Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Gaming Prostitution

A friend of mine pointed me to an article on IGN yesterday as fodder for a blog post. The article is about a new website called GameCrush that allows (most likely male) gamers to pay money in order to play video games against girls. Apparently, $8.25 buys you ten minutes of gaming time or six minutes of video chat while playing a casual flash game. Girls can sign up for free and get to keep forty percent of the money they make. What. The. Hell.

I get dating sites and I might even accept that you are supposed to pay for them, but GameCrush is not a dating site. Dating is a two-way process in which both sides get to appraise the other before entering into any sort of interaction and certainly one side doesn’t pay the other. Being paid for a date can at best be called an escort service, but what it really is is prostitution. Sure, these girls might keep their clothes on, but at no point should the users of the service get the delusion that they are playing with girls because they like them. If they actually did, they wouldn’t charge you by the minute.

She already isn't wearing a lot, is she? (image: IGN)

Yes, I said those girls “might” keep their clothes on. This is the internet people, there will be nudity – especially when there is money involved. Those girls get paid more if there is more interest in them, so what’s to stop them from enticing players with more than just their leet skills? It might start innocently enough – putting on better makeup, wearing slightly more revealing clothes, etc. But we all know how this will end if there isn’t a strong policy to keep these girls in line. And let’s face it, the company hosting the service will hardly have an interest in stopping such behaviour. They get to keep 60% of the income after all.

Now, I’m not saying that there won’t be normal girls signing up for the service or that every girl has a tendency to strip naked on the internet – far from it. What I’m saying is that a minority will do that and take over the service. The male user-base will hardly object – I’d wager that if you are desperate enough to pay girls to play with you, you’d probably enjoy seeing some skin as well.

I would not object to an actual dating service for gamers, even if I might question its efficiency given the demographic. This thing though is hardly better than any other “adult” site out there on the interwebs, trying to make a few bucks off the desperate male gamer demographic. Guys (and girls who might swing that way): Don’t get deluded into thinking that you are having actual social interaction through this, you are not. Also, girls: Don’t think of this as just getting paid to play games. If you want to be an “escort” – fine, I have no reservations that way. But don’t ever think that this is anything less than that.

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