Booth babes need not apply
The presence of fans dressed as X-23 (left) and Loki's female form (right) at Comic-Con signals the broadening of geek culture.
July 24th, 2012
04:33 PM ET

Booth babes need not apply

Editor's note: When he's not teaching the Internet how to fist-fight, why being weird is awesome or how to self-publish your own books, Joe Peacock tours the world, showing his extensive "Akira" art collection. He also cosplays as a six-foot-two-inch, 310lb Powerpuff Girl to fill the hollow pit that is his need for the wrong kinds of attention.

There is a growing chorus of frustration in the geek community with - and there's no other way to put this - pretty girls pretending to be geeks for attention.

San Diego Comic-Con is the largest vehicle, but it's hardly the only convention populated with "hot chicks" wearing skimpy outfits simply to get a bunch of gawking geeks’ heads to turn, just to satisfy their hollow egos.

Now, before every single woman reading this explodes, let me disambiguate a bit. I absolutely do not believe that every girl who attends conventions and likes "Doctor Who" is pretending to be a geek.

There are lots of geeks who are female. Some of these female geeks are pretty girls. I find it fantastic that women are finally able to enjoy a culture that has predominately been male-oriented and male-driven.

The presence of female geeks means that the fiction we're reading is broadening and, frankly, getting better in quality. It means nerdy films and television shows aren't relying on damsel in distress stories and objectification of women to draw readers. It means content is broadening and becoming smarter and more accessible. I want more of that.

And be it known that I am good friends with several stunningly beautiful women who cosplay as stunningly beautiful characters from comics, sci-fi, fantasy and other genres of fandom. They are, each of them, bone fide geeks. They belong with us. Being beautiful is not a crime.

Flaunt it if you got it – and if you're a geek, male or female, and you're strikingly handsome or stunningly beautiful, and you cosplay as a handsome or beautiful character, more power to us all. Hot geeks are hot.

What I'm talking about is the girls who have no interest or history in gaming taking nearly naked photos of themselves with game controllers draped all over their body just to play at being a "model."  I get sick of wannabes who couldn't make it as car show eye candy slapping on a Batman shirt and strutting around comic book conventions instead.

I'm talking about an attention addict trying to satisfy her ego and feel pretty by infiltrating a community to seek the attention of guys she wouldn't give the time of day on the street.

I call these girls "6 of 9". They have a superpower: In the real world, they're beauty-obsessed, frustrated wannabe models who can't get work.

They decide to put on a "hot" costume, parade around a group of boys notorious for being outcasts that don't get attention from girls, and feel like a celebrity. They're a "6" in the "real world", but when they put on a Batman shirt and head to the local fandom convention du jour, they instantly become a "9".

They're poachers. They're a pox on our culture. As a guy, I find it repugnant that, due to my interests in comic books, sci-fi, fantasy and role playing games, video games and toys, I am supposed to feel honored that a pretty girl is in my presence. It's insulting.

Is it abuse in the same vein as the harassment? Not even slightly.

Someone dressing up to feel good about themselves isn't the same as guys lobbing insults, threats, disgusting suggestions and the like at women.

Case in point: there is a website called Fat, Ugly Or Slutty that catalogs insults, harassment and verbal abuse from male gamers to females on Xbox Live. Reading through just one page of the site made me ill. The big brother in me wanted to go pound the crap out of the thirteen year olds who think it's cool or funny to demean women for sport.

Is this type of harassment is deserved? Not at all. Are guys acting this way toward women just as disgusting and base as women poaching attention from our culture, satisfying their egos by strutting around a group of guys dressed in clothing and costumes from a culture filled with men they see as beneath them? Absolutely.

I think that these things sully what is otherwise an incredible group of people and bring down a beautiful culture. I feel the same way when some guy reads about a hot comic book title sure to be a collector's item, drives up demand by buying up all of those issues and resells them on eBay for hundreds of dollars. He doesn't love the culture. He doesn't add anything to it. All he does is make scarce a resource that we want and love, in the name of profit.

I hate poachers. Pure and simple.

The growing presence of these Olivia Munn types in the geek community is creating dialog that isn't helping anyone. You've no doubt heard about a young journalist named Ryan Perez who did something stupid. Really, really stupid. He "called out" Felicia Day on Twitter, asking if she really contributes anything to geek culture other than being a celebrity.

I believe that Felicia's main drive is probably writing and acting, and that geek culture is where she chooses to exercise her talents. She's found a niche, and she works within that niche – but so have Nathan Fillion, George Takei, Wil Wheaton... All actor/writers who make the most of their geek celebrity. However, no one gets it in their blood to call these guys out. So why Felicia Day?

It's because she's a girl, and some men are disgusting. Plain and simple.

Felicia Day is not a poacher. She's a celebrity, sure. She's a pretty girl, absolutely. The fact that she chooses geeky avenues to focus those interests? That makes her a geek. The fact that she spent her own money to make a successful independent video feature centered around World of Warcraft puts her into ubergeek territory. Not only does she put her money where her interests are, she creates things that further the community.

But then, you have these models-cum-geeks like Olivia Munn and practically every FragDoll. These chicks? Not geeks. I think that their rise is due to the fact that corporations are figuring out that geeks have money, and they want it. But they can't abide putting a typically geeky face on camera, so they hire models to act quirky and sell this marketable geekdom. So, I can understand why someone completely ignorant could look at Felicia Day and see a pretty woman who is making one heck of a career starring in roles celebrating fandom, and mentally file them along with the fake geek G4 hostesses. Ryan Perez is a shoddy journalist and failed to do any research.

He knee-jerked his way into temporary internet infamy. I think he was an idiot. But I can see why he bubbled over.
There's no doubt about it – girls in geek culture have it hard, and it's probably going to be that way for a long time. At least until men stop lusting after women (so, like, never).  But that doesn't mean that women aren't welcomed and accepted in geek culture. Women elevate the culture, and thus, the content. And, I'll admit, you ladies are much nicer to be around.

However, you "6 of 9s" out there? You're just gross. There's an entire contingent of guys in geekdom who absolutely love you, because inside, they're 13 year old boys who like to objectify women and see them as nothing more than butts and a pair of boobs to be leered at. Have fun with them, and don't be shocked when they send you XBox Live messages with ASCII penises.

Those of us who actually like substance? We'll be over here celebrating great comics, great games, great art, great movies and great television, because we're actually attracted to a completely different body part: the brain.

A counterpoint from Genevieve Dempre posted here, and more from Peacock.

Posted by
Filed under: Comic-Con 2012 • Fandom
soundoff (1,036 Responses)
  1. That Word Grrl

    Articles like this make me think that somebody will pull my GeekGrrl Card because I don't like Big Bang Theory, Tolkein or CS Lewis. Or because I am utterly indifferent to original Trek and almost all anime (yes, including Akira).

    Which again proves out my theory that geekdom is all down with being Big Tent. Until you don't belong in the tent.

    July 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • IQ159

      No one is gonna challenge your geek cred unless you run around like a trashy attention wh*re. Do ya?

      July 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  2. Gem Newman

    Felicia Day isn't a "girl": she's a woman. You may want to try treating other people as human beings instead of policing how they express themselves, and see how that works out for you. I find your opinions to be "knee-jerk" and "gross".

    July 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • IQ159

      Girl Power????? She's a girl.

      July 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  3. sirenscreams

    I agree with the main premise of this article. However, another significant trend at cons was ignored–the non-geek guys in plain clothes that go to cons just to see the hot chicks in costumes. They are even WORSE in my opinion, because there are there purely to objectify women.

    July 26, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Yeah, but some of us are middle-aged fanboys who really wanna meet Nathan Fillion, or Neil Gaimin, or check out someone's original Captain America #1 autographed by Jack Kirby AND Joe Simon! Or a Detective #27 signed by Bob Kane!
      Do I look at the eye-candy as it walks by? Yep. If they wanna flaunt it, I will enjoy the scenery. Am I going to follow them around all day hoping to get their attention? Nope. While they may be nice to look at, they aren't worth my time to follow around, especially as I have a wife to go home to.

      July 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
      • Serpentina

        Joe from Connecticut, as long as you pay your entry fees...

        People seem to be forgetting that these cons a a business. More attendees = more money = better con next year.

        July 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  4. Nex

    Read how John Scalzi, president of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, responds to this crap:

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/07/26/who-gets-to-be-a-geek-anyone-who-wants-to-be/

    Can we say "pwned!"? Yes, I think we can.

