I didn't really want to get involved in this debate, but there just seems to be some misconceptions floating around here. I don't intend to speak on behalf of all women here; just as someone who's witnessed all sorts of ridiculous shit that women have to put up with both in and out of the gaming industry.
Also have removed naughty words but apologies if any have slipped through.
Booth babes are a stupid idea because:
They create an unwelcoming environment to women. By parading around in too-tiny hotpants and skyscraper stilettos and inviting people to photograph their arse you are saying, "Women are fair game; if they're hot or skimpily-dressed, take photos of them without asking! You won't come across as creepy, we promise." I'm horribly reminded of girlfriend revenge sites, or those weird old men at TGS taking upskirts of cosplayers.
They imply that gaming is a male-only hobby. We know this isn't true, although the presence of women has at-best been underexposed until recent years. We're still trying to shake off the "girl gamer" or "sexy nerd" stereotypes that seem to spring up whenever a woman starts to talk about videogames, although I suppose it's better than being asked, "You play games, what like The Sims yeh?"
The idea that the booth babes were aimed at male demographics was stupid. Virgin Gaming offers competitive game tournaments across many titles. Since when has competitive gaming been exclusive to men and boys? I mean, sure XBL seems to be populated with 12-year-old boys most of the time, but really all that means is that they're the most vocal people on the service.
nVidia was the other company I noticed with booth babes and I was a little disappointed in that too. I know they've done it before but really, graphic cards? Ooh, these chips are so sexy RUB YOUR YAMS ALL OVER MY MOTHERBOARD i just don't get it
It is not about the children. I honestly couldn't give a damn what someone's precious ickle Timmy sees. It is the responsibility of the parent to judge whether or not somewhere will be a good environment for that child, and I do not believe seeing a little flesh will harm them. Seeing some legs and boobs is not repulsive because everyone has more or less the same junk under their clothes anyway, and I do not think/know if children would be upset about this in the same way teen/adult women are. I would love to hear what a parent says abut this though, as obviously some children may have seen or heard things that aren't age appropriate.
Companies that use booth babes think you, the male gamer, are an idiot. You are literally so thick, says the company, that you will buy a game based on how sexy the females standing around looking bored are. Obviously you are some sad, lonely neckbeard who has never even seen a women IRL, let alone spoken to one! Maybe if they lean in extra-close you'll get to SMELL them. A REAL GIRL. Not like that dakimakura you have at home. Go on, spring for the 2gb card. You will definitely see some sexy lady parts if you buy that.
Does that not make you feel patronised?