GAME Swinging Cancelled Due To Complaints

The controversial gaming-themed speed-dating event run by the retailer GAME has had its Melbourne and Brisbane events cancelled due to complaints.

GAME Swinging was first held in Sydney last November. After registering for the event, attendees would be able to play and trade their video games in a speed-dating environment. The "GAME Swingers" would partner up with each other for a gaming session and then opt to trade the game or trade the partner.

The Sydney event was considered a success, but an email sent out at the end of January to those who had registered for GAME Swinging announced that its Melbourne and Brisbane events were no longer going ahead.

The email read: "Due to the number of complaints received, we've been left with no other choice but to shut down the Melbourne and Brisbane events."

We contacted GAME for a comment, asking what the nature of the complaints were, how many complaints were received, and why they would cancel an event if it was such a success. We received a response from the managing director of GAME, Paul Yardley.

"The GAME Swinging event was a great success, but unfortunately not everyone appreciated it," he said.

"We always take feedback from consumers seriously and in light of the complaints we received, we reviewed whether to continue with the other events.

"Unfortunately for gamers in Brisbane and Melbourne, we had to make the decision to not go ahead."

Mr. Yardley did not comment any further on the issue.

Did you attend GAME Swinging in Sydney? What did you think of it?


    Pardon the french...

    BUT What the fuck did i just watch...

      Well, remember the last five years or so of the R18+ pro campaign where we've been arguiing we're adults, we're mature, we aren't childish idiots, we shouldn't be treated as such...

      Yeah, that video shoots that all to hell.

      Thanks GAME.

        What also really worries me is that, out front, it seemed like the people going in had no idea what the night was actually about...

        I'd be imagining that's where a lot of the complaints originated from. Imagine if you're with yuor girlfriend because GAME have invited you to a swapping even with a suggestive name, only to find it is EXACTLY what the title suggests and not just some funny little play on words as the game industry is, more often than not, want to do.

        Yeah... not the best idea GAME have ever had... and Mike Goldman? MAN i hate that guy...

          This was my thought, also. The idea that the first person "interviewed" in that video said he had no real idea about what was supposed to happen that night is worrying. Not only was the campaign horribly tacky and sleazy, it was poorly described even to its target audience.

          Considering how the night ended up looking, I doubt GAME could come out and give a description of what Game Swinging really was, hence the lack of any real description of the night.

        I was expecting it to be crass, but I wasn't expecting to see some of the women in their underwear or less.
        You can see why they had to cancel the other events.

          My opinion exactly. I expected speed dating like stuff, and the video shows a bit of that, but then it's like BRING IN THE STRIPPERS.


      ^^ This times a million, wtf is this?

    It's just a PR stunt for game

    At a guess it could have been over fears of underage involvement? Or because the ACL wasn't invited? Which kind of go hand-in-hand anyway...

      ohhh burrnnnn

      *i am aware that generalisation actually applies to the catholic church, not the christian, but i'll pay it!

    That video just seemed just too fake and staged.

    I think the real problem is that they used Mike Goldman (the Big Brother narrator) - Seriously? Is the guy even a gamer?

    Also I didn't get to the event, but I imagine it would have been a sausage fest. Hardly fun, swinging with another 3 dudes...

      By the looks of it the escorts were out in force

    I'm not sure if anyone properly attended GAME swinging sydney seems like nothing but prostitutes and a bunch of guys they probably grabbed from a nearby brothel for free 'entertainment'.

      Correct! That is exactly what I thought. When I saw the first girl they talked to...instantly thought "that is a working girl". And then they started talking and taking clothes of.
      How to get a virus when trading....

        Oh well, on the bright side at least if they were working gurlz there would've not been as much of a chance of getting a disease, seeing as most places they work these days make the girls provide a clean bill of health in order to work. HOWEVER, I would've worn a hazmat suit in that crowd to protect myself from catching douchebag syndrome for that Big Brother host guy! I don't know how anyone hasn't punched him yet. So annoying! And he's a gamer, my ass.

    Maybe if they didn't present it in such a crass manner it would have been better.
    They would have had a much better reaction if it was presented as a social, as a way to meet fellow gamers and maybe meet someone special, instead it was cheaply presented as a smutty swingers night.

    Does the industry really see us all as being so shallow as to respond to this kind of marketing?