    July 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Laura

      This article echoes all my complaints with this piece, but in a much more eloquent manner than I could have managed. Thanks for posting!

      July 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • IQ159

      Sorry but it takes more that a t-shirt to be a geek. Inclusion is great and all and you may not agree with Joe's standards, but to argue for such a minimal one is well...

      July 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
      • Laura

        And what does it matter to you if someone calls themselves a geek, who you deem not worthy of your standards?

        July 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
      • IQ159

        @Laura,

        Money/Time/Atmosphere duh!

        July 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • smokehalo

      ^ THIS.

      July 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  5. Laura

    Ummm, what is this?
    Booth babes are paid to be there to sell the products. They are models that don't have to know anything about the job they are being paid to do. If you have issues with them you should take it up with the companies hiring them.

    Are you interviewing every girl you meet a con to see if she meets the 'geek knowledge quota' or something? Would you harrass a guy who felt interested in geek culture, but had not yet learned much about it? Believe it or not, it is not a women's purpose and only desire to be oogled. If someone wants to have fun and puts the time into making a costume, how dare you mock them for not being beautiful enough for your standards. They are there to enjoy the con, they paid to get in

    July 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  6. Matches Malone

    You just called out Olivia Munn. How does that make you any better or different from Ryan Perez?

    July 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  7. kitastrophe

    This is a great piece of satire and . . . what? Really?

    You doofus.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  8. Stephen S

    http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/Dcw/

    Honestly this is the stupidest article i've ever seen. Women have just as much of a right to be at a convention than some elitist nerd trying to prove some idiotic point.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  9. supernerd boy

    O man glad these girls/woman just wana look prerty and are not nerds. Good think they are not in sciences or math or a doctor. Glad you set all America straight.
    Good job on drawing people to cnn and failing at writting a article to gen #.
    You have had your Geek/Nerd cred revoked dont go to any cons becasue I hope that attention starved woman just drops you and Insults you in Klingon. Ya failmoore

    July 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  10. Serpentina

    You're offended because a woman you consider a '6' becomes a '9' at a con? Seriously? The difference between 6 and 9 is about $1200 and 20 hours a month. It takes real work and serious cash to maintain the level of appearance required for a professional booth babe. Gym time, hair appointments, restricted diet, not to mention removing all body hair lower than their eyebrows. How dare you condemn these women?

    July 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  11. DavidW

    Joe, you are such a weenie.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Kilks

    I understand being frustrated at booth babes. But this piece takes a swing at cricitizing booth babes and whiffs horribly (adum dunn last year bad), because it shows no understanding of the booth babe phenonemon.

    Just because someone is attractive and cosplaying does not make them automatically a "booth babe" and it says way more about the author that his assumption is woman do things just for male attention, particularly schlubby geeks.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  13. soleb

    Hey John,
    How about you read this! http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/are-geeks-being-manipulated-by-hot-girls/
    I personally know all the fragdoll and just because the beautiful does not mean the are not gamers!

    July 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  14. anonymous

    You say Ryan Perez is a shoddy journalist and failed to do any research. YET YOU DID THE SAME. You call things as you see them. No research done. YOu are a shoddy journalist. GET OFF CNN. Really. I will never visit CNN again.

    July 26, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  15. Felyx Leiter

    I was randomly fortunate enough to grow up from being a classic, goofy-looking awkward geek into a suprisingly attractive woman. But despite my having been immersed in (and in love with) science fiction my entire life, I'm actually being judged as an empty-headed wannabe when I don my shirts and want to share my enthusiasm at a con. Thanks for the heads-up. I lived throught the childhood teasing of being a young, ugly dork only to discover I've flowered into a wannabe model with an attention complex.

    Isn't one of the classic themes in so many outlets of science fiction about not judging beings based soley on their outward appearance?

    July 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  16. Comic Book Candy

    "I find it fantastic that women are finally able to enjoy a culture that has predominately been male-oriented and male-driven."

    Of all the erroneous statements made here, I believe this one may be the source of your confusion. Women aren't just now discovering fandom. Their presence at conventions, online, and as creators is becoming more widely recognized and accepted. Pieces like this that insinuate that women need to "prove" their geek cred is the very mentality that kept (and still keeps!) many women away. I think you should consider making a sincere apology for perpetuating the Olivia Munn myth of "she's just doing it for attention".

    July 26, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  17. wogb

    I have no problem with pretty girls parading around at these shows that just want attention, or whatever reason they're there for.

    I do wish, however that company's would train their official models on what they are supposed to be hawking. When I sit down to demo some game, and ask a question regarding the game that just draws a blank stare, I have no desire to continue to check out the product. From a customer standpoint, I'm more likely to buy a product if the person selling it can tell me about it. I would rather talk to someone that can speak from a position of confidence on what they're selling, male or female, than a model in a skimpy outfit who i lose at the first question not on their script sheet.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  18. huh.whaddayaknow.

    i came in here to say "assignment due, had to come up with something, eh?" because i do find it hard to imagine that any man would be put off by a pretty woman doing something stupid to get attention from him.

    but after scrolling for 5 minutes just to get to the posting box, all i can say is you must have hit a nerve. which one, i'll never know because i'm already bored.

    but ,,, 'good work', or something

    July 26, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  19. Kevin Nivek

    Bone fide? I believe the words are bona fide. Nice writing, d*ck.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  20. malackey

    Oh, I'm sure it's a scourge of hot girls, pretending to like Skyrim, just to get the chance to hang out with geeks. A veritable stampede of busty, insatiable, distractingly attractive girls, beating down the doors of geekdom, demanding your attention, and keeping you from those all important raids. You poor thing. Let me get you a sandwich.

    Oh, and pray tell, what is the 'right' reason to get into comics, or gaming, or some other geeky pursuit? How may we poor, misguided, attractive girls make ourselves more acceptable to you, so you'll let us hang out in your basement, and talk about Frank Miller, or how terrible Tyrande's accent is in this xpac, or play Settlers? How may I appeal to you, so that you may validate my geekiness, and stop making me feel bad for having a moderately attractive appearance?

    July 26, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Robert

      Thank you, a sandwich would be nice.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:28 am |
      • golden2475

        Wow, how long did it take you to come up with that? You must be so proud.

        July 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  21. iheartexploding

    i actually know a person like this,name will not be given,shes a very sweet person but is absolutely all about clubbing and drinking and hair and nails and things that i'm sure she does that i miss completely because i don't "get" them.
    It does not make me like her any less it just gives us fewer things to talk about when she only knows about mainstream movies and things for the most part.i have recently tried introducing her to neil gaimans sandman,but she said it was too hard to understand....*facepalm* i love her to death but i do know people as you described exist.shes very insecure even though shes attractive and she only cosplays women and scantily clad ones,now nothings wrong with that,but it is because i know her personally and know she admits to doing it to get "extra male attention" as she calls it,and even thinks it is "gross and weird" that i cross dress all the time for cosplay.so these attention seeking types do exist,we all know one.i am sure.I do not think they mean harm to anyone though they just need a confidence boost and,i know you may not agree but we may be the only people out there that are good enough people to make them feel good about themselves.

    HOWEVER i know many beautiful women who are fully in to cosplay and comics and sci-fi movies and series and are just genuinely nerdy and beautiful.It does not make a cosplay more or less valuable to look a certain way,i've sen all shapes,sizes,ethnics etc make wonderful beautiful costumes and i encourage everyone to just do it for fun.that is what its for after all.fun and enjoyment so really even if it is someone who is a total bimbo in a ho costume they bought off lingerie shops,if shes having fun i mean why not just let her?hell its not hurting anyone,they may even have low self esteem that they genuinely need the reassurance for.I know my friend does it is why i always cheer her on anyway.

    excuse my english also.I try but i know sometimes wrong words and sentence structure is off.

    July 26, 2012 at 6:13 am |
  22. twirlygirl

    So in other words, you're totally into geek girls, as long as they're hot, and as long as they believe the exact same things you believe. Sounds kinda like religion to me. I bet you call yourself a humanist too. Typical

    July 26, 2012 at 4:49 am |
  23. maty

    Why not focus your article on how women are sidelined, marginalized and their 'geek' credibility constantly scrutinized based on their appearance or some ever changing litmus test? But you'd rather have the golddiggers conversation.......

