After a brief rant and a discussion with a fellow friend who has already joined this site, I decided that I had more than likely jumped the gun and jump to conclusions over the new adult gaming community site, HoopleDoople.com.
So I forked over my $6 (£3, bout the price of the tuna sandwich I'm currently nom-ing, which I bought at the train station), and joined up. For those who have already joined in or are thinking of joining, once signed up, you can get yourself a promo-code, and for every person who joins the site and uses your promo-code, you score yourself $5. Not a bad little deal really and so I signed up using a friend's. She's already made $25 off it in the last few days. If anything it covers the cost of joining and may put some money in your pocket too.
Once signed in, it's all pretty basic … unless you're Web 2.0 illiterate. It gives you an opportunity to add to your profile a list of games you're either playing or enjoy playing. Naturally on any profile, there's the 'about me' section where you have to try and sum yourself up in as little at 1500 characters. They're a pain in the ass if you ask me but it does give a small insight into either your own, or someone else's loose grip on reality.
It also allows a legitimate opportunity to stick up only your Myspace photos and videos.
Each profile has the basic Myspace/Facebook/community features: Messaging, comments and friend requests. But unlike other communities, each profile has a rating system on it based on stars from 1 to 10. Once a day, members will be able to rate your profile.
Now I don't know if I missed something here, but I never really associated rating people out of 10, within a gaming community. That's when it really flagged something up in my mind. What is hoopledoople.com trying to be? Is it a community just for adult gamers, a dating site or highschool? It was giving off very mixed messages.
After about 10 minutes, some comments and friend requests starting to come in. I had some requests off fellow Dtoiders (that was good), a message from one of the more regular male users who introduced himself and started up a conversation about Star Ocean, a game I listed on my profile. Yeah, so far so good, nice community feel.
Then I got my first comment, a comment off some random guy saying 'Hrm…not bad really'. I started to feel a little uncomfortable. I didn't like the idea that the whole point was to be endlessly compared to other people, that all that was important was how I looked and how many 'stars' I had on my profile page, (A situation that worked both ways with both males and females on this site). I was happy just chatting about Star Ocean.
A chat box could also be found on the right hand side of the profile page, where the majority of banter took place (a mini IRC), camera chats and community gaming was also possible. While I have to admit I never took place in this, from talking to other users, community gaming and webcam chats took place frequently. Think along the lines of Stickam.com. Now that did sound like good fun, but sadly there is a lack of Europeans on this site and I wasn't staying up until 4am to webcam chat with these people.
Hoopledoople.com also runs contests for its members, contests which I have already mentioned in previous C Blogs. The one currently running has a $5000 prize (now, that's not bad) and is for the hottest girl gamer. The second one (starting in October) also has a $5000 prize and is for biggest nerd, open to both male and female contestants. The girl gamer contest is based solely off looks. No gaming skill is actually required. Each day the hoopledoople.com boys and girls can vote for there favourite to win it.
Now like any competition based solely off looks, I was expecting a fair amount of 'hand-bra' shots and cleavage, but I got a little bit more than that. Out of the top 5 girls, 3 of them had topless pictures on their profile page. One even posted a video of herself stripping and claimed that it was the video everyone had been 'so desperate for her to post'. Another was a porn star from the world of whore craft season 2 while the third took to posting pictures of her and her boyfriend's cock. It turns out the girl ended up giving her boyfriend a blowjob in camera just to 'earn votes'. She's pure class.
What had I walked into? Hoopledoople.com had gone from gaming community to dating site to porn site! Now if I wanted to watch porn, I'd join burningangel.com and see hot girls, not girls desperately competing for money on a gaming Web site. Even by my standards, I was left pretty shocked. Though I have to admit I got my jollies from the fact that both Britini Martini and Nikole did nothing anywhere near to these other girls and Nikole was riding high in the top 4 while Britini was number 1 and had been since I joined.
Gamers, I salute you for either A) not succumbing to the whores or B) watching them and encouraging them to be whores and then not voting for them and voting for someone else instead. Personally I chose option B. This site was bringing out the worst in me.
While I originally intended to give a small blog on first impressions and at the end of the month give a full review, hoopledoople.com is everything I just described to you. It's still in Beta, so there's opportunity for dramatic change here, but it needs to discover its direction. As it stands, I certainly don't feel like I'd carry on paying to be associated with hoopledoople.com. I have come away feeling that it has nothing to offer me, I have found a great (free) community here at Desturctoid. I certainly don't feel desperate enough to join a gamers only dating site and the contests meant that girls who were whoring themselves out were setting standards for the rest of us, like I was expected to compete for attention with them. Um … no thanks. It left me feeling very uncomfortable.
The next few months and the move from beta will, I believe, make it or break it for Hoopledoople.com. If anything, it probably was the most interesting $6 I had spent in a while.