GameCrush: In the Eyes of an Outside Female Gamer

September 10th, 2010 at 11:00 am · 20 Comments

Gaming conventions like PAX are great places to meet all sorts of people, and who better for me and Jax to bump into than the GameCrush girls! If you’re not aware of what GameCrush is yet, you need to step away from the 5 tabs of porno sites you have in your browser for a moment (You might want to mute your volume too).

GameCrush is an up-and-coming website where males (and females) are guaranteed to game with women by simply handing over some cash. A session can last from eight to ten minutes at the price of 400 credits, with an additional 100 credits left over for those feeling friendly enough to leave a tip. 500 points costs users $8.25, where the girl gets a 60% cut, earning about $4 per 10 minutes.

Interesting idea? Yes; in fact I’m surprised it took someone this long to run with it. Is it offensive to the gaming community? This gamer girl is burning her bra and saying yes!

I’d like to begin by stating that I have nothing against the GameCrush girls personally. I briefly met two of them in Seattle and they were essentially friendly people. I just don’t agree with the premise of the site as a whole.

GameCrush models itself from the pricing structure of buying a girl a drink at the bar to begin communication. Granted, using GameCrush is cheaper than the tranny hookers Frawlz goes out with on Friday nights and those $3.99/min nighttime hotlines. Yet it’s place in the gaming world just doesn’t seem to fit well with me.

Let’s take a quick look into the workings of the webpage. First, you must be 18 and over to even sign up. This already shows that you need some sort of maturity to handle what is happening on the site (and your own credit card). There’s a rating system of “Hotness,” “Gaming Skill” and “Flirtiness” the girls are judged on after sessions, and all participants must set a mood of either “flirty” or “dirty.” You can basically figure out what men (and some women) are paying the site for.

No, Adrianne Curry is not a GameCrush PlayDate, but she does love World of Warcraft

The women “employees” do have some power on what goes on the website. Because all the girls are volunteers, they have the choice to accept or deny a request to play. In fact, there is a disrespectful rating that appears when they hover over a potential customer’s name that they can see in case he/she rubbed someone the wrong way… or too much of the right way.

When playing casual games, because they play from the browser, you can have a webcam chat with the girls. These will probably be the favorites – Who’s up for Tic Tac Toe and Battleship?! As for the games on Xbox LIVE, you’ll need to add their gamertags to your party and essentially just voice chat since your attention is on the game (sidenote: GameCrush has no business relation to Xbox LIVE). Maybe Kinect will help advance this part of the process later on. There’s talk that GameCrush will be expanding to the PS3 (PSN) and other PC games (Steam).

Now, I know not everyone on GameCrush is exhibiting themselves as soft-core porn stars. That’s probably only 99.9% of the chicks there. The others consist of women like Ambibambi23, whom I met at PAX, along with NoobKiller. They were both very beautiful ladies who seemed like they weren’t into any of that.

Here’s a quote from IGN’s Deamon Hatfield during his “research” on GameCrush:

“During an early demo of the service I played a couple casual games with PlayDate Ambibambi23. She was a nice girl (and totally kicked my ass in both pool and Battleship, btw) but her boyfriend was hanging out behind her and she made mention of him a couple of times. Her game mood is set to “flirty,” but there was zero flirting going on. I can imagine some guys might be disappointed if they paid to play with a girl, only to hear her go on and on about her boyfriend — and even have to see the guy during a video chat. I gave Ambibambi23 high marks for her gaming skill but dinged her for her lack of flirtiness.”

Although this individual was chatting it up with the ladies in the name of journalism (I give that excuse all the time for many of my late night adventures), he still expected some sort of flirting for the worth of his money. And that’s essentially it: regardless of which mood you choose, “flirty” or “dirty,” you’re still expected to participate in the con game at some extent.

This segues into an interesting point that I figured out all on my lonesome! I’m about to drop some knowledge on your ass! Ahem, excuse the nerdyness that is about to ensue… Bold statement: GameCrush works remarkably similar to that of the confidence game of strippers.