    July 26, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • rini

      AMEN. I feel that girls have to work doubly hard to prove their geek status. It makes it intimidating and hard to really feel like a part of the culture.

      And a general reply: Being a geek isn't solely about one medium–like knowing everything about every comic ever made (hyperbole, yes). ***Being a geek is about being an enthusiast.*** Take these people you call posers and teach them. Get them more excited about the stories and history of the characters they're dressed up as. Chances are, they really do have some interest in it, but don't know where to begin. Yeah, you could easily risk overwhelming them, but instead of saying "Oh, you haven't heard of xyz? You're not a real geek." Say: "Oh! You haven't heard of xyz, here, let me show you." Be ambassadors for your culture because god knows it's not an exclusive one.

      Down below, Valerie says it best: "In short, why does any woman – your friends, Felicia Day, that random Power Girl posing for photos about whom you know *nothing*, or me – need your stamp of validation on her geek cred? Answer: She doesn't."

      July 26, 2012 at 8:13 am |
      • Becky

        I agree with Rini. I've been in the fandom side of things for a few years, and write my fair share of fanfiction, but I'm new to the comic books, the graphic novels, the conventions...and it's tough, because I WANT to know about these things, but I have yet to find someone patient enough to help educate me.

        I'm genuinely excited about learning a new side of things, but then I read articles like this and it just makes me worry that no matter how much I eventually learn, I'll still have to deal with people who will think I'm not qualified enough to be a fan.

        So. Way to be a discouraging tool bag. "I'm not complaining about pretty ladies, I'm just complaining about pretty ladies who want to *gag* be part of something I'm interested in." I'm sure if you ask nicely, those pretty ladies will spare you the anguish of their objectionable presence.

        July 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  24. Dom

    Well written, although I must disagree.
    Here's my response piece: http://keepyoursky.blogspot.com/2012/07/in-re-true-geekdom.html

    July 26, 2012 at 3:28 am |
  25. Fnord

    I'm am SO glad somebody has exposed this disturbing phenomenon!

    Personally I am extremely concerned at the increasing number of hot girls turning up to what once was a sausage-fest for overweight male gamers with poor personal hygiene.

    When I attend such events, it's infuriating to have to be exposed to the female form – especially fine examples of said form. I'm not sure where these woman get off, thinking they can just WALTZ into these events like any other consumer (or Booth employee), and just BE HOT AT PEOPLE.

    Seriously, it's outrageous! Who told them about comic-con anyway?! I mean, the first rule of Geek-club is that nobody talks about Geek-club.

    I think they should check for va-jay-jay's at the door, and turn them away... so we can keep Geek-club 'pure'.

    Thank you for listening.

    - A Concerned Gamer

    July 25, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • suckerpunchbabydoll

      That is way extreme, and not what the article is saying at all.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:02 am |
      • MrWolf

        You should make a doctor's appointment ASAP. I think there might be something wrong with your funny bone.

        July 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Kate Finnegan

      I just died.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • R.D.

      I think you're a troll. If you're not, then maybe read the whole article...that is, if you can read?

      July 26, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Mome

      Hail Eris! All hail discord! Long time since I've seen a fnord around. I personally always remove my va-jay-jay at the door so I can wave it about and sew more discord.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • iheartexploding

      i think i just died laughing.

      July 26, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • Kohaku

      That was so full of awesome. <3

      July 28, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  26. Ken

    To me, this article just reeks of the same elitism that affects all areas of pop culture. Which is worse because being a nerd, geek, or dweeb meant someone went through rejection and in that rejection, groups of people came together over a common interest. That obsessive interest doesn't grant anyone a crown to decide who should or shouldn't belong in a kingdom. When did the nerds turn into the bullies?

    July 25, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Jose

      Well, when we are bullied enough and excluded from your groups, wouldn't we be justified to have our own group and exclude you?

      July 25, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
      • Ken

        That's so childish and that assumes that those who did the bullying are joining in. I'm just glad a hobby that was once laughed at can be enjoyed by so many people. And as we've gotten older, our tastes have expanded and not one hobby is exclusive to one group. Also, if those 'fake geek girls' go away, do you still have what drew you to that group?

        July 25, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
      • Jose

        I could go on about how certain demographics resigned themselves to infiltrate another in the pretense of becoming aged and more enlightened; how something that we believed was something of a sanctuary for us to become host to those less than genuine, but I'm sure you'd retaliate with some form of verbal argument with the intent of wounding one's pride. Well then, let's hear it.

        July 25, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
      • Ken

        I didn't become a geek, I just loved gaming. If I had to become a geek or nerd because of it...so be it. But the only validation I ever needed was my own and if other people loved it great. You used the word demographic and I thought that was important because all the companies profiting from 'geek love' sees everyone as a consumer. Nothing more, nothing less. The money I've spent on Mario these past 20 years are not different or better than anyone else's.

        PS-if you need some 'geek' credentials from me: I've worked at 5 gaming companies, currently own 5 gaming devices, have a current collection of over 150 games.

        July 25, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
      • Jose

        So you're a geek afterall. I had my doubts at first.

        July 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
      • welltemperedwriter

        Been there, done that.

        Then I got out of high school and got a life.

        July 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
      • That Word Grrl

        Exhibit A: Proof that in many ways, geeks are no better than high school jocks. They just apply different criteria.

        July 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  27. kristingray

    First off, anyone who dresses up like Worf or Spike Spiegel should be giving up any right to judge other individuals based on appearance at of all places, a comic convention. But I have to say, I agree. I am a woman in the tech industry. It's a freaking sausage fest – and I partly blame marketers who have inundated like fields of interest (like gaming) with images of unrealistic women. Believe it or not, it drives women away from the industry in general. I was at a very popular convention recently, and in one of the keynotes for an application, the presenter highlighted shape magazine. About 2000 men in the audience howled in enjoyment at attractive, half naked woman on the cover while I uncomfortably sank in my chair. It's not the magazine that upset me, it was the fact that I was surrounded... 1 comment here or there, I'm used to it, but 2000 of the world's best and brightest. These were lead engineers, project managers, CEOs... and it dawned on me.. this is what I am up against. It makes it difficult as women, attractive or not, to be taken seriously, to get promoted, to get the lead on a big project, when the status quo is to let the pretty girl be the receptionist and sell you things while everyone is staring at her third boob. I'm just sayin' PS Felicia Day is legit nerd material, she doesn't need a stamp of approval.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • IQ159

      Did you have your 3rd boob showing too? Then you have nothing to worry about.

      July 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  28. Telzey Amberdon

    When you wrote, "I find it fantastic that women are finally able to enjoy a culture that has predominately been male-oriented and male-driven.", I laughed so hard at this exhibition of absolutely adorable male privilege that I found myself unable to take the rest of the article seriously.

    Women invented media culture when they invented fanfiction for Man from Uncle and Star Trek, and then mounted the very first media convention for Star Trek, and all the subsequent ones for the next 10 years or so. I attended the second Star Trek convention held in NYC in 1973 and it was given by mostly all women and attended by mostly all women. You found predominantly male fans at literary (literary as in books and magazines like Analog and Astounding) SciFi and Fantasy conventions, and those guys sneered at us, making sure we understood that female media fans were beneath the far more intellectual book-oriented male fans. Not that we didn't let whatever guys who wanted to come to our conventions attend: we felt the more, the merrier. But it was a 90% female vs 10% male attendance at those early cons, if I remember correctly. Possibly higher than 90%. When Shatner did his "Get a life!" turn on SNL, he addressed that tiny percentage of usually-dorky males you'd see at a media con back then - I remember wondering aloud where the heck the fannish women were at in that sketch. I'd never seen an all-male crowd at any of the media cons I'd been to. But such is male privilege, it sees what it wants to see, I suppose. OTOH, maybe Mr. Shatner just didn't want to be seen screaming at women.

    Such was our happy inclusiveness that eventually men started to enjoy media fandom in greater numbers as they abandoned literary fandom in droves and all the pulp SciFi magazines crumbled, and just look: they apparently think they invented it now. You guys are so cute, if somewhat annoying! I suggest you pick up Bjo Trimble's "On the Good Ship Enterprise–My 15 Years With Star Trek" if you want to read about all the women who invented media fandom and the culture.

