Gaia Online Romance Collectible

Several people have emailed me about Gaia online, which Jennifer says is like “mangagied Second Life game for tweens.” Already I am mystified and sure that my description will get something wrong, so feel free to correct me.

Seems their August promotion, or collectible, is all about romance novels. Old skool romances, with all the accompanying tropes and stereotypes therein. If you’re a Gaia participant, you can star in your own romance novel with their ‘Lusty Scoundrel:’ Stand in front of a beautiful sunset with a swooning hunk or maiden by your side, then butter yourself up so that every muscle and curve glistens in the light. So you can be either the chick or the dude, which ought to send those who focus on the question of which character readers identify with most into spasms of joy.

In their newsletter announcing the new options, they include excerpts from “Lusty Scoundrel,” and another “novel,” “War of the Warlords.” The Lusty excerpt is kind of a hoot:

She slapped Beresford hard across the face, her gloved hand breaking like a velvet wave upon his violently outcropping cheekbone. “But what of Rodrigo? What of my marriage, my family, my delicately perfumed bosom?” Beresford’s baritone laughter echoed through the masculine caverns of his barrel-like chest. “Forget Rodrigo,” he commanded, clutching Heloise even tighter against his glistening, rippled thorax. “Rodrigo may be rich and almost equally as handsome as I, but there’s one thing he can never give you.” Slowly, Beresford’s rugged, stable-worn hands began to palpate the blushing flesh of Heloise’s shoulders. “Really good backrubs,” he bellowed; “I got a certificate from the city college!”

What the…?

 

According to Bitchery reader Elizabeth, Gaia Online members can receive avatars as part of their membership, and then have the option to decorate them with accessories. The monthly collectibles are “rare items you can get only be donating money to the website.”

Elizabeth tells me there’s multiple poses should you wish to indulge in the romance avatar:

…along with poses showing you holding a romance novel, you can give your avatar glistening skin (I shit you NOT), a “romantic breeze” (rose petals”), a “portrait of passion” (an interesting border), a “romantic sunset” background, wild windswept hair, or, the BEST PART: you either get Beresford, a “lusty” regency-era scoundrel with shirt wide open and feathered hair, leaning over your avatar, Fabio-style, or Heloise, a female character with heavy bosoms who kneels at your avatar’s feet and looks up adoringly.

There’s an image that accompanied the newsletter which you can see here (caution: popup), and while it’s not entirely a bad pastiche of romance covers from Days Gone By, there’s a few errors that betray the artist as not a TRUE fan of romance.

Nice nuclear explosion and accompanying phallic lighthouse on the parapet. But no nuclear explosion would be so close to the hero’s posterior, lest the art send a subtle message that Sir Beresford has a bit of a gas problem and a predilection for beans. Further, Beresford’s shirt is unbuttoned AND untucked. Impossible! FOR SHAME GAIA ARTISTS. FOR SHAME.

Then there’s the heroine. She’s bent over backwards, which is good, and she’s wearing a shockingly unnatural shade of pink – also good – but she doesn’t have requisite o-face. She looks…repulsed. Bitter, even. Like she’s looking into the sun while eating sour gummy worms. Her clavicle is about to eat her, if the ruffle doesn’t get her first. And given the position of her back, her hips, and her legs, I’m not sure she has a pelvis. This will make the red hot lovin’ something of a challenge.

I have no idea what to say about the smaller icons pictured on the right, except that the one with the bloody eye patch looks disturbingly merry and is wearing a LOT of eyeliner.

Anyone out there a Gaia member? Which one are you, the dude or the lady?

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Ziggy says:

    her gloved hand breaking like a velvet wave upon his violently outcropping cheekbone.

    that is the best thing I have ever read in my life.

    And I love the lady in pink’s expression. That woman is dying of boredom and despair! Her dress is bizarre: super-short in the front and floor-sweeping at the back – like the sartorial equivalent of a mullet.

  2. 2
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    Sounds like somebody’s been reading Eye of Argon!  The heroine had “violently outcropping breasts” in that magnum opus, as I recall.

  3. 3
    Sara says:

    That is a really phallic lighthouse. Whoa.

    Also, the hero needs mullet-ier hair.

  4. 4

    that is the best thing I have ever read in my life. ~Ziggy

    Beresford’s baritone laughter echoed through the masculine caverns of his barrel-like chest.

    OMG yes. Yes.

  5. 5
    ehren says:

    XD I’m the girl, but I’ve already got my men, so Beresford gets to stay in his mighty cage with Heloise, not that he’ll mind I’m sure. I was so wondering if you would write something about this, cause it was so hillarious that it had to be shared. XD

    and yes… that lighthouse is REALLY phallic.

  6. 6
    Anne Douglas says:

    Slowly, Beresford’s rugged, stable-worn hands began to palpate the blushing flesh of Heloise’s shoulders. “Really good backrubs,” he bellowed; “I got a certificate from the city college!”

    Srsly, if I can find a guy who can keep my in the tech that I’ve become accustomed to, and who sports this qualification, hubby will be drop kicked to kerb so fast his head will spin! Every hero should have a degree in backrubs IMO

  7. 7
    Chrissy says:

    And the award for best use of the word “thorax” goes to…

  8. 8
    Kalen Hughes says:

    “Forget Rodrigo,” he commanded, clutching Heloise even tighter against his glistening, rippled thorax.