      Yes, they think we're brainless idiots and horny nerds. But on the other hand you have EB games with their carrots and shit that think we're all 6 year olds...

        i hate to break it to you, but EB's core target market is the families and soccer mums. They make it a family-friendly environment on purpose.

        The whole carrots thing is a very clever idea to give the core the rewards they want while also providing something fun and cute for the children to focus on.

        What GAME are doing, however, is just going for straight out shock-value along with the media that comes with it. They are appealing to the "any PR is good PR" school of thought.

      Well, yeah. I think that was the point. It was called "Game swinging" after all, not "Game speed dating" or "Game social dating". I'm not quite sure what else you could expect.

      BTW, I'm not an advocate of this, I think the whole idea was pretty stupid and borderline deplorable. But you can't go and complain that it was a smutty swingers night when the name of the event had "swinging" in it.

        That's hardly fair considering how borderline smutty and suggestive games and game events can be without actually going there.

        Take saints row 3, for instance. It featured a large purple dildo and a marketing tag line of "strap it on".
        Yet it merely used these as novelties and never ventured into the literal.

        You have to really take in mind that gamers are becoming very jaded to the constant barrage of smutty tag lines and even names and the such, therefore it's not reasonable that people should know exactly what they are walking into just based on the name of the night.

        I mean, when i saw it i thought "hey, look at that, they've made a game trading night as a parody of an underground adult event".
        Then i watched the video.
        It's not a parody...

          That's a fair enough point. Personally though I was never under the impression it was anything BUT what was portrayed in the video. Although I'll admit, I didn't expect to see girls stripping off in the "public" area. That certainly seemed unusual. Makes we wonder if it was the amount of alcohol consumed or whether those girls were there on a job, so to speak.

            I'd say they were paid to do that.
            I mean, lets be realistic. there aren't THAT many girls that are THAT easy IRL.

            I mean, there are girls with loose morals, but normally THAT loose is reserved for certain night-time professions

              The name may have been Game Swinging, but the description they gave was more akin to speed dating. And damn, this is more an orgy than either of the others.

              "I mean, lets be realistic. there aren’t THAT many girls that are THAT easy IRL"
              Dude, there are plenty of females IRL who will remove clothing and flirt with guys with the promise of free booze and compliments. (Girls Gone Wild, hello?) As someone who's worked as a lap dancer I can tell you there's no way anyone in anyone who works my job or any of the other, er, "night-time professions" would stoop to this kind of thing, not unless there were massive amounts of cash involved - cheaper to get girls from some mainstream r&b club. The only girls in that video are attention whores. And there's no shortage of them around, they wanted free alcohol and a little ego boosting attention from gamer guys because they're y'know "sooooo, like, desperate because they're totally allll like virgins or whatevarrrr!" That view of the gamer population being perpetuated by cheap stunts like this. Embarrassing!

                Wait, so you're saying there's plenty of slutty and loose morale girls out there, just not the kind that do that for a living? Ironic.

                  No, just that slutty and "loose morale"(?) girls are in every occupation, and thank the Lords of Kobol for that or only married couples would be having sex! :)

    This could have had potential if it wasn't so hyper-sexualised (which I can garuantee is what the nature of the complaints wold be about).

    I do however, like the fact that it presents an environment for people with a gaming interest to meet (similar to Mana Bar), and also the actual concept of it is very sound.

    They just seem to have marketed it completely wrong. Well actually to be fair, they went with the more profitable route...

      Sex should never have been involved, really.

      They could have had the name and the atmosphere, but had it stick to trading and playing games while meeting new people.

      That, imho, would have been a hit and would have nothing to complain about.

    Pretty sure it was complaints due to how outright smutty it was compared to how 'mature' it was made to be. Watching the videos made me cringe at the least X(

    Whatever floats your boat, I guess. :S

    Mike Goldman needs to take an arrow in the knee.

      but he was never an adventurer

        He stole my Sweet Roll, however, the bastard.

      "Hey, Cousin Niko, welcome to America!! You want to see some titties??"

    Wow, WTF!? It looked like a decent event until the girls started taking their tops off...

    I’m actually really ashamed at GAME for this. Let’s make a team effort to exclude them from the local gaming community now and get them shut down. I don’t support gaming-sex joints.
    Game Traders and even EB for life!

      You mean Gametraders and EB's that have staff that actually know what they are doing and are courteous ;)

        They actually exist? I thought they were a myth like unicorns, mermaids, angels and Healthy Food.