    Pics or it didn't happen: I've got a ton of pictures from that era of fannishness and it's chicks all the way. A few males, but mostly women. Leave my sisters alone and consider yourself lucky we allowed you guys into *our* culture.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Macaloon

      Wow! This is amazing. You, my lady, are amazing! You really should write extensively about this and show the pictures, just for the fact that they must be a treasure. Please, do it! You made me want to go and search more information on this, because like you say, boys truly think they own geekdom. Now I know they are wrong.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:56 am |
      • Telzey Amberdon

        Sorry to say, over and over, I've seen a certain type of guy (see the author of this article) rushing into spaces carved out by women, for women, and then remaking those spaces to suit themselves. I was on a BtVS mailing list that had 2,000 members, seven of whom were male, and three of those guys spent most of their time telling the little ladies how they were getting it wrong and if we'd just do what they said, we could fix up that huge mailing list so it would be awesome! And if it's not a space they want to take over, they will spend a lot of time showing disdain for it, as it will be beneath them to show any interest in it (except they really want you to UNDERSTAND the depth of their disdain for this thing that is by and for women.)

        Fifty Shades of Grey is not my cup of tea, but I love the idea that it started life as Twilight fanfiction that the fannish author then "filed off the serial numbers" to make it publishable (you go, my fellow fan-girl!) I've read a lot of very upset articles by men who are all het up about the success of the trilogy because WHAT ABOUT THE MENS? And obviously it's a very bad thing that women like it, when men don't like it at all. I've actually seen the words "where do men stand in all this?" and the answer, of course is, "off to the side, out of our way, sweetheart."

        July 30, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Teresa

      Excellent, EXCELLENT point. :) Thank you for reminding us all of this very true fact.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Dee

      Any chance you've got a blog? Tumblr? I'd LOVE to see photos and tales of the early media days!

      July 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
      • Telzey Amberdon

        Well... I own a comic book store with my husband and we have two sites, legendsofsuperheros.com and classiconn.com. I really should scan some of these crazy photos and post them on one of our websites. After all, I actually looked good back then and wouldn't mind if people saw me in a miniskirt! ;)

        July 30, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • IQ159

      Hmmm. I thought the 1st conventions were in the late 60's, not early 70's. I'll ask my grand dad about it.

      July 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
      • Telzey Amberdon

        Or you could consult the awesomeness that is the internets and find that, according to "Memory Alpha", the Star Trek Wiki: "The convention held in New York from 21-23 January 1972 is often recognized as the first true Star Trek convention." So, like I wrote, I went to the second one in 1973. My mom wouldn't let me take a train into Manhattan without an adult long with me in 1972 or I'd have attended the first one, too.

        July 30, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  29. Layla

    For a dude who is just barely a 3, you sure are judgmental about these girls and their hypothetical reasons for cosplaying. How sad.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  30. PW

    This is the feces that's produced when stupidity eats too much misogyny.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  31. catsnake

    I AGREE WITH THIS ARTICLE 100% !!!!! and it's not just in comic land, stupid men love these types of girls for some reason and the women are only in it for the the $$$ and attention, then go blow half of the $ they make on drugs as they bang some indian dude for more $. Women like this are disgusting. However they are too stupid to realize how disgusting they are so more power to them i guess. And to anyone saying i'm just jealous, believe me, i'm not cause a) i could get hotter and not pay and b) if i couldn't then i could always get 100 bucks from atm to buy one of these chicks for a night. but yeah, dudes gotta grow up. if breasts still make you drool you're a real loser.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  32. Tony Money

    This person didn't do the research and just like others, pointed fingers at something they don't understand and have no idea how it works. I bet, if he actually sat through the process that it takes to get approved for most of the "BoothBabe" jobs, he would take down the post and apologize. Yes there are companies out there that just grab hotties and don't care if they know a darn ting about the product they are paid to represent, but what about those other companies that take pride in their casting process? This article is just cause to show that a game journalist, really isn't one, but more of a sterotype caster. The same type of person that blames videogames for destroying minds and creating killers.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  33. Soph

    I approve of this article, because it deals with an issue that's been bothering me ever since I started going to cons.

    But I will say, booth babes, I couldn't care less about. They're there because they're hot. Good on them for being hot and using it to their advantage. They're just models, and are just there to be paid. So no big deal there. They aren't pretending to be omg total nurd qurl guyzz. They're just feigning interest because, lets be honest, you wouldn't go to a booth where the booth babes were cold and uninterested? They're just doing their job, no harm in that.

    I WILL say, however, that some girls who DO get into cosplay (not booth babes) just to flaunt their bodies, are the cancer of conventions, along with annoying weaboos but that's besides the point. They're just in it for the attention, and if they weren't doing it in our conventions they'd be doing it somewhere else. If anything, it's the (predominantly male) geek culture's fault for being so easily entranced by anyone who's a 7/10 and up! It's like any girl who isn't totally disgusting gets fawned over. Honestly, if they just didn't get the attention they craved, they'd stop. It's not just their fault for this.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Jennifer

      I have a feeling that the author has no idea what the difference is between an attendee and a Booth Support Staff Personnel. We who work those shows are indeed professionals, and we get paid damn good to stand there in a skimpy outfit and have men pawn at us. We don't do it for our ego or our self-worth, we do it because we make over 100K a year.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
      • Jennifer

        Sorry...paw....auto correct error!!

        July 25, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
      • catsnake

        did you say paw?

        July 25, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
      • Jennifer

        Figurative language.

        July 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
      • Marxi

        Yeah, you get paid, and u look good naked. But do you know the timeline to the Zelda games? Or have ever sat down and played a weekend marathon campaign of DnD with your girlfriends? What do you know about being a geek other than walking around half naked in a cosplay gets you looked at? There are plenty of lovely girls who ARE Geeks and gamers gamers, geeks of the industry that deserve those jobs, and love to talk to the attendees about something they love, and YOU are leeching off of our culture. YOU should be ashamed of the impression you make on younger generations of girl gamers.

        July 25, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
      • Kylie

        Marxi, why should any woman be ashamed of her job, or her body? A booth support worker may not have any interest in nerd culture, no– but she isn't there to enjoy the festivities of the convention the way you are. She's not a faker. She's an employee. She's not taking any female geek's job away from them. Have you ever worked a booth at a convention? I'm not booth babe material, but working a store booth at a convention isn't fun. I never got to explore much of the con or take part in much of the fun. It was stressful. Geeks usually don't want to work 'booth babe' jobs because they miss out on what they're there for– the convention.

        July 26, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  34. Soph

    I approve of this article, because it deals with an issue that's been bothering me ever since I started going to cons.

    But I will say, booth babes, I couldn't care less about. They're there because they're hot. Good on them for being hot and using it to their advantage. They're just models, and are just there to be paid. So no big deal there. They aren't pretending to be omg total nurd qurl guyzz. They're just feigning interest because, lets be honest, you wouldn't go to a booth where the booth babes were cold and uninterested? They're just doing their job, no harm in that.

    I WILL say, however, that some girls who DO get into cosplay (not booth babes) just to flaunt their bodies, are the cancer of conventions, along with annoying weaboos but that's besides the point. They're just in it for the attention, and if they weren't doing it in our conventions they'd be doing it somewhere else. If anything, it's the (predominantly male) geek culture's fault for being so easily entranced by anyone who's a 7/

    July 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Soph

      balls, submitted before I could finish...just ignore this..

      July 25, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  35. MaRisa

    Did you talk to these girls? Did they tell you that they failed as models elsewhere? Does it matter regardless?
    Don't be so judgmental.

    July 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Saray

      lol love you Marisa <3

      July 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  36. Kiddo

    And this is one of the many reasons why there are companies and organizations like the D20 Girls that have booth babes who know what they're talking about. Problem solved.

    July 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  37. Jennifer

    I find it ironic that my post isn't showing up...hmmmm....must have struck a nerve.

    July 25, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  38. Quorra

    Love it, and couldn't agree more.

    July 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  39. Kris

    You're a hater and probably have a little dick. I'm sure a hot girl turned you down (or dumped you after she slept w/ you), and now you feel the need to knock every pretty girl down. Stop wasting people's time w/ bs articles like this. If you don't like booth babes, DON'T COME TO TRADESHOWS!!! Go home and play w/ your games.

    July 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  40. CNNyoureatool

    This cracked me up "Ryan Perez is a shoddy journalist and failed to do any research." Speaking of research, you clearly failed to do any.

