One of my super powers is the amazing ability to grasp situations really quickly and make building-sized leaps in logic in a single bound. This skill is the only thing that qualifies me to be a technical trainer; I can learn new systems and processes much faster than the average bear.
So while it may sound conceited to boast that I am rarely confused, I am .. well, rarely confused. It is not often that I stare at something completely dumbfounded and unable to make any sense of it, no matter how hard I stare and how agape my jaw is. Granted, this may very well be because I tend to avoid looking at things drastically outside my skill level – you won’t see me attempting surgery or engine-building anytime soon, because I don’t get those things.
It’s not just complicated surgery and mechanics that I don’t get, though. For example, I don’t understand how I’ve been signed up to be a GameCrush whore – I am as confused as I’ve ever been.
Late last week, I received a weird email from GameCrush. I’ve gotten spam from them before, but this was different – it wasn’t an email for the USERS of GameCrush; it was for the “PlayDates”: the girls that sign up and play video games with men via webcam for money. If you’re not familiar with the idea of GameCrush, there it is – men pay hot girls to play video games with them and engage in voice/video chat. It’s about as sleazy and degrading as it sounds.
While trying to figure out why I was getting this email, I learned a few things about the PlayDates. GameCrush encourages them to upload sexy (game related!) pictures to entice men to choose them to play with. The girls are advised to keep their real identities a secret; to make up a PlayDate name and persona for the “Players” (the men who pay real money to play video games with women). You can absolutely upload risque content, but it will likely be restricted to the Players who pay for premium access. These men can look at you, play games with you, rank your appearance and gaming skill, and leave you messages. Here’s what the profile page looks like:
I think it’s pretty obvious that there’s no way in hell I would ever sign myself up to be a PlayDate. In addition to thinking the entire idea is fucking disgusting, I’m not exactly the kind of girl they’re looking for – yeah, I play games and I’m active online, but a) I’m not docile, b) I’m not “hot”, and c) no one will pay to be graced with my presence. Also, there’s the issue of the name – if I WERE to wake up one morning with an abundance of beauty and a dearth of self-respect, I would NEVER use the name “Kimlibobo” to hide my real identity. There are several issues with that, which I’m sure you can quickly pick out .. not to mention it’s a fucking stupid name.
All this boils down into one question: what the flying fuck is going on here? How did I get signed up for a service I wouldn’t touch with YOUR dick, using a horrible diminutive of my real name, attached to my very real email address? Is this how spam works now, using intelligent targeting and account setup hoping you’ll get curious and offended and do some research? Did someone sign me up for this? Should I be flattered or creeped the fuck out? Why did I just get 15 copies of this welcome letter in my inbox (I used the site’s password recovery feature to see if anything had been set up under my name; after I logged in I got this 15 fucking times)?
Dear Kimlibobo,Your GameCrush PlayDate account registration is complete. Welcome to the team! We look forward to helping you be successful on GameCrush. If you want to dive right in, visit your profile and start showing the world what you got!Tips for getting started:
- Create a profile that speaks to who you are as a gamer! Talk about your favorite games, post photos, let our players know that you are ready to kick their butts – or just to have a good time. Make sure you pick the games you want to play for your library!
- Make sure your webcam is set up.
- Once you are ready to play, just sign in. This will open your own personal, public chat window and allows Players visiting your profile to chat with you and know that you are for real.
- Players on your profile can then request a game with you. You have the option of accepting or declining this request. Obviously, if you decline, you don’t get paid for that game!
- If Players are being a pain in your butt, please take advantage of blocking and other functions we have on the site. We don’t want you to spend one second chatting with Players who aren’t treating you right.
- Once you accept a game request, you’ll be taken to the game screen and the webcam feed will start. From this screen you and the Player can decide which game(s) you want to play. The game lasts until you or the Player decide to end it.
So – your next step is to create a profile that tells (and shows) players why they’d have a great time playing you. Visit your profile management page and get started choosing games, uploading photos, and telling players about yourself in your own words.
Thanks for joining!
– The GameCrush Crew
Eww. Eww all over this. What the fuck. Here’s the email I got initially, full of tips on how to get
johns players to take me for a ride game:
Crazy, it’s been almost two months since we officially launched GameCrush! We are so excited to have you as part of our quickly growing community that can’t be found anywhere else!
You also play an important role in making GameCrush the best gaming site out there and we want to reward you for helping us spread the word. We have set up a special registration link just for you, and for every active Player who signs up using your link, you will receive 1,000 credits! More details and all the yadi yadi at the bottom of this message.
Here is your personal referral link: http://www.gamecrush.com#origin=uKimlibobo (You can also find this link under the Site Options section in Account Tools on your PlayDate profile).
The following are a few more ways you can create your own GameCrush identity and market yourself as the kick ass PlayDate you are!
