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4 Thoughts On GameCrush.com

William Murphy Posted:
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It’s funny, because I was sitting at my desk trying to think of a topic for this week’s List when magically, as good fortune would have it, Garrett and Angie’s interview with the staff of GameCrush.com popped up on my phone’s browser. Here’s a topic that just about everyone will have an opinion on. The idea of paying for a woman’s (or a man’s) companionship isn’t exactly a new invention. And while some will be quick to judge both the gamers and the “PlayDates” involved with GameCrush.com, I’m not sure we should be so quick with the gavel. Similar to a couple of weeks back when Cryptic’s NeverWinter was announced, I thought it might be best for the health of discussion if I jotted down my initial thoughts regarding the service. So, with a hint of humor and dash of “in all seriousness” let’s get down to business.

4.) What Kind of Person Would Use This?

The lonely and the bored. Is it really that hard to believe? I mean, it’s not like the women and men involved are being paid for some deep dark scary deeds known only as a reason Stabler and Benson are usually called to the scene. We’re talking about guys and gals who want someone to play games with, and who apparently have the means by which to do so. Maybe they’re bored, maybe they can’t get a date for whatever reason, or maybe they just don’t know anyone who plays games and want to find someone who does. Of course, that’s the rather optimistic look at why someone would use a service like GameCrush.

3.) What are the PlayDates thinking?

There are of course the usual perverted culprits of somewhat anonymous online communication tools like this, and I’m betting the girls and guys working as PlayDates will soon run into them. I know at the interview the girls said that they’d “only seen one penis” but the service is still in beta. That number will multiply by the hundreds as soon as they go live. I am willing to bet my entire collection of The Goon trade paperbacks on it. But still, I suppose they’re thinking something like this:

“Hey, I’m a pretty attractive person. I have some semblance of a personality. I like to play games. Why the hell wouldn’t I want to get paid for basically doing what I do in my spare time anyway?”

And really, that’s kind of why I went for this job at MMORPG.com, so I can’t fault them. If someone said to me, “Bill, you can sit at home all day and use your good graces and modest shooter skills to make upwards of $30 an hour,” I don’t think I’d be able to pass up at least trying to do so.

2.) It’s not dirty… well, it doesn’t have to be.

Really what the proposed service of GameCrush is remains pretty straightforward. You pay $0.60 a minute to play your favorite games with an attractive person. There doesn’t have to be anything more than conversation and gameplay involved. But still, I suppose it’s our cynical nature to assume that what GameCrush will really amount to is some form of cyber-prostitution. And while I expect there will be plenty of chaps and chappettes who think that’s what it’s intended for, that’s not really the case. When used as it’s intended, GameCrush is really little more than a videogame escort service. Of course, there are plenty of “escorts” who do more than accompany their clients to a function, but we don’t need to get into that here.

1.) Maybe I Should Sign My Fiancé Up…

Jon couldn’t believe I kept bringing this up at PAX. Part of me is kidding, and part of me is not. We’re getting married in December, and sometime in the year or two following we want to start a family. The goal is when that happens for us to cut down to one income, and she would be the one staying home with the little diapered nerd. As I’m sure many of our members can attest, raising a child today on one income is no joke… and maybe GameCrush has potential for us to make back some of that lost income? That is of course, as long as her clients wouldn’t mind pausing for diaper changes.

Look, my point is that while GameCrush isn’t something I’d foresee myself using, it still seems like an actual service with a real potential market out there. Whether or not it eventually gets used for seedy purposes, it’s not intended for such. In fact, unless the PlayDate allows it, they’ll never have to establish a video connection with a user. Of course, I’m sure that they’d quickly run out of clients unless they did so, but at least they can gauge and block users as needed should they whip out their… ahem, joystick.

It’s a brave new world folks, and we’re just living in it. Use it or don’t; no one’s forcing you.


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.