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.
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:
- 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).
- 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.
- Here comes the “conning” step. A stripper teases, flirts, jokes to entice tips. ‘Nuff said.
- “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!
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