    These girls go through a rigorous process of proving their gaming skills, geek interest, intelligence, writing and creative ability and much more to be even considered for this job. Ubisoft doesn't just go to a pretty girl farm and scoop up some random girl who can hold a controller and smile.

    While I agree that there are girl gamer who go to these conventions for attention, you definitely picked the wrong group of women to use as an example. Fragdolls are hardly booth babe bimbos who know nothing of video games or geek culture. Try visiting their website or watching one of their gaming streams before publishing an article that makes you look like a completely uninformed moron.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Jennaaaayyy

      ...maybe he's just mad cause he's a boy and cant ever be a frag doll :( lol

      July 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • gooniesandy

      Hilarious.... I have a friend who models at auto shows and the like, and half of her friend list on Facebook are other similar models. Every year around Comic-Con (we live in San Diego), I see her and her friends posting about getting called to be booth bait. None of them know anything about games, comics, sci-fi, etc. In fact, they often openly mock the participants in their posts. To be fair, they couldn't care less about being validated by a bunch of random Con-goers; they are there for the paycheck. It's a job. But, they aren't secret super hot nerd chicks.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Myself.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O18vLXZMMw&w=640&h=390]

      Company dedication, coming right up!

      July 26, 2012 at 6:06 am |
  41. hmxcasey

    This is insane.

    #1. Who are you to judge anyone that expresses an interest in anything?

    #2. Why do you get to choose the standard by which other people are judged for LIKING something?

    #3. Most importantly, why does this nonsense litmus test only apply to women? It does nothing but put an additional barrier between women and this culture, regardless of whether or not they pass your standards. Because now every woman, regardless of their level of interest in geek culture, now is forced to PROVE it. It's disgusting, and it's another way to keep things like comic-con a No Girls Allowed space. Either PROVE YOU BELONG HERE, because your MERE PRESENCE is an act of aggression into our territory.

    #4. Finally, even if you don't care that this outright excludes women, it is offensive to me as a straight male geek/nerd/whatever. Why? Because this article implies heavily that we as a group are so stupid, so easily influenced, and moreover so deeply uncomfortable talking to women that we're swayed into doing anything by any attractive (by YOUR standards, by the way) lady in a Princess Leia costume. It offends my intelligence.

    So, stop making this part of our culture a tough place for women to be, stop believing every horrible stereotype about geeks/nerds regardless of gender, and just stop being gross. Stop it.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Laura

      *slow clap*

      July 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  42. O.G.

    Are you kidding me? The Frag Dolls are made up of gaming women that are of the highest caliber of skill, and you throw them under the bus like this? Have you ever talked to one of them are you just assuming that because they have a shirt that says Frag Dolls, they're booth babes?

    You owe those ladies a HUGE apology and might want to research your articles before you throw out accusations like that.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Harry Kira

      Agreed. I've met many of them in the past and currently work with an ex-frag doll, at a GAME COMPANY, where she absolutely belongs. So as much as I agree with most of your points, you lose credibility for thrashing these girls.

      July 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • ZBo

      Well, if you're judging gamers by their skill as "not being at the very top, but they're better than your average moron" then the Frag Dolls are fine. There are a gazillion players who are of the quality of Frag Doll play. But they're not incredible gamers. And their outfits are laughable and prevent them from being taken seriously.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
      • O.G.

        What are you talking about? Several of them have compete on the highest level in their respective games. That doesn't happen by just some random occurrence, they put an extensive amount of time and effort into developing that skill that stretches over an array of games, not just that one game.

        And what outfits? They wear Tshirts and jeans.

        July 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
      • PMS Tenshi

        Meet a Frag Doll at an event sometime. Talk one up, ask some questions, ask about her background in gaming. You'll realize pretty quick how silly your statement just sounded.

        July 26, 2012 at 12:49 am |
  43. Jennaaaayyy

    You know, Im a girl, and a geek, and this article is very true all except one thing. I completely agree with about 98% of this, in fact, I've been a girl and geek/gamer/movie fanatic since I was about 4 years old so this:
    "The presence of female geeks means that the fiction we're reading is broadening and, frankly, getting better in quality. It means nerdy films and television shows aren't relying on damsel in distress stories and objectification of women to draw readers. It means content is broadening and becoming smarter and more accessible."
    is not very well put... alot of geek girls out there have been around as long as boys have, but "geekyness" didnt seem to be "cool" and talked about until somewhere around 2000, so no one noticed because it didnt matter. Also, a good amount of girl geeks absolutely LOVE damsel in distress stories, I for one, objectify women every day.
    Okay so lets get back to why I do agree with everything else. Last year I found an add for a gamer brand ambassador job and applied, I got it! I thought "OMG this is gonna be awesome, geeks and gamers, how much fun!" But guess what? About 40% of the people there actually knew something about gaming, the rest were just "promo models". They work every promo in the area. So, can I find another game promo to work? No, because these "promo models" that have way more experience and bigger breasts. I got passed up for E3 and comicon.
    Well, there you go, Im done ranting but you brought up a very good point here and I needed to add some things. ^.^

    July 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Lars Babaganoosh

      Poor baby. Got passed over because of your looks, or lack of good ones anyways. Get used to it, that's how life works. Life is easier for the beautiful people.

      What's funny is I'm not being sarcastic. There have been studies done. Beautiful people do get breaks and advantages.

      July 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
      • Jennaaaayyy

        Did you even read what I wrote? LOL I have NO problem in the looks category... Have at it http://iamwhiterabbit.deviantart.com/art/Street-Fighter-Cosplay-Cammy-White-205667244 Go back and read it noob.

        July 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
      • Lars Babaganoosh

        Protip – you can think whatever you want about your looks. What matters is what everybody else thinks and apparently everybody else thinks you don't quite cut the mustard to be a booth babe.

        July 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
      • Jennaaaayyy

        youre an idiot, L2read

        July 25, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Jason

      Well said. Guys like hot girls that dress up in skimpy outfits, that's a universal truth. But anybody who works as a pin-up doll for these conventions should at least have the professional courtesy to know about the culture. Unfortunately, that's just not how business works, and it won't change unless these sorts of decisions start making an impact on the company at a financial level.

      July 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  44. Lars Babaganoosh

    So to sum up – male geeks hate these girls because they have no shot at tapping the panties and female geeks hate them because they are jealous.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  45. solex

    These girls are just trying to make al living and they do so by using the following creed:

    "Look available. Be unobtainable."

    July 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  46. kt.navi

    I read the headline and was prepared to be indignant, another article digging on nerdy girls. I read it, and I was ecstatic! It's about time someone called those fake girls for what they are: fake and shallow. Frankly, they make the rest of us real gamer girls look bad.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Jennaaaayyy

      exactly...and they take jobs that actual gamers could be getting.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
      • Chelsea

        Have you gamers applied for these jobs? These girls arent "stealing your jobs" if not. Most of these "shallow", "6 of 9" girls work harder than you can imagine. They are trained intensely on every program they are hired for and many if them have college degrees, even Masters and never intended to be a model (when you speak of "failed" models). Now any girl who represents brands in public is a failed model? Actually many companies are hiring people with real knowledge instead of super models, so I guess we just can't win in your book! Many girls in this industry execute events, do set-up and break down, and have other responsibilities that require more than half a brain. They may not be born gamers, but they are hired to learn about a product and then interact with the public to spread the word about it. It happens at any kind of public event. The girks are nit hired to pretend theyve been gamers their whole luves; they are there to create an upbeat environment and deliver messaging. I don't have a problem with people who don't like the industry I work in, but being totally naive about it, yet writing an article like you have concrete facts is just stupid. If you have a problem with it, why don't you apply for it and see if you'd be hired based on your skills. Since you know, you don't need any skills to work this kind of job.

        July 25, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  47. Jen

    I think this is an incredibly concise way of putting it, and thank you! I'm someone who's been to conventions and been accused of not being a geek because I'm female and it's really great to find that actually some people out there have real respect for female geeks!
    I love many aspects of geekdom and am completely dedicated to the things I love! And it does my head in when you see these girls who have no interest other than being eye candy.
    Thank you for finally being someone to voice this view!

    July 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  48. Jackie C.

    To be an actual "gamer girl" that has never once pretended and see someone make an article about those who do fake it.. I am estatic! This touches every base I ever could of asked for, and hits the nail on the head.

