For Chi­naJoy, less thongs does not mean less throngs

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - PULSE - By Yang Lan

Fol­low­ing the lead of the 2015 Shang­hai Auto Show’s ban­ning of sexy show­girls, this year’s Chi­naJoy gam­ing expo has also de­cided to clean up their act by cov­er­ing up its im­mod­est mod­els and fin­ing any fleshly trans­gres­sions.

Among the many don’ts re­cently pub­lished by the event’s or­ga­niz­ers, any booth babe show­ing over two cen­time­ters of cleav­age will be fined an ex­or­bi­tant 5,000 yuan ($806.79), as will pos­ing provoca­tively for pho­tos with fans (10,000 yuan). The cleav­age crack­down is part of an at­tempt to elim­i­nate vul­gar­ity from the public’s eye while re­fo­cus­ing at­ten­dees’ at­ten­tion on the ex­hibits rather than the ex­hi­bi­tion­ists.

Since its in­au­gu­ra­tion in 2004, Chi­naJoy has de­vel­oped into Asia’s pre­mier dig­i­tal en­ter­tain­ment event. But as the expo has risen in pop­u­lar­ity, so has the li­bidos of its at­ten­dees, many whom now come ex­clu­sively to get a glimpse of its show­girls’ good­ies.

In the early years of Chi­naJoy, mod­els were just a small sideshow at­trac­tion of the main event – a fringe ben­e­fit for the fringes of so­ci­ety. But that all changed with the 2006 de­but of Ding Beili, a young show­girl who be­came an overnight In­ter­net sen­sa­tion for her nat­u­ral beauty.

En­vi­ous of Ding’s vir­tual celebrity, Chi­naJoy show­girls in the fol­low­ing years tried to outdo each other by tak­ing their cleav­age down lower and lower and lift­ing their skirts higher and higher, to the de­light of the droves of cam­er­aw­ield­ing at­ten­dees who, th­ese des­per­ate, sur­gi­cally al­tered girls hoped, would also make them fa­mous.

Re­al­iz­ing that there was a di­rect cor­re­la­tion with the grow­ing lines of ticket buy­ers with the slim­ming waist­lines of its scant­ily clad show­girls, event or­ga­niz­ers quickly cap­i­tal­ized on their new rep­u­ta­tion as a “feast of flesh” by mak­ing their mod­els’ as­sets the expo’s main as­set.

I my­self was at the Chi­naJoy 2014 and, based on the sheer amount of breasts, thighs and other ex­posed un­men­tion­ables I saw first­hand there, the event rightly earned its Chi­nese nick­name Chai Naizhao, “tak­ing off the bra.” One au­da­cious com­pany even held a raf­fle drawing, with the lucky win­ner re­ceiv­ing “erotic ser­vices” pro­vided by a so-called show­girl. A con­dom came at­tached to the win­ning tick­ets.

Data from En­fodesk shows that, on av­er­age, over 90 per­cent of Chi­nese gamers are be­tween 16 and 28 years old, with 20 per­cent of those only 16 to 18. Un­like the Shang­hai Auto Show, whose cus­tomer base is largely com­prised of older adults, a gam­ing expo like Chi­naJoy is tar­geted at young­sters and stu­dents. As there is no age re­stric­tion at the event, it’s no sur­prise that over 40 per­cent of Chi­naJoy vis­i­tors fall within the 16-22 age group. Be­tween the games and the groins, the con­fer­ence is a pubescent heaven.

Fol­low­ing the re­veal­ing news that the 13th an­nual Chi­naJoy expo would be less, um, re­veal­ing, male-dom­i­nated so­cial me­dia let out a col­lec­tive groan of de­spair. For those diaosi (a self-as­cribed ep­i­thet to de­scribe a young man who has no so­cial life be­cause he plays on the com­puter all day) look­ing for­ward to the up­skirt and nip­slip snapshots taken at this year’s Chi­naJoy, surely it was a dark day.

But for ex­hibitors, less thongs does not ex­actly mean less throngs. On the con­trary, de­spite the pru­dent dress code of this year’s Shang­hai Auto Show, it still man­aged to at­tract 928,000 vis­i­tors, a new record. The ini­tial ap­pre­hen­sion of the lack of Gan Lulu’s head­lights was swiftly re­placed by a be­grudg­ing re­spect for re­turn­ing the show to true car afi­ciona­dos and re-fo­cus­ing on in­no­va­tion in the au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try.

I’m pos­i­tive that gam­ing geeks will also even­tu­ally come to ap­pre­ci­ate re­fo­cus­ing Chi­naJoy on games rather than girls. But un­like the auto show, where show­girls were out­right banned, booth babes will still be al­lowed at this year’s Chi­naJoy, al­beit with less flesh.

Which begs the ques­tion cur­rently loom­ing among diaosi: who will have the priv­i­lege of en­forc­ing – and mea­sur­ing – the new re­stric­tions, and where can they ap­ply for the job?

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