GameCrush: Online Playdates For Lonely Gamers

Thanks to Wikimedia for the image.

A look at the demographics of the website GameCrush reveals that there is still a large gender disparity in gaming. Users of the site can pay to play games via webcam with “playdates,” most of whom are female, in games ranging from board games to first-person shooters.

This report emphasizes the interactive nature of the site, stating that paying to game with a hot girl is not unlike buying her a drink at a bar–simply a way to introduce oneself and ask for her company for a little while. Sex-chatting and raunchiness are apparently discouraged and could get one booted from the site.

As usual, I react with some ambivalence. I know it can be difficult for shy folks to connect with others, so any media that helps them do so is great; but I worry about potential exploitation (of both players and playdates) and the possibility of commercialization obscuring human connection.

(thanks to Oz for the link to the story)

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About Jeana


Jeana Jorgensen, PhD recently completed her doctoral degree in folklore and gender studies at Indiana University. She studies fairy tales and other narratives, dance, body art, feminist theory, digital humanities, and gender identity.

  • Mens Sex Toys

    I’ve seen firsthand how dangerous this modern idea of “virtual communication” can be. Not in the physical sense, but the psychological.
    One of my nephews plays online games, 24 hours a day. He misses meals, only goes out for ten minutes a day to walk the dog or guy cigarettes. The rest of the time he can be heard in his room arguing with someone on the other side of the planet about who is being shot and why.
    Some of the language is incredible, and he gets so worked up I actually worry for his mental state.

    I know it’s not exactly the same thing, but I think it shows that there is a real risk of us having a “lost generation” of people who have little or no social skills, and are frankly agoraphobic in nature.

    When we add “dating” into this mix, if it becomes socially acceptable to have partners online, I think there’s a real chance this missing generation will be lost to it completely.

    On the plus side, it’s likely to slow down our population growth. ;)

  • Jeana Jorgensen

    I think gaming is as potentially harmful as any other form of escapism, whether it’s getting wrapped up in a sci-fi novel or fannishly following a sports team (note that one of these things is more socially acceptable than the other, but both can be detrimental to a person’s social life).

    I’m also hesitant to say that meeting or having a partner online is automatically a reaction based on being antisocial or socially maladjusted… I mean, plenty of people meet friends and activity partners online, why not lovers?