    Being a genuine geek and going to any conventions, or hell even the local comic shop, and seeing girls pretending is so, so annoying... It makes me sick to watch them getting very undeserved attention simply for their looks. Ask them a question that a nerd would know the answer to and you'd expose them.

    I am very thankful that you took the time out to write this, as well as for feeling this way. It makes me realize that people DO notice things I do. Having a "geek" profile photo of you playing Xbox and then only playing the Sims does not make you a geek.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Ginny

      And how many of these horribly offensive attractive women have you spoken to so you could conduct your geek examination?

      July 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
      • Jennaaaayyy

        I have worked with many of them, so dont try defending them, a good amount of them dont even know how to turn on a wii, Ive seen it first hand.

        July 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  49. kelseykronmiller

    What a great article! Totally agree and have been saying exactly what you said, to myself (in fear of looking like one of those girls who say other girls aren't "real" gamers just for attention as well), for years now.

    And Frag Dolls disgust me (some are great gamers, but most are just in it for the status). And let's not forget about that chick on the TV's in all the GameStop's – doubt she's played a game in her life, yet she gets to go to work everyday and do what I've only been dreaming about doing throughout my life.

    http://www.kelseykronmiller.com

    July 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • PMS Tenshi

      Frag Dolls work their asses off. Sure, I bet some girls apply for the status. There's a ton that goes into it, though. Also, great way to be a hater, then plug your own website.

      July 26, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  50. Joe

    I was somewhat disappointed that 6 of 9 wasn't going to be a play on words somehow including Seven of Nine from Voyager

    July 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  51. Paul

    Sounds like someone couldn't get laid at nerd-fest...

    July 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  52. Ginny

    "About this Blog
    It takes one to know one. When it comes to topics of interest to nerds, geeks, and superfans, we know how true that is. Geek Out! features stories from a nerd's perspective that you can still share with your "normal" friends and family."

    ...when you want to make it clear that you don't want them involved in your life.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  53. Smarty pants

    Cnn proves, once again, that one need not be smart to have a lengthy opinion.You sir, are a dip.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  54. Sergio

    +4 to attacks and -4 to ac.

    Very nice article. AMEN!

    July 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  55. J Eckert

    I'm quite offended by this article. On one hand you have brought up a VERY valid point. On the other, one of our core examples, the Frag Dolls, is so off base it's personally insulting to me. I am a personal friend to every one of them, by both industry association via work in the gaming industry and on a personal level. Every one of those girls is a talented and dedicated gamer, several of which are far geekier than myself in many ways. The fact you are willing to so quickly dimiss them out of hand just shows how out of touch you are with them as a organization and how little work you put into preparing some research into this before banging out some piece for pure attention. Do more research next time.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Christopher

      You mad bro? If the criteria you use to describe these womens authentic "geekiness" is simply that they are geekier than you well.....maybe you dont belong at comic-con either!

      July 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
      • chad

        Depends on how you define geek. The frag dolls are dedicated gamers, who may or may not be interested in some or all of the other aspects of geekdom. I've played games with some of them before, they are as passionate and talented as any other gamer i know.

        July 25, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  56. Jess

    /cheer!

    I enjoyed reading your article. It makes me ill thinking about these types of women. They are all around me because they think that's what makes them attractive around all the boys. Sure, it works. But who cares? They are getting what they want, for the most part (but it doesn't last forever). I can't even enjoy G4 because of the hostesses or Comic-Con. But I still have my sci-fi and fantasy novels, comic books, and video games to forget about those silly little girls. =)

    I applaud you, sir!

    July 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Bex Drono

      Hey folks let's put this into perspective... Booth girls are there BECAUSE they are hot. When you see beautiful women modeling beside low riders and rad sports cars, don't expect them to much about the internal workings of the car or hydraulics work.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
      • Jennaaaayyy

        Why not? When there are an awful lot of girls that look good and know how how to work on a car, but they cant get the job because someone with years of "promo" experience and huge boobs applies. I'd much rather walk up to a cutie that can talk with out saying "ummm" after every word.

        July 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  57. Seth

    This was a natural progression and shows that certain elements of geek culture are mainstream enough to warrant this sort of thing. It's sort of a bizarre honor to know that someone is willing to fake an interest in geek hobbies to get gamers' attention. Do you think the women at car shows, boat shows, gun shows are all into the cars/boats/guns? No more than the girls hanging on a high roller's arm are interested in gambling. In short, it's all about money.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  58. TSB8C

    Wow! I may have to start attending comic-con.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  59. Islam4fools

    So you are asking geeks, who rarely are around hot girls, to say no to the hot girls!!!!

    My brain just vomited out of my ears.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  60. Joe C

    First - I find your article ignorant. After this response I WILL NEVER VISIT THIS SITE OR CNN AGAIN BECAUSE OF YOU! Most of the people working these job (guys and girls alike) are there for a paycheck! They are there to make ends meet much like you and I. Can you honestly tell me you have never seen a male working at a booth? Males do this type of work just as much as females. Much like the Felicia Day day scenario - I don't see you pointing them out. As you said in the article above "So why Felicia Day?" I must ask WHY FEMALE BRAND AMBASSADORS over the male?

    Just so you know there are agencies that are trying to go against the random booth girls and guys and make the industry staff nerds like us to work the events. Google it.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Josh

      We will weep at no longer seeing you on CNN ANYMORE JOE C. Have a nice life and don't let the screen door hit you on the way out.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  61. Silky Johnson

    U MAD BR0?

    July 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Lars Babaganoosh

      DON'T TASE ME BRO

      July 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  62. Miles

    +1

    July 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  63. Gunner McCaffrey

    The courage it must have taken to write this is considerable – 'cause, holy crap, attaching your real name to this? With a link to your website and everything? That's like flying an enormous "NEVER DATE ME" flag from the top of a custom-made misogyny helmet.

    Anyway, sorry they let some cooties in to your "BOYZ ONLY" tree fort, and that none of them will even at least sleep with you to make the boo-boo better.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Jim

      Did you actually read the article?

      July 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
      • Gunner McCaffrey

        Unfortunately, yes.

        The author clearly thinks he's being a stand-up guy here, but all he's really doing is setting up yet another male-defined barrier to entry in to "geek culture." He's defending the male right to judge a woman's place in his little nerdy clubhouse based on her looks. The fact that he's doing it on relatively new terms isn't progressive, it's insidious.

        Do men get rejected from, say, comic book conventions, for being too handsome and well-dressed? (I honestly don't know, maybe they do – but somehow I suspect not). It's still a double-standard, it's still patriarchal, and it still all comes across as just weirdly embittered and creepy. The best thing for "geek culture" would be if male geeks tried to give up their need to constantly define and order everything.

        July 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  64. Ken

    I am of the opinion that so called geek individuals are truer to who they are. I am a 64 year old non-geeky male and fine geeky women very appealing and attractive. The most appealing and attractive woman to me from my era was Janis Joplin.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  65. billme

    Most hot chicks are not geeks since they choose to pursue "non-geek" endeavors.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • skullmandible

      Oh my god, you're repulsive

      July 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  66. Florist

    THANK YOU. I am so glad to see this issue finally being addressed. It is making the conventions less and less fun to see this. Not only is it annoying and insulting, but they clog up the cons and make it harder to get into everything. They make the real geek girls feel badly about the way they look in an environment that used to be about interests instead of looks. It's simply making all of it less fun.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Lars Babaganoosh

      Stay home then. No fat chicks.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
      • Florist

        If you don't want fat chicks, don't go to a con. It's as simple as that. I'm certain you're the type that fat chicks wouldn't look twice at anyway. Sorry.

        July 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
      • Lars Babaganoosh

        LOL – fat chicks.

        July 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  67. Lars Babaganoosh

    I'm a nerd and I'm proud of it.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Lois Payne

      Lars, you can't be a nerd because you seemingly base your thoughts and ideas at the surface level. True geeks and nerds move well beyond the surface. You, Lars, are a dingleberry stuck to the buns of life.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
      • PMS Tenshi

        I just lol'd.....so hard......... can't breathe....

        July 26, 2012 at 1:19 am |
      • Metalhead Falconer

        HAHAHAHAHAH! XD

        +1

        July 26, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  68. dljonestwo

    The diss to the FragDolls was completely uncalled for. If you've ever met any of them, they do their thing and don't have a bad word to say about anyone. Seems like all I ever hear "geeks" complaining about is how someone isn't "nerdy enough". What is that all about? Do you have to log a certain number of hours in DnD or WoW to be worthy of geek acceptance? C'mon son. LOL

    July 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • chad

      Like seriously. Aren't geeks the ones who complain about being excluded from popular circles, yet now are not being inclusionary to others? Absurd.

