CodeBabes is a new site that promises to make the process of learning how to write code more fun by using "hot babes" as the instructors in video tutorials. Every time the student advances a level, the "babe" removes an item of clothing. The website explains:
"We've developed a revolutionary learning programme that leverages sexual desire and turns it into the most powerful learning mechanism ever known to mankind. Babes and code. You watch the lesson. Absorb the info. Pass the quiz, and your instructor removes one piece of clothing. How much clothing, you ask? Enough to motivate you. But let's not get carried away here