If you think about it, it was bound to happen eventually.
Thanks to the wonder that is the internet there is finally a solution to a seemingly intractable dilemma: should you a) immerse yourself in hardcore online gaming or b) have a sex life? Now thanks to GameCrush, a newly launched social site you can have both! Here’s the basic gist from the press release:
[GameCrush is] an entirely new interactive social gaming experience allowing gamers to meet, match and pay to play online games with other users (PlayDates). GameCrush is the only online service that allows gamers to choose a companion to spice up their favorite online games. Both Players and PlayDates define the experience they want- either “flirty” or “dirty”, choosing from some of the most popular console titles and casual web-based games.
On GameCrush, players can find their perfect PlayDate through browsing their profiles and chatting live with them. Players can then purchase a live one-on-one private gaming session, complete with two-way video and text chat.
Designed to appeal to female and male gamers alike, GameCrush offers games to suit a variety of tastes, from casual web-based games to the hottest console titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Halo 3, Gears of War 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV. Initially games are available on GameCrush’s own exclusive video-enabled gaming platform and on Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE network. In addition, GameCrush will soon be available for platforms such as Sony’s PlayStation 3, World of Warcraft, and other online gaming environments.
Flirty or dirty, huh? I wanted to check out the site itself but the service, which launched yesterday is “temporarily unavailable due to the incredible user response (more than 10,000 inquiries in five minutes)“. Instead I got the skinny from Daemon Hatfield over at IGN Entertainment. On the official press page Players and PlayDates are not assigned a gender and the only mention of payment is that a 10 minute PlayDate session costs $6.60 USD. Hatfield’s review makes it clear that on GameCrush the Players are male and the PlayDates are female. There are about 1200 profiles registered thus far of women recruited using (you guessed it!) a Craigslist ad. They’re also paid. Each PlayDate keeps 60% of the cash she earns. Players can also rate their PlayDates:
After a session you can rate your PlayDate on her hotness, gaming skill, and flirtiness. The highest-rated girls will receive preferred placement on the site. GameCrush is assembling a team of its most highly regarded PlayDates called JaneCrush, which would be positioned similar to Ubisoft’s Fragdolls in that members of JaneCrush will generate content for the site like blogs and editorials.
It seems like it has the potential to walk the line between being a relatively innocuous social service to something a bit more…distasteful. Also, as Hatfield notes, there is no screening process for registration so there are quite a few questionable PlayDate profiles such as “Adamma”: “I was born in Russia and come to UK 5 years ago. I am different to other girls. OK, all girls think that. But, where else can you find beauty, sophistication, fun and charm, all in one deliciously wrapped package? And I love to PLAY GAMES…I I’m sure to set your pulse racing. I like the good things in life and always expect to be treated like a lady. I take you away from the stress and strain of everyday life. Look no further.” Heh.
GameCrush isn’t a pit of smut and S&MMOs* just yet. For the most part the PlayDates are just girls who want to play and get paid and guys who want to flirt with an attractive girl while enjoying a game. And as my blogmate R.A.B pointed out, if this had existed 10 years ago he would have been a much more happy and well-adjusted adolescent, so the benefits may outweigh the possible pitfalls. Even so, I can’t help but wonder when Rule 31** and Rule 34*** are going to kick in and it all devolves into “Show me ur b00bs! </fap fap fap>”. Is everything all good or am I just being hypervigilant and seeing possibilities for sexism and general ickyness where there are none?
*Massively Multiplayer Online games
** Tits or GTFO – the choice is yours
*** There is always porn of it. No exceptions.