      July 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  69. mike

    Good to see someone call out Olivia Munn. God that chick exploited the geek scene for all it was worth. You could tell all along that she was faking it, and sure enough, as soon as other opportunities presented themselves, she left the scene in her dust.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  70. Franki

    But on the other hand, groups like the D20 Girls have a hard time getting people to take them seriously, or hire them- and the first rule of being one of them is you have to be an actual geek :) http://d20girls.com/

    July 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  71. Karmina K

    Amen, brother!

    July 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  72. bpjones51

    I love this article! I have been a booth babe for the last 3 years for some friends who are artists. I feel I'm not one of the ' 6 of 9's' who have an ego problem, but I do dress scantily to draw attention to the booths. I admit it though, when I went to the show the first time, I had no idea what anything was at Comic-Con. What show? What game? What character? Over the last couple of years, I've started 'geeking' out over certain artists and characters, watched some amazing Joss Whedon shows (love Firefly), and have started learning really cool things about really cool people.

    If those shallow girls don't take any of that away from such an amazing event, then I truly feel sorry for them. Comic-con has become not only a great meet-up for my friends and I, but also a place to find new art, gifts for the nephew and niece, gossip for upcoming geek things, and meet new and nerdy people. I love it.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  73. Whats in a name?

    Perhaps fake chick geeks should be called 'cheeks' from now on??

    July 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  74. Eric

    I hate, hate, HATE articles like this, where the "geek police" try to weed out the "real geeks" from the "posers." Felicia Day makes the cut, but Olivia Munn doesn't? Really? Who gets to make that call, and who gave them the authority?

    Real "booth babes" are women who are paid to be at a particular booth at a convention and look pretty. It's a JOB, and it's hardly unique to geekdom. In point of fact, E3 has recently banned booth babes, and I've noticed a marked decline of them at GenCon, largely because women are becoming an increasingly important market segment, and booth babes tend to drive them away. Ironically, as more women choose to attend conventions as attendees, and dress in costume voluntarily because they're honestly interested, it drives down the demand for paid eye candy.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Mike

      Because when Olivia Munn does interviews like this:

      http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=9034695

      July 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  75. Steve

    Geekdom gets booth babe eye candy and you are complaining!!

    In the words of James Tiberius Kirk "Son, have you ever kissed a woman before?"

    July 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Marco

      HAHA, right? Eye candy is eye candy. Sounds to me more like the author got shot down by a few of these at various Cons and now has a gripe about it. Trendy people invade EVERY "edgy" or artsy or unique social scene. It's what they do. It's not new, and you really need to get over it.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  76. Bob

    Sounds like the guy who wrote this story is just some angry virgin sitting in his parents basement.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  77. Steves

    Shut up. Like you wouldn't date or do "other things" with anyone who looked like that, no matter their "geek status".

    July 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  78. clairejeepchick

    I was enjoying your article until I came across your comment regarding the FragDolls. Do a little research: Those ladies ARE gamers/geeks and embrace geek culture. I know many of them personally, and there isn't a fakeGeek in the bunch.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Travis

      Maybe you should re-read the article. He considers them legitimate geeks along with Olivia Munn.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  79. Darkgirl

    I agree with some of the comments and some of the article. My biggest beef is with the G4 comment. I love G4 and it's not because of hot girls or hot guys, it helps me keep up with ALL that's going on out there in the gaming, comic and sci fi world. I think it also helped in bringing all that wonderful geek stuff into more of the lime light.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Jay

      He didn't ment anything to the actual channel G4, but to the girls who are hosts on the shows.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  80. Souljacker

    "In short, why does any woman – your friends, Felicia Day, that random Power Girl posing for photos about whom you know *nothing*, or me – need your stamp of validation on her geek cred?"

    Because sadly, for all their supposed forward-thinking, tolerance, and talk of embracing womens' blossoming interest in *their* world, geeks can be some of the most misogynistic and se xist men walking the planet.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  81. Smash

    G4 TV is one of the worst offenders. They get these girls who are supposed to be hot, and the parade around and host shows and events and act like they know anything about gaming, or anything geek related. I hate G4 TV because of it.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  82. jimdog33

    You mean they're being paid to do this and aren't actually in to it?!?!?!?!? Wow!!!! Sounds like 99% of the world when they're at work.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  83. insecure much?

    The author says, "They're poachers. They're a pox on our culture. As a guy, I find it repugnant that...I am supposed to feel honored that a pretty girl is in my presence. It's insulting."

    Wow. So some number of cosplaying girls don't care about the general nerd culture at comic con. That warrants at best a shrug and a "well, whatever floats their boats". But to be disgusted or insulted? That says way more about the author than about his broad generalizations about what may motivate a female to go to comic con if they're not that into the nerd culture. Olivia Munn co-hosted a tech/geek/pop culture show for 4 years and brought an awesome openess, comedic wit, and chemistry to that show. She made it entertaining to watch and she was damn good at it. How insulting for you to use her as an example, or to lump other G4 hosts into your "fake" geek prejudice. Please turn your self-appointed "geek police" badge in now, it's a pretty sad cosplay.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • mike

      Oh please...as soon as Olivia Munn started doing TDS and sitcoms, she vanished from the Geek scene entirely. She was faking it. Don't be naive.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  84. Jeremy

    Okay, I get the point, there are women out there that are pretend geeks. I disagree with the inclusion of the Frag Dolls in this article. Members of the Frag Doll's have been gracious enough to be on a podcast that I co-host and these women definitely can back up their geek status, and will do so while mopping the floor with you in many of the games they play, all the while still looking pretty. Many of the members of FD clan are also artists heavily inspired by anime, or have worked in the special effects area in movies. The ones who have been on the 2nd Opinion podcast have extensive knowledge of classic games and aren't just shooter fans. Next time try talking to one of them, instead of just grouping them into the same pool as some of the women described in this article.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  85. gnovo

    April O'neil is the exception.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  86. sam

    A geek to a geek .... /Cheers my friend.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  87. Cap'n Rita

    As a middle-aged female nerd, who was a nerd waaayyy before it was cool (I still have my Starfleet Technical manual and boxed Dr. Who rpg on my book shelves-oh, there's my Lt. Cmdr. Data mug...), I wonder how much attention I would get as opposed to your "wannabes". Or are mom-type nerds really gross? Chickie babies will be chickie babies no matter what "culture". They are what they are and if you expect to be accepted for who YOU are, you need to get off your high horse.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Jay

      Not really trying to be offensive, but if you say your a geek, then why are you saying being a geek was never cool and your "(I still have my Starfleet Technical manual and boxed Dr. Who rpg on my book shelves-oh, there's my Lt. Cmdr. Data mug...)" with the dust?

      But if your a true geek (not trying to say your not) more power to you being a geek for this long.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • Razorback

        I've said it before-I guess I was born 30 years too early. When I was in school in the '70's, geek or nerd was a term that was assigned to you. Nobody argued over who got to be a geek-quite the opposite. In that light, I find this whole issue amusing if not bemusing. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that people now can embrace their geekiness. And I think mom-type nerds are hot!

        July 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Dr. K

      Good for you, Rita. As another older female geek (going way back to childhood. and I also have my original Star Trek manual!), I find it sad that young men are so closed minded. Hey guys, we learn most from those that are NOT like us.

      July 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  88. Good NEWS CNN

    In other news, Woman crave being eye candy.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  89. Ginny

    This article AGAIN? Been there, done that. My response: http://youtu.be/CjQHSyZOavo

    July 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  90. Poopsmear

    Nerds will rule the world!!!!!!!!

    July 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  91. MrId

    Noob article. I throw my mac at all these ladies and watch'em squirm.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Nuewsome

      Your not a Geek if your using a Mac

      July 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • J

        "Your" not a geek if you make this horrible grammar mistake on the internets. (It's YOU'RE)

        July 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
      • JamesBenson

        Technically that's a spelling mistake.

        July 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
      • JamesBenson

        And I'd be the person to miss the comma after "technically." Ah, the irony.

