I stumbled upon the story weeks ago, noticing the online ad on a site and tracking it down to two people in Europe. I decided the best way to write about these different sorts of pro-gamers was to hire each of them and see how they did. The hiring process was very easy. Both used a site called fivesquids.com. I just paid the converted $7 or so through PayPal and received an email with instructions within an hour.
I started with 30 minutes of in-game time with Smith, a 15-year-old kid from England, who guided me through Battlefield 3's many multiplayer maps expertly, giving me advice as we played. It was obvious from the get go that I was going to be a challenge for Smith. I managed to die a handful of times before our first ten minutes in the game wrapped up.
It was an odd-experience, meeting virtually a person you paid real cash in the real world to play with. It also took me a bit of time to get used to the idea of having someone so fixated with protecting and healing me. Good to his word, Smith jumped between my avatar and approaching bullets more times than I could remember. When he didn't die for me, by accident or fluke, he was apologetic. As we played he kept up a constant patter of techniques and tips. Stay aware of your surroundings, he kept telling me. Know your weapon and its limits. Talk to your squad, he said.
While both serve a purpose, if you plan on hiring an in-game bodyguard you might want to know what you're getting from the service before you drop the $7 or so for 30 minutes of gaming.
If used right, in-game bodyguards aren't cheating, at least that's how I see it. What do you think? Would you ever pay someone to teach you how to play a shooter inside the game, or to protect you as you play?
Things like this ruin gaming. First off all its not that fun if you have bodyguards. The whole point is for you to go out and get the kills yourself. Whats the point of playing a game where you'll have an automatic advantage. I'm by no means good at FPS but still.
Does anyone else think paying people to cover your virtual character for 30 mins is stupid?