It is taken for granted that face-to-face contact is the ultimate goal of gay male social networking applications such as Grindr and Scruff. I, however, challenge this assumption and argue that these applications have succeeded not because they fulfill their tacit promise to connect gay men, but by doubling as do-it-yourself (DIY) amateur porn platforms. Gay male social networking applications are screening tools that facilitate self-pornification through a process of gamified surveillance. I contend that the rewards for playing the game are often not the sanitized ones promoted by application creators and their public relations departments but the erotic exchanges and byproducts produced during the screening process these applications ambivalently disavow—nude images and erotic chat.
Gamification Gay male Pornography Grindr Scruff Surveillance