Start by setting up an email account using your user name for GameCrush (ex: GameCrusher@gmail.com). You are Batman and your true identity is an important secret.
From here set up your own PlayDate Facebook fan page! Express your opinion on the latest games, post pics, friend your favorite Players and PlayDates, and become fans of your favorite video games, consoles, and companies. This will help increase your exposure in the gaming world and give your GameCrush friends a peek into you v2.0!
Twitter is a great way to share what’s happening. In a short blast you can let others know, “I just bought MW2. Play with me!” or “I’m online NOW!” But it doesn’t just have to be self-promotion – tweet about things you’re thinking about, like linking to an interesting article about girls in games or announce, “Just finished unlocking all the achievements on Halo Reach!”
If you’re going to link to an article, you might want to use a URL shortener like the one at http://bit.ly to save your tweet characters.
You can also display your Twitter feed on your GameCrush Profile and Facebook. With Twitter now available on your profile, letting Players follow your Twitter feed is easy.
IMPORTANT: when someone follows you, always follow them back. This generates traffic by having their followers see who you are and they may just follow you, too! Also, make sure your Twitter feed is public!
Tired of people popping in and out of game after a minute? One of the reasons for this is because some players are wondering if that picture is actually you or if it is a banana slug in disguise. How do you combat this? Use the new YouTube feature! Create an awesome video to introduce yourself to Players! And, of course, if you make something funny or interesting, it might just get passed around the world!
The only limit is your imagination. Check out our www.youtube.com/gamecrush for some great ideas. Don’t forget to allow embedding!
Get involved in the online gaming scene! It’s a good idea to stay current on the latest games so you can talk the talk or just learn something new. Start hitting up some of the hottest forums and get involved. But please don’t just advertise that you are a PlayDate out looking for Players, you’ll probably be breaking their rules and annoying people. Establish yourself as a valued member of the community and, when appropriate, let others know you a GameCrush PlayDate.
You can also usually post a link to your PlayDate profile in your signature. A signature is that piece of text (or image) that appears at the bottom of every post you make, which you can usually control. Down the road, we will provide you with a link to create your own GameCrush banners to use as well.
Here’s a list of some of the biggest gaming companies and communities to Like, Follow, subscribe to, and be a part of: [huge list of established gaming sites]
Give a free game session!
GameCrush is a new type of experience. First time users are sometimes not sure what to expect. There’s no better way to break the ice and introduce a new Player to what GameCrush is about than a free game! More than one Player has said “I’d never pay for a game, I’m just here to chat,” only to become a regular Player after a free game.
Being there live and IN PERSON!
What better way to promote yourself than being live and in person at a gaming event wearing your GameCrush shirt! With the Official GameCrush store open at http://gamecrush.spreadshirt.com you can become your own PlayDate celebrity at conventions, midnight launches, or even at school with a cool GameCrush Shirt or hoodie. Check out our group of PlayDates at PAX in the GameCrush News Blog and look at all the attention they received!
A few last tips and tricks
When you post a new photo on GameCrush, tweet about it with a link attached, make sure your Facebook is linked to your twitter, and you’ll have plenty of new Players viewing your profile in no time.
Share your PlayDate experiences. If you had a great time with a Player, tweet about it! If you want to write a review about a game you just purchased, write a Facebook note, tweet the link, and post it in your GameCrush profile.
If you are going to a convention get involved, look for people who are interviewing gamers, don’t pass up photo ops, meet up with other PlayDates and go as a group, People will love to meet you and talk about your experiences so have fun with it!
Finally, don’t hesitate to ask questions! We’re here to help, and the more questions you ask, the more we can help! Post the question on the Forum or, if you prefer, send us the question through the Customer Support link. We always love to hear from you!
GameCrush Community Sith Lord
Nitty gritty on the New Player Bonus Program:
You will receive 1,000 credits for every new active Player who registers and plays on GameCrush. A new active Player is somebody who follows your link, registers as a Player on GameCrush, and buys $25 or more GameCrush credits. Qualified bonuses will be added to your GameCrush credit totals on the first of every month and paid out on the 5th. Keep in mind that the Player has to register using your link. If the Player visits and then comes back without using the link we have no way of tracking the registration and know it came from you. Also, the $25 minimum purchase does not have to be all at one time. If the Player buys $10 in credits today, $10 tomorrow, and $6 next week you will get the 1,000 credit bonus.
Gross. Gross. So very, very gross. I feel like I need a shower. Give out free samples? GROSS. WHAT THE FUCK. I am so annoyed that this exists, and that “I’m” on there for some reason. GROSS!
What the hell is going on here? Only one person has EVER called me “Kimlibobo” – Ali, did you sign me up to be a whore? Are you my pimp now?