Strippers organize and manipulate their social interactions with customers through false pretenses and building “trust,” just like GameCrush. Here’s how the process goes in 4 steps:

  1. For strippers, they choose their “mark” as people come through the door or walk up to their designated area. GameCrush eliminates that part for the girls by letting the customers come to them (viewing of their profiles, chatting before paying, etc).
  2. Next comes the “cultivating” part. Strippers will either play as someone’s sex object or an impersonator of fake intimacy for a short period of time. Sound familiar? Fake intimacy is the “flirty” part; sex object is the “dirty” part.
  3. Here comes the “conning” step. A stripper teases, flirts, jokes to entice tips. ‘Nuff said.
  4. “Cooling out” for strippers is when they step away from the customer once the tips are low or stop, while still encouraging the customer that their interaction was genuine. The GameCrush site’s system again helps the girls by implementing a time limit, but the rating systems enforce the customer’s satisfaction.

Phew, that took a lot of recollection of old school material. Thank you University teachings that I actually paid attention to!



Related posts:

  1. GameCrush’s Slogan: “Pimping IS Easy!”
  2. Girls rule. Boys drool.
  3. 38% of you are girls
  4. Through The Eyes of.. a Mechanic?
  5. The Sarcastic Gamer Summer Games, Week Five; Saturday, August 29: Battlefield 1943 (PS3,360)

Tags: · · · · · ·
Categories: Editorial · PC · PlayStation 3 · Xbox 360

20 responses so far ↓

  • ChiefGokuC says:

    yeah….. I agree. It is kind of sad and pathetic that someone would actually pay a girl to play a game with them… its called being social. I also never thought of stippers as con artists, but as soon as you mentioned it, it clicked.

  • The Jack Of Hearts SG says:

    Great article Esme!

    To be honest I don’t see much of a difference between GameCrush and any other webcam sites, they both instill false trust in order to drain your funds.

    Though really how is this website gonna make others respect gamer girls when they play with some half naked chick looking for cash?

  • jaxboxchick says:

    We should totally sign up, I could use the extra income :) I mean, I play games anyway…why not take my top off and make it profitable? My husband shot down the idea of me being a stripper (true story) but maybe he’ll go for this.

    Yeah right…

    Props to them for finding an original way to make money, but I am tossing my bra in the fire with Esme. This is ridiculous. How are the guys supposed to play games one handed??

  • karbaasi92 says:

    Another well-written article. It always looks so professional, but still has that personal style :)

    I bet that JaX will be on this probably 2-4 weeks after launch. Her brain can handle the simple-minded games like Tic-Tac-Toe. :D

  • Daniel Lawson says:

    Paying for this reminds me of paying for sex or porn… Who pays for things you get for free. On that note these girls are exploiting a opportunity to make money and if they and their significant others are fine with that then I don’t see the problem it’s just not something I’d ever pay for.

    • Esmeralda says:

      I just see this as a downturn for female gamers, damaging something the women in the industry have been trying to build up… Why can’t these men just browse for free porn and then go play on Xbox LIVE after :P

  • Jenncal says:

    I have been on GameCrush as a PlayDate and I would like to point out a few errors in this article. I too was skeptical – I have been a gamer since I was six and that was 17 years ago! I can honestly say that GameCrush is not just about my ‘its and bits! I have met many very cool people – both guys and girls, and I actually don’t care so much about getting paid to play. Sure, it’s great ego boost when someone does play a game with me, but I have never taken off a single stitch of clothes nor has anyone ever asked! And OK, so I am not super sexy so maybe that has something to do with it but that’s the point – the guys I have met on the site have actually been interested in me and not just my body. It’s actually a refreshing change! So yes, the site is controversial and some of the girls on the site sell their hot bodies over their gaming skill – but overall I have a much more favorable impression after actually trying the site out than Esmeralda’s and I just wanted to share a more balanced opinion.

    • Esmeralda says:

