade shows) but it completely amazes me that the practice of "booth babes" is an accepted and encouraged part of the video game industry. The fact that marketers can so overtly and unabashedly use women's bodies to promote and sell their products to men who surely know that most of these women have little to no interest in gaming or in talking to and taking pictures with them just doesn't make any logical sense to me. The whole institution, including the fact that they are so eagerly referred to as "booth babes", seems so archaically sexist -- like it doesn't even belong in this century.
Men's disproportionate involvement in gaming culture really is a vicious cycle. Industry leaders can claim all they want that women just aren't interested in gaming, but as long as they write mostly male-centric games, patronize women when they do condescend to write games for them, and sexually objectify them at every possible opportunity, they will continue to alienate them.
Or maybe we should just turn the tables. How about this? The next time I go to a mostly female-attended convention, like, say, a scrapbooking and crafts expo, I fully expect and demand scantily clad male "eye candy" to feign interest in the latest paper design, coquettishly demo the cutting tools, pose for pictures, and give me free swag.