Q&A with GameCrush PlayDates (and co-founder Eric Strasser)

We grill GameCrush's co-founder about the controversial gaming service

What kind of games do you enjoy playing?

SV: I’m personally a stealth and FPS type of person. My first FPS was Counter-Strike, which I played up to 1.6. I moved from PC to console games into the stealth genre with Metal Gear and Splinter Cell and then Modern Warfare was introduced into my life and became my world!

When you’re working on GameCrush, do you usually play Modern Warfare 2 (one of the few games available on the private beta)?

SV:Mostly people like to play games that are on the computer, like tic-tac-toe. I think maybe 90 per cent of all players do that. I think it’s just easier for the players out there.

I would rather play console games though.

I understand GameCrush is a part-time thing. What is your full-time job?

SV:I’m a model and a performer actually.

How often do you work on GameCrush?

SV: Really depends on what time I have off. My schedule is really hectic. I have my downtime and I have some weeks when I just go on and I’m barely on the computer.

I just do it basically when I have free time. It’s a good way to unwind. So instead of just sitting around, I just step on to GameCrush.

It must be nice relaxing and earning money.

SV: Absolutely, yeah. That is what I love about it: there is no set schedule I have to follow. I can just do it whenever I want to.

How to meet a girl gamer

What is the female-to-male PlayDate ratio?

JB: Predominantly females. Very few males in comparison and even fewer who actually get games — we seem to attract mainly a male audience.

Because I was going to say, if I could play against a hot dude, I probably would… But anyway... Correct me if I’m wrong but I understand GameCrush uses a ratings system where players can rate PlayDates on "flirtiness" and "dirtiness"?

Eric: That is all changing. We have learnt about what players and PlayDates wanted to see and, interestingly, they don’t want to see hotness because it’s such a different measure.

That [flirty/dirty rating] was three guys thinking about what we thought was important but what we’ve learnt is it’s more about skill and thrill.

'Thrill' can be knowing about a game, and it's really interesting when you hear about that interaction with someone that knows something about a game.

So I think our rating system is going to change quite a bit. It will be more about skill, thrill and interaction, and the knowledge that the person has about the game as opposed to just whether they are hot or not, which is kind of what we have today.

So SV, How long you been a PlayDate for?

SV: Ever since GameCrush launched — March. I was there from very beginning.

Do you have any horror stories you can tell us about your time at GameCrush?

SV: I have not had any bad experiences. The thing is, people who play on GameCrush are a lot more respectful and very funny compared to the people you’d see on other live gaming platforms.

Everyone I have ever played with has been very sweet and it’s just basic conversation; there is nothing rude. Like having a conversation with someone you have met the first time in your life.

So, for me, no, I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

How to meet a girl gamer

Eric: What we try to do with GameCrush is create profiles that are of real people. One of the things that sucks in traditional gaming environments is you only get a username and that username provides a lot of anonymity. Because of that you have very aggressive behaviour.

So if you are playing on Xbox Live and you say you’re a girl in game and you have 15 players on that game, the treatment you get is sometimes very aggressive.

One of GameCrush's PlayDates

We’ve seen things from, “Go make ma sandwich” to “You’re not a girl, you’re a 15 year old boy”.

I’d ask Katy too — how long have you been on the site?

JB: I’ve been on since May to late April. I wanted to sign at launch but the servers crashed because, I guess, there was a lot of response [laughs].

Eric: What has your experience been like?

JB: It’s been really positive. I’ve met a lot of people I would just, you know, have fun playing with any other time outside of GameCrush. So, they mostly seem to be here to look for a bunch of gamer girls who know what they are talking about, you know.

Some of them have talked to girls who really didn’t seem to know as much about gaming as they would have liked, so they would move on to converse with someone who did. They are all very polite though.

How to meet a girl gamer

Eric: You can talk a bit more about the community.

JB: I think my most fulfilling experience on GameCrush is meeting the other girls.

Because, I mean, whether or not I get games and I get paid or anything, it’s an added bonus, but being a part of the community where there are so many legitimate gamer girls is wonderful because we all have common interests. We get along great and the girls are very sweet.

Honestly, I didn’t think we were going to get along. I was very pleasantly surprised.

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