We’re all familiar with the stereotype of the socially inept geek, unable to communicate with the opposite gender in real life. In the media, this character is often depicted as a video game player reluctant to leave his house.
Fortunately, this is no more truth to this than there is to any other stereotype: geeks and gamers can be shy or outgoing, socially inept or confident, quiet or boisterous.
The folks at GameCrush didn’t get that memo.
The newly launched site provides a “pay-for-play” service where gamers pay $0.60 per minute to game with female players. Although the focus is ostensibly on gaming, the site hints at more.
The female gamers are called “PlayDates” (a nod to Playboy’s Playmates), and most of the profile pictures are overtly sexual (although the GameCrush site states that men may also become PlayDates, the photos are overwhelmingly female.)
While I despise the depiction of gamers as desperate for social interaction, it’s the way the woman on the site are portrayed that really turns my stomach. It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone if the women are highly coordinated, clever strategists, multi-dimensional thinkers, or anything else that makes a good gamer.
No, all that matters as far as GameCrush is concerned is that they are female and own a webcam. The women become little more than purchasable accessories to the game, like action figures or miniature models.
There’s nothing wrong with sexy women who like games — in fact, let’s see more of them! After all, geek girls have long been portrayed as glasses-wearing braces-sporting library dwellers incapable of taking an interest in “normal” female interests. It would be refreshing to see more sexy woman who like games.
However, let the focus be on their skills, not their bra size.
A few weeks ago, the Team Unicorn video “Geek and Gamer Girls,” a parody of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” received over 1 million hits. These four women—all of whom are stunningly beautiful—are real-life gamers and not afraid of being known as geeks. In the video, they are sexy, confident, and, as they say in the song lyrics, will “own your ass in ‘Halo.’”
Contact GameCrush by filling out the Customer Support query on their website. Let them know that their objectification of women is unacceptable, and that female gamers should be valued for their skills, not their appearance.