      I used to like GAME, because it was a decent alternative to walking into EB with their shitty prices, poor customer service and that annoying voice-over advertisement guy every 10 seconds. When I first saw them campaigning Game Swinging, I was pretty disgusted and offended but I thought to myself that it was just a poor idea and I let it slide enough that I would still be a customer.

      Then I saw photos that GAME posted on Twitter on the night, which made me think of nothing more than them hiring hookers as the 'girl gamers' and I was even more disappointed in them... and now I've seen this video, which shows how even more depraved the night ended up being and how clearly they don't seem to care about treating women in particular with any ounce of respect, regardless of whether they are a gamer or not. I feel like this doesn't help any female (or more specifically, female gamer) with the uphill battle that we encounter over stereotypes and image.

      And so, for all the above reasons, GAME will no longer be receiving any of my money or positive word of mouth.

      I do, however, feel sorry for the many retail employees of GAME who don't agree with the Game Swinging idea and have to deal with all the lashback from it. I know several employees who hated the idea but couldn't do anything about it short of quitting.

        I used to work there before I got completely f***ed over, and I have to say I completely disagreed with the idea. Luckily, none of our customers really knew what it was so I didn't have to deal with too many complaints but I just thought it was the most ridiculous idea.

    Puts a new spin on Pro Gamer

      How's GTA V going?

      Who doesn't love a sexy party?

      nothing wrong with a little flesh and a feather boa

    I'm pretty certain that complaints somewhat revolved around the expectation of what the event was going to be. I honestly thought it would be some sort of speed dating event with "real" women gamers. Once I saw the video and heard one of the women speak, I was almost certain they were paid to be there. I have a lot of female friends who registered for the Melbourne event and was very disappointed to find out the true nature ofthe event...

      yeah.. i don't think i saw any one of the female variety that could be a gamer at all?

      Then again, i only watched it once and that was more than enough...

    Dudes what where you expecting?? Seriously how dumb are people today, maybe it's time for alot of you prudes to sign up with the Aust. Christian Party. It was called a swingers party for a reason, of course it was going to be smutty and ooh my good shock horror girls taking their clothes off!!!. It's a SWINGERS PARTY, do you understand?? If you don't like it simple don't go. If you want to eat fairy bread, play games and meet nice new people, don't expect it at a Swingers party..

    Prosti's dealing in illegal MK9 and Syndicate imports... now THAT'S a business plan!

      It's called "GAME Swingers" - see the words there:

      GAME Swingers.

      The introduction of that word to the front of the title could mean ANYTHING from

      "Free swapping games like those kooky swingers from the 70's"

      all the way to...

      "Let's play videogames and, oh, here take my girlfriend for your sexual pleasure"

      It was all about expectation: If i read the words "Antique Swinger" you could imagine there might be a bit of confusion over the meaning - and my mind wouldn't necessarily go straight to "Oh it's got swingers in the title so it must mean WIFE SWAPPING"



    I think it's got less to do with complaints and more to do with failure to achieve anything. Even if they didn't bribe anyone into attending they didn't seem to do anything that justified the cost of renting the venue and organising the event.

    Hmmm....I'm guessing this is all a stunt, there weren't any complaints and that Game just wanted to do this to make them seem like a "super cool company"

    I assume some marketing guy said "lets advertise this speed dating event, let people think they can come but then get a whole bunch of male and female models and strippers to pretend that it was a wild party and everyone got laid. We can then advertise more but cancel them and make everyone think our parties are just to wild".

    Also, one "high scores room". Looks like that place would have ended up being disgusting......

    Ohh, so its not 'Game swinging' its "GAME presents- Swinging"

    Right, right.

    You mean to tell me a corperate PR gig crashed and burned because it didnt fully understand its customer base? Also, the guy from Big Brother was hosting?

    And people expected this to not suck?

    You mean I finally could have found 3 people to play Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles with?

    Its not dating, if the only women there are strippers and hookers.
    No wonder it was cancelled

    When I watch things like this, I feel ashamed to be associated with video games.

      Agreed. I think I'm more ashamed that GAME are attempting to associate themselves with Aussie gamers.

    What I want to know is if any Kotaku staff did some investigative journalism there.

      I didn't even know about it until after it happened!

        I don't think anyone would have wanted you to go to such a nasty place, Tracy :o

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