        July 25, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  92. Rob-Texas

    You have to be kidding me. Try talking with them, better for you to probably by them several drinks before you start talking.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  93. solex

    S3x sells. Next.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Poopsmear

      So does your mom

      July 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • solex

      Nice coherrent statement. While my mom is dead and therefore out of the game, I am sure YOUR mom is polishing her knee pads right about now...

      July 25, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  94. jamespeach

    #1 these types of women are in every niche culture. it's really not worth pointing out.

    #2 I don't like the tone. "I get sick of wannabes who couldn't make it as car show eye candy...' Now we're bringing in all types of patriarchal crap into the conversation. If they WERE car show types, this wouldn't be a thing, then? I don't even know what he's talking about here.

    #3 Okay so it's annoying because they want to dress like whatever, but it's not annoying as long as they like the same stuff you like? Tell women how to dress and what to be into much?

    #4 Assuming that these women want YOUR attention is...yeah. Kinda rapish.

    #5 The problem is not these supposed culture vultures. Don't get mad at them. Get mad at the fact that you pay crap-tons of money to buy drawings of women who can't biologically exist. Get mad at the fact that you are into characters who wouldn't give you the time of day, not the women who dress like those characters. Have you READ a comic lately? I don't want my daughters even seeing that mess. The problem isn't the real women, the problem is the fictional ones that you spend billions on. YOU built that mode of operating, not the handful of Olivia Munns who are making a living from it. If you ask me, I'd rather actual women make some of the money from thirsty nerds than the middle-aged men who draw impossible boobs all day. You're paying for it already, man. It was central to the industry before you were driving.

    #6 "I think that their rise is due to the fact that corporations are figuring out that geeks have money, and they want it." WHAT? Hahahahaha. Welcome to the nineties, genius, when people looked at comics as legit retirement funds.

    What a crock.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • NERDS!!!!!!!!!

      Bravo. The holier than thou nerd/hipster is the worst type of creature.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
      • Jay

        You should be hit for saying that nerds are in the same categorey as hipsters

        July 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Phades

      The issue lies with the mentality, not the gender specifically.

      There is a massive difference between if I were to actually bother to don a costume at an event and Man faye for example (google it).

      This is not the cause you are looking for. Move along.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • josh

      this critique is awful. almost baffonery.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Marco

      Well said Jamespeach...well said indeed!

      July 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • IQ159

      #1 Yeah. And every culture demands street cred.
      #2 Patriarchy doesn't exist. You believe in ghosts too?
      #3 Tell writers how they should think much? See how that works?
      #4 Pretending people don't have eyes is c*ckteasish. Bumperstickers dude. Think.
      #5 Tell people whom to get mad at much?
      #6 I know you might think Corporations are people but they aren't. A corporation is just a bunch of persons with agency… e.g. booth babes.

      July 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  95. JediSurvivor

    When the author used the term "6 of 9," was I the only one expecting a "Voyager" reference? It would get the same point across.... the girls fall short of being SEVEN of 9. :p

    July 25, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Kenpachi Zaraki

      I was actually thinking that exact same thing! =P

      July 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Badger

      Well, 7 of 9 was purely on that show to be male fan service. So being a "7 of 9" would be the best term to describe phony geek-pandering females.

      July 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  96. Dee

    It was really that bad, huh?

    July 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  97. NERDS!!!!!!!!!

    Really nerds? You guys couldn't be more annoying if you tried. Too many hot girls at comic con. Sorry about your luck. Comics aren't underground anymore. Batman is probably going to gross a billion dollars. It attracts all types now, posers and purists. Don't whine and write dorky articles that the nerds are real nerds, act like an adult and talk *gasp!* to the girls to find out if you like them.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Phades

      Only useful as a milkable and exploitable resource then eh?

      Cry more crocodile tears bro, they are nourishing.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Mike

      I DARE you to make less sense.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Jay

      A.) Just by reading your comment I can tell your not really a nerd

      B.) I'm ok with Hot girls at Comic-con if they know 10 heros of Marvel, 10 heros of DC, and then can tell me whose in what Comicbook Universe. and i count that as an Easy Geek Test.

      C.) If comics are mainstream now, where are yours? Nonexisting right? Comics were mainstream once, but then went back Underground because besides geeks, people don't want comics anymore.

      D.) "Don't whine and write dorky articles that the nerds are real nerds" We dont whine about Nerds being real nerds, we whine about the fake nerds saying that they're nerds because they know some geek knowledge. For example "I only know Batman so I can buy a Batman sweater at hottopic and wear it to an Comic/anime convention saying IM A NERD" he/she needs to be hit in the head and detained for several hours on why they should never do that again and be kicked out of any Geek convention, gathering, or event that they go to.

      E.) The last thing that i have to say to you is this:
      "act like an adult and talk *gasp!* to the girls to find out if you like them."

      July 25, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
      • Joshua Covey

        what if they went to comic con because of adventure time, venture brothers, firefly and their decade long love of blue monday? they don't "count"? that's crap and you know it's crap. grow up.

        July 25, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
      • Joshua Covey

        also don't act like you're underground because you read marvel and dc comics. why don't we say you can't get into comic con unless you can name every Brian Wood comic? maybe you have to tell me the first appearances of usagi yojimbo and hellboy. name every comic currently being distributed through monkeybrain.

        July 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
      • Jay

        You misunderstand me, I'm saying only knowing a bit of geek culture and going to conventions is wrong (unless going there to learn more about said culture). I also count those things as "Geeky/Nerdy" (except Adventure Time, it hurts my brain cells with its massive amounts of stupid).

        And to you other point, I never said "also don't act like you're underground because you read marvel and dc comics." I consider those very mainstream. I also consider myself a mainstream geek. And your credenciales for getting into Comic con would even stop you from going because not everyone knows Everysingle comic being distributed at this point and time.

        July 26, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  98. Carolyn

    I feel frustrated because when I was growing up, I was tortured for being dorky and nerdy. Yes, I can quote Star Trek, and yes I read comic books. Now, it's considered chic to be nerdy. Girls who read comics are automatically hot, looks aside. Nerdy girls today have it much easier.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • ieat

      that was before silicon valley ended up with one of the most $$ making industry of the world.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • nadimstar

      So shouldn't be a little more grateful for the young girls of today that hopefully are being treated better than you at that age? Come on now positivity is the key not negative jealousy. Power to everyone, geek or jock, I was both and proud of it in Highschool, gifted student, all AP and triathlete. So what I do is try to empower those who feel powerless rather than let my jealousy leak through and cloud the light that is shining on their futures.

      Try being overly positive, try ignoring those problems that cloud your judgement and try to look beyond your immediate surroundings and see what makes us tick and tock to the tune of our own individual happiness, and exploit for all that is good in this world to see and share. Thats what life is about, whether your in highschool, college, or about to turn 40, the goal of life is to enjoy it, not critique it.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Joshua Covey

      also she had to walk up hill both ways in the snow.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  99. Just Because

    Really, where is the issue, hot babes wearing costumes, men (boys) checking out said Hot Babes wearing costumes. I cannot see any issue here, the men (boys) enjoy and appreciate the distraction and the babes enjoy the attention.

    Drop by the beach someday, you can find hot babes wearing almost nothing and the guys check them out there geeks and non-geeks. I guess if you are a hot babe you should find work not wearing costumes or bikinis and do not expect to be gawked at
    .
    Don't get comfortable you're moving on.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  100. Valerie

    Same snobbery, different day. No patience for the Geek Police. Or, as Bartine hit it on the head, "Ace of Geeks."

    Do I find that particular flavor of cosplayer annoying? Occasionally. Are they "poachers" and "a pox on our culture?" Puh-leeze.

    And then there's the tangled mess of headlining the piece with "booth babe" (which generally refers to promo models who are *working*), but actually writing it about women who get into cosplay for the "wrong" reasons, and then sliding *that* into some weird conflating tangent about "fake G4 hostesses"? Who are - here's that word again - *working*. The job of G4 hosts - male and female - is to entertain and report relevant news to a geek audience. If they can do that with the kind of infectious enthusiasm they show day after day (which was precisely what Olivia Munn lacked in her time there, contract-breaking issues aside), why the heck do you care whether they would have done it before getting the job or not?

    In short, why does any woman - your friends, Felicia Day, that random Power Girl posing for photos about whom you know *nothing*, or me - need your stamp of validation on her geek cred? Answer: She doesn't.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • IQ159

      Poseur

      July 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
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