If you've ever played a shooter such as Call of Duty, Battlefield or Halo in online multiplayer mode, then you will appreciate how difficult it can be to stay alive when everyone else has better weapons and knows the game maps so much better than you. But now there is hope for nOObs everywhere, as a new type of online entrepreneur in the form of the virtual bodyguard arrives on the scene.

One hard-core gamer who is offering his services as an online bodyguard caught my attention recently, advertising his services on the fivesquids website where he is charging five British pounds for 30 minutes worth of in-game protection. The advert claims he will stay "by your side the entire time and will fight for you, keeping enemies away from you, protecting you when you snipe, even SACRIFICING MY LIFE to save yours" for the following Xbox 360 games: Call of Duty 4, Call of Duty Black Ops, Halo Reach, Battlefield 1943 and Battlefield Bad Company 2.

DaniWeb spoke to the gamer who, in order to protect his in-game characters, is known only as Mr Smith and turns out to be a 15 year old student who when evening falls becomes "a defender of the brave" apparently.

DaniWeb: What gave you the idea to become an online bodyguard?
 
Mr Smith: "I remembered how hard it had been starting out in games like Call of Duty and Battlefield online, when everyone else had access to better weapons and equipment. I used to think 'I wish one of my friends would go round the game with me and give me a hand'. And that's all it is really! It's been the trend for games at the moment to encourage personal gain versus good teamwork, so my service allows customers to feel like they are part of a well-oiled machine, not a walking bullet magnet.

DaniWeb: Have you any previous experience as a virtual bodyguard?
 
Mr Smith: "I used to gang up with someone against my friends on Goldeneye, and we would be each other's bodyguard".
 
DaniWeb: Have you had any takers?
 
Mr Smith: "I think a lot of people have been hesitant for one reason or another, perhaps because they can't quite see how it would work. I think that once a few people take the plunge and see what it's like (and why not, it's only a fiver!), we'll see many more gamers putting me to the test".
 

Edited 5 Years Ago by happygeek: Fixed the link; removed extra http://

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

Quite interesting, Keep up the hard work and you shall be rewarded for the same in future.

Is it wrong to laugh while reading this? :D

Anyway the kid does have a point and maybe he'll earn some extra bucks from the right people

Is it wrong to laugh while reading this? :D

Anyway the kid does have a point and maybe he'll earn some extra bucks from the right people

You not the only one having a laugh ... Isn't the point of a game to work your way up anyway!

I have a 15 year old protect me at all times. He does all my dirty work because he's still a minor. Saves me the time in the big house (could only get a ps2 and 720i tv - can you believe the inhumanity).

Is it wrong to laugh while reading this? :D

Anyway the kid does have a point and maybe he'll earn some extra bucks from the right people

Sadly the kid is quite correct in his assessment about the current state of user "communities" in online gaming. Cooperation, even within teams that need to cooperate in order to win, is usually non-existent.

My own recent experience is mostly limited to WoW battlegrounds, and it's just stunning how utterly incapable of working together many (most, even) people are even in situations where not working together guarantees you'll lose the scenario.
Reading forums, people whine and qq about others not helping them succeed and survive, then immediately go out and rant about people needing help in order to survive and succeed.

If they'd think a moment before rushing off and starting to hack at random opponents, build a game plan and get some teamwork started, things would be much less frustrating.
But the current generation of players (mostly the younger ones I think, judging from their language usage) seems utterly incapable of grasping even the concept of putting the team before themselves, of lending a hand so the entire team benefits (and in the end, they will as well).
Hyper individualism, overinflated sense of ego, massive sense of entitlement ("everyone must help me even if what I do is not beneficial to the team as a whole"), etc. etc. seem the attitude of pretty much everyone you meet.

And that extends to a degree to non-pvp related content as well (though there not working together means no personal benefit either to a large extend, so they're forced to at least try).

Sadly the kid is quite correct in his assessment about the current state of user "communities" in online gaming. Cooperation, even within teams that need to cooperate in order to win, is usually non-existent.

Wow sounds like you needed to vent.

i feel you pain though i'm playing battleField 3 at the moment and although you are put in squads there's not much point in them everyone runs around like headless chickens and with little to no tactics other than run forward untill you get shot.

Wow sounds like you needed to vent.

after having 3 tanks in a row pull half a dungeon and then quit mid-fight in a single run, yah.

Wow sounds like you needed to vent.

i feel you pain though i'm playing battleField 3 at the moment and although you are put in squads there's not much point in them everyone runs around like headless chickens and with little to no tactics other than run forward untill you get shot.

One of the reason why people in FPS games create clans/clubs and talk over TeamSpeak etc. Nobody listen to public VoIP, not interested in rubbish language.

Actually there are many "services" alike this one in the online gaming world. Just in, say, mmorpg's ppl don't ask for money to help you lvl up or do quests and so on.It is wide practice for higher lvl's to help noobs, some games even give bonuses for "teaching"

indeed, and commercial services are strictly against the terms of service of most mmos.
Most such services are run by computer criminals and goldsellers, requiring access to your account details so they can log in and play your toon for you, but in reality to use it for gold farming and scamming other players before stripping it of all its posessions and stealing your creditcard in the process.

This guy however seems to offer an on the face of it genuine service to a community where there is no sense of community (as if there were there'd be no market for people demanding pay for helping each other).

Comments
Agree on that one

This guy however seems to offer an on the face of it genuine service to a community where there is no sense of community (as if there were there'd be no market for people demanding pay for helping each other).

Well looking as he is only 15, I think he's just after some pocket money

I love this guy. Fleece all those grown-up saddoes that play this crap. Make a mint.