    Am the only one now picturing giant ants having this conversation?

  9. 9
    Eva Lynn says:

    It didn’t even occur to me that this would show up here!

    …I got two. *^_^*  One of my avs (male) is hanging out with Beresford.  The other (female) is just bringing the book along for summer reading just now.

    There are two other ‘poses’ that cracked me up: the ‘studmuffin’, literally a little studded muffin which you can hold, and a plastic container of bread-spread called “I Can’t Believe How Much Butter I’m About To Eat.”

    Oh, and there’s also ‘heated breath’, which looks vaguely like breathing outside on a snowy day, but that’s far less amusing. :)

    Comparing Gaia to Second Life in pretty much any way is unfair to both of them, though.  They’re both online and people can use them to socialise and gussy up an avatar, but that’s about the extent of the similarity.  I won’t go into that further though, since it’s one of my academic areas and I would probably end up going on for twelve pages and bore everyone to death.  TO DEATH.  Plus, irrelevant to the venue. ;)

  10. 10
    ev says:

    The monthly collectibles are “rare items you can get only be donating money to the website.”

    According to my daughter, who has 6 accounts on the Gaia website (and another one under my name), you don’t have to donate money, you can eventually buy them in the marketplace with Gaia Gold that you get by playing games or selling other items in the market place. She bought Ceaser’s cape and helmet (that’s the avatar in the corner with the bloody eyepatch) You can do Ganges Khan and Napoleon too. (I can’t spell)

    The big picture is just the art work, the two little ones are the ones that can be used as avatars. On the other hand, she thought they were all creepy and didn’t use them.

    Anyone here that is on Gaia- she has two extra envelopes and will sell them to the highest bidder starting at 75k Gaia Gold or depending on the Gaia market place. LOL Don’t ask me.

  11. 11
    ev says:

    Oh, and she said that anyone interested in joining, let her know and she will be happy to send a friends request to them.

    did I mention she is 23 and not by any means a tween. Actually, it’s not a tween site. LOL

  12. 12
    Esri Rose says:

    What FUN! Love the “stud muffin.” Don’t get the “can’t believe how much butter I’m about to eat” bit. “I can’t believe how much butter I’m about to spread on my glistening thorax,” maybe.

  13. 13
    TracyS says:

    Don’t get the “can’t believe how much butter I’m about to eat” bit.

    Esri Rose~that is referring to the fact that Fabio was in commercials for “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”

  14. 14
    Leslie H says:

    “The sartorial equivalent of a mullet” Nearly killed me.

    “Indeed88” I couldn’t have said it better myself!

  15. 15
    Lorelie says:

    Can we nominate entries to the AAR Purple Prose contest?  ‘Cause that’s a solid third place, at the very least.

  16. 16
    willa says:

    OMG that “excerpt” is a thing of unparalleled beauty! Kudos! Brilliant! More!

  17. 17
    Vuir says:

    Seventy Five Thousand?  Seriously? I remember when they were three kay each.  Last time I collected them, marketplace envelopes were available for ten kay easy, but you could get them for less.

    Now that’s inflation.

  18. 18
    Eva Lynn says:

    75K?  She’s gonna want to hang on to those a while if she wants that.  They’re going for about 12.5K at the moment. ;)

  19. 19
    lijakaca says:

    I’m not on Gaia, but I think now I’ll get an account just for this!  Awesome.

  20. 20
    ev says:

    She’s gonna want to hang on to those a while if she wants that.

    she is. they expired at the end of this month i guess. I have no clue. i have an account and have no idea what my avatar even looks like.

  21. 21

    But no nuclear explosion would be so close to the hero’s posterior, lest the art send a subtle message that Sir Beresford has a bit of a gas problem and a predilection for beans.

    But hasn’t your exhaustive research in the area of bad covers proven that this sort of thing happens all the time?  Or, at the very least, happened all the time during the 80’s and 90’s?

  22. 22
    Jessa Slade says:

    I am so far behind the iWave I’d need an explosion twice that side under my butt to launch me as far as a portable CD player.

    Eva Lynn, is there a place where you have posted your boring 12 pages?  I have a going-on-tween godson I need to keep up with.

  23. 23
    Madd says:

    Dudes … I’m 32 and I’ve got an account. I enjoy doing the puzzles and word bump. Also, I have a hobby that draws a lot of tween/teens and have several friends that use Gaia.

  24. 24
    Freezair says:

    *sniffle* Truly, a thing of ultraviolet beauty. Bravo! Bravo! Encore!

    I never did play Gaia, but I have worlds of fun with the TekTek.org Dream Avatar Simulator, which basically lets you create a Gaia avatar without having to go through all the hassle of actually tracking down the items. If you’re a nerd like me, you can have fun creating all your favorite geeky fictional characters in cute, anime-tastic fashion.

  25. 25
    Bantum says:

    I’ve been a Gaia member on and off for about five years, and well… The above mentioned romance-themed collectible is the first I ever bought, just because I thought it was so awesome. I was thinking about getting another one, just so I could have Heloise by my side… xD My friend thinks both of the people included in the collectible are creepy looking, though.

    I put my Gaia profile link in the URL there.

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