please enjoy this blog!

Hmm … I’ve had this thing up here for two years now but it hasn’t been to much purpose except to act as a cross-platform bookmarking tool for me.

I figured I would try to spruce the place up a bit by stopping in here and there to do Shigesato Itoi-style crazy philosophical ramblings and social observations. This first one isn’t gaming-related, but I’d imagine there’s a lot of cross-over between the subject and gamers in general.

So, I’m sure you’re familiar with “e-girls” by now. The term hasn’t really been picked up by the mass media or even the larger Internets nexus points yet, but it’s basically the most softcore variant of camwhoring that you see on sites like Youtube. Some young, usually at least moderately attractive girl posts regular videos of herself rambling on into the camera, usually acting sweet and approachable and kind of dorky. Pretty soon she has tons of subscribers and regular viewers, most of whom are male and pathetically lonely. After a few months, if there wasn’t already an Amazon wish list or donation or gift buttons up, these will appear as if by magic. If it’s on Youtube, she’ll become a “partner” as well and begin displaying ads.

I’m thinking that the conventional social/moral view would postulate that this behavior is relatively innocent as compared to more hardcore camwhoring, or filming outright pornography. I would argue to the contrary, however.

While the original “e-girls” may have been happy accidents – that is to say, some girl just posting herself talking because she was bored or lonely or wanted attention or whatever, then coincidentally discovering there’s a huge potential audience of lonely men who want to pretend they have some kind of meaningful relationship with a woman out there, and leveraging said position into lots of gifts and ad revenue – I am not willing to believe that the majority of these e-girls setting up shop right now are not cynically calculating what they are doing right from the get-go.

Youtube “e-girls” generally do not do much more than show some cleavage here and there in terms of sexual content, so the claim can readily be made that even though their actions are calculated to bring financial and material recompense, they are not engaging in whoring per se because there is no sexual element. Perhaps you can argue this as a valid point, if you want to stick to a strict, conventional semantic definition of what constitutes “sexual content” and pornography. However, you do not even need to approach the argument from that angle. While the sexual component may be absent, the fundamental dynamic of “pretend affection in return for material reward” is inarguably present.

That being the case, I argue that “e-girl”ing is morally worse than creating pornography. Porn is a straight-ahead exchange. It is a detached fantasy used for a “fire and forget” masturbational experience. The end user has a specific and temporary need, they use the porn to take care of that need, and then they are done. There need be nothing further involved.

“E-girl”ing, however, when it is done for money or gifts, is a manipulative psychological game conducted by a predator who has premeditatively sized up their prey well. It is in the interest of the “e-girl” to string the artificial relationship with her audience along for as long as possible, which means continuing to delude the “marks” into believing that their fantasy relationship is something real and meaningful, which causes the marks to continue to engage in behavior detrimental to their own lives and well-being (engaging in empty spectacle and fantasy in front of the computer in lieu of getting out and making real meaningful connections in the real world.) The e-girl knows she is preying on the lonely and sad, does not care, and furthermore the maximum value she can extract from the transaction is directly tied to how much she can maximize the detachment, isolation and loneliness of her subjects. Making her, basically, fundamentally evil. For bonus darkness, the e-girl is likely involved in an off-camera IRL relationship which she at least conceals from her audience, or at most outright lies about and pretends to be “available” when she’s likely getting rogered nastily by some hairy Brosef mere minutes after each of her “oh I’m so sweet and approachable” Youtube vids are filmed and posted.

Porn, by contrast, if made by women who fully consent to the arrangement, is relatively benign. That’s what I believe, at least for now.

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