I love the fact that some of you all carp on about "he's only 15". He's probably the only one mentioned/posted on this forum that should be playing them. It's like listening to a kid asking an old man, "I'll read Harry Potter to you, you useless old git, if you want. But you'll have to pay me. Enough to buy my own real magic wand." :(

Well looking as he is only 15, I think he's just after some pocket money

maybe, but if it sells he's still offering a needed service :) More power to him for recognising and monetising that need, that's the stuff entrepreneurs are made of.

maybe, but if it sells he's still offering a needed service :) More power to him for recognising and monetising that need, that's the stuff entrepreneurs are made of.

Well if we think about it this way, he could even make a guild that would provide this kind of services, would be like real life mercenaries :idea:

I love this guy. Fleece all those grown-up saddoes that play this crap. Make a mint.

I love the fact that some of you all carp on about "he's only 15". He's probably the only one mentioned/posted on this forum that should be playing them. It's like listening to a kid asking an old man, "I'll read Harry Potter to you, you useless old git, if you want. But you'll have to pay me. Enough to buy my own real magic wand." :(

If you think about it . . . he's only 15 . . . call of duty is an 18 . . . he shouldn't realy be playing it because he's under age.

However my 14 year old brother beats me on call of duty all the time and this kid offering this service clesrly has his head screwed on to make money from it, shame he can't compete in LAN's yet or he could be making a heap of dosh

I didn't knpw the game was for big kids. Well i still reckon he's probably the only one that would look right playing it.

I didn't knpw the game was for big kids. Well i still reckon he's probably the only one that would look right playing it.

What does it have to do with being a kid or not? Looking at the good point the game helps to develop reaction and some strategic basics.

maybe, but if it sells he's still offering a needed service :) More power to him for recognizing and monetizing that need, that's the stuff entrepreneurs are made of.

He needs a lesson in economics. No one is going to pay $10 thereabouts for a half hour of protection. Most MMORPG's take many many hours to be decent, much less good, between raiding/fighting/farming/questing.

And as mentioned, that's what Guilds are for. As a former WoW addict I can vouch for the many WEEKs of help I got from the higher levels, and the help I gave the noobs as I got better in the game.

you'd be surprised...
A lot of kids haven't got a life, have unlimited acccess to daddy's credit card, and haven't got a clue as to the value of money or time.

then still comes the question:
do you want to PLAY the game yourself, or have it played for you while you pay extra for it?

isn't it more fun to do the actual building of your character yourself, rather than to wait until someone else made it strong enough to beat up the lower levels without breaking a sweat?

I 'm not that much of a gamer anymore, but in the time I did play, I had the most fun in the game searching for scrap and items to actually earn my way up. I doubt I would have as much fun playing if it was all handed to me.

I don't game much these days either. But I'm with you. I preferred finding a good guild, and working my character. I used a lot of research resources online to determine character/class/race spec advantages and how to gear for different results. That was the fun of it...not having someone else build it for you. Plus, a good guild will have the lower level stuff which to them is often throw away but to you is mint new gear and that always helped level and farm.

then still comes the question:
do you want to PLAY the game yourself, or have it played for you while you pay extra for it?

if I understand correctly, this guy is offering a service where you pay him to watch your back while you play, maybe give some tips.

He's not offering a powerlevelling service, which would no doubt be against the terms of service of the game (as it is for most games).

That's how I read it too. I just think that 5 pounds (just under $8 at current rates) for 30 minutes isn't going to get many takers. Then again, if someone is getting bullied a player might use his services to make the bullies think twice about it.

Either way, I give the kid props for having an entrepreneurial spirit

if I understand correctly, this guy is offering a service where you pay him to watch your back while you play, maybe give some tips.

He's not offering a powerlevelling service, which would no doubt be against the terms of service of the game (as it is for most games).

yes and no .. defending yourself and fighting your adversaries is also part of the game, so, yes, if you just started and you get into a fight with a level 50 player, you're sure to get your butt whipped. avoiding this is part of the complete experience (imho) and by paying someone to make sure you don't have to do an effort at that point anymore, it's like buying a game and only playing levels 3, 7 and 10 because you think "the other levels to be boring". He may not be offering a powerlevelling service, he is offering a way for you to level a lot faster than you would be able to do normally, and with a lot less effort from your side.

A lot of gamers I know, really enjoy levelling up, simply because they know how hard they had to work to get there, not just doing jobs, but doing jobs, performing tasks and watching their backs while doing so, this seems to me like just another way to become an "experienced" player, without putting too much effort in it yourself.

Either way, I give the kid props for having an entrepreneurial spirit

Even though I'm not the biggest fan of the service he's offering, I do have to agree with this :)

yes and no ..

From reading the interview it 100% sounds like his service is you play the game and he covers your back for a fee. your still going to do all the leveling up yourself this guy is just going to stop you getting killed as much so that you stand a better chance, a bit like getting more people involved in a quest in WOW to make it easier(i've never played the game myself but i'm guessing thats how it works).

From reading the interview it 100% sounds like his service is you play the game and he covers your back for a fee. your still going to do all the leveling up yourself this guy is just going to stop you getting killed as much so that you stand a better chance, a bit like getting more people involved in a quest in WOW to make it easier(i've never played the game myself but i'm guessing thats how it works).

I didn't say I disagree with that, it's just my opinion that loosing a few battles on the way is part of the game.

loosing a few battles on the way is part of the game.

My apologies. Agreed, i usually only play call of duty with friends so we can work as a team and we usually do well because we cover eachother like this guy offering this service would . . . when you get out classed you've just got to tip your cap and respawn.

Edited 4 Years Ago by ChrisHunter: n/a