Pay a hot chick to play video games? GameCrush says why not

If you join me in thinking that $6.60 to play video games with a hottie via webcam for 10 minutes is crazy, then perhaps we do not understand the busy life of a male gamer.

A WalletPop visit to GameCrush, the new social networking site for gamer lads "low on free time" to meet women, revealed a message that initial demand overwhelmed servers during the launch last week. New servers are being added for the relaunch, which will be "soon," the San Francisco-based company told WalletPop Wednesday night.

"We had a pretty good sense we were onto something big," GameCrush co-founder Eric Strasser emailed WalletPop. "It takes a tremendous amount of effort and planning to launch a social community and we are happy to see so many people interested in the service.

While we'd love to shovel out the double-entendres for this innovative or icky venture (take your pick), the mere facts should suffice. Players can choose from a gallery of women who set their interaction mode to either "flirty" or "dirty." For each encounter, complete with two-way video and text chat, Player and PlayDate can engage in games such as Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on Xbox Live. Players then grade their opponents on attractiveness, skill and sociability. Only not in those words.

If GameCrush is on the level about receiving a crippling 10,000 inquiries in five minutes during its beta debut, it has tapped into an economic geyser. Users (who must be at least 18) pay $8.25, or 500 credits, for a 10-minute game and a 100-credit tip. PlayDates, which now number 1,200, pocket 60% of each transaction as their main revenue, Strasser said. (Both of-age women and men can sign up as PlayDates here.)

In case some customers need a self-esteem boost that living in their mother's basement isn't providing, a GameCrush press release offers this: "It's no mystery. Gamers are low on free time and with that goes any sort of chance at a social life. Why not connect the two and make life easier on everyone?"

In all fairness, if these lonelyhearts wanted just sexual gratification, they could click on to free porn all over the net. So perhaps there's something more at work here. The women have controls at their disposal to tame the interaction, and customers who receive multiple complaints will be booted off the site, Strasser said.

Asked about the limits of explicitness, the co-founder replied, "GameCrush delivers an engaging social experience on the web where the focus is around gaming."

Whatever the dynamic, melted servers have made the demand clear. But it sure makes me miss the innocence of playing Pong at the arcade -- with or without a girl.

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