      I’d like to first thank you for commenting, it’s always good to see everyone’s point of view on two sides of the argument. But to begin with, you didn’t really point out any errors in my article…
      - “I’d like to begin by stating that I have nothing against the GameCrush girls personally.”
      - “Now, I know not everyone on GameCrush is exhibiting themselves as soft-core porn stars. That’s probably only 99.9% of the chicks there. The others consist of women like Ambibambi23, whom I met at PAX, along with NoobKiller. They were both very beautiful ladies who seemed like they weren’t into any of that.”
      - There’s a large quote about Ambibambi23 from IGN that states she did not take off clothing or intend to.
      - “Let me make it clear that I have nothing against the women who are doing this. I obviously don’t know any of them and probably never will. However, I just feel like the site is using the term “gamer girl” as an after-thought gimmick to exploit something that women in the gaming industry have tried so hard to build up.”
      I think you missed the main point of my article, most of which is on the second page. It’s cool you’re using the site to interact with others, but why use a site that’s main gimmick is to get paid to get played with? Sure, the men on there aren’t asking you to take off your clothes (yet), but they’re still paying for your company. Whether it’s genuine or not that they like interacting with you, your first encounter with these people are on the basis of money.
      And there are many gaming communities out there that let you interact with others gamers, for free, like SG (I’ve made over 20 friends alone on here that I didn’t have before!). Even Xbox LIVE itself helps you with that. Bottom line, and sorry if it sounds offensive, you’re using your title as a “female gamer” to get paid on a website that is exploiting what other women have tried to build up. Just because you enjoy what you do doesn’t mean it makes the incentive any less “evil” <– Can’t find a different word for it at the moment. I’m not calling you evil by any means, just that the overall concept of GameCrush makes both sides of the gender pool look a bit pathetic. I’m all for ego boosts, I love getting compliments from people (on both gaming and looks), but I don’t want money to go along with it, thus making it a different experience altogether. If you do, go for it.

  • DarkFox001 says:

    Two things.

    One. The girl who defended this service reminds me of an escort of claims that sex isn’t what the man is paying for, it just happens. If I drive my car the wrong way on a one-way street, I don’t kid myself into thinking I’m not going to get into an accident. Give your head a shake. If you’re selling your time for cash and the LURE is that you’re a hot girl selling time to an introverted guy gamer…guess what?

    You’re a digital escort.

    I’m sure the guys ARE very nice. I think you’ll find that most guys are really nice when they’re trying to talk you out of your clothes.

    [sigh] I spend a lot of my gaming time defending women as gamer (and real life) equals…it just pisses me off that this my effort is worthless.

    Two. The reality is that sex sells. Women have it and men want it. That’s not a sexist statement, it’s just true. Deny it all you want. The stats and marketing strategies are all there to prove it. Ultimately, if guys want to spend their money on fictional intimacy, then who am I to spoil their wet dreams. Knock yourselves out. But don’t kid yourselves for a moment. This service is digital prostitution. I’m sure the John’s are super nice to you honey…but you’ve still got a digital pimp. Well done on setting the equality of the sexes back a couple generations, your mothers would be so proud.

    • Esmeralda says:

      “The reality is that sex sells. Women have it and men want it. That’s not a sexist statement, it’s just true.”

      That’s something that’s wrong with society’s mindsets. Sex sells because we want it to and/or are conformed with it, e.g. most people demand it because they got not much else on the mind or just settle with “that’s just how things are.” You’re right, marketing does exemplify sex and it always seems to work (there are thankfully a few exemptions that prove sex isn’t everything, like the last Dead or Alive game). A hot woman in a bikini on a billboard attracts both genders: Men for the sex appeal and women because they want to be good looking like the model and “idolized.”
      The fact that it seems society just thinks about sex is a bit sad…
      Now I’m no saint, there are times when I fall for this type of marketing because I’m human and, hey, I know the reason why sex is so favored (so I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite), but there are lines we should still establish :-| I don’t judge the women of GameCrush, nor adult entertainment (since you mentioned it). It’s just when it comes to GameCrush using the “female gamer” title, it hits home.

      • DarkFox001 says:

        …and rightly so.

        I love the digital escorts statement though that the guys are ‘really nice’. Anyone who’s played ANY fps on ANY platform can tell you that guys usually are NOT really nice….unless of course you have something they want….

        …like boobies.

  • Someone Else says:

    Whoa whoa, people are actually using that site? I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised but… really?

  • Whodini1 says:

    Not sure which I find more depressing, this site (Gamecrush, not SG!) or the instant personality change that comes over some gamers on LIVE (and I’m sure other platforms) when they work out that one of the people in the game is, SHOCK HORROR! Female!

    At least on this site, the women are signing up, knowing in advance what they’re letting themselves in for.

    On the bright side, the playdates/mates may well be the only people on the planet guaranteed not to have people who are taking a kicking in game rage quit on them!

  • peterocc says:

    “recollection of old school material” + Stripper Commentary… Hrmmm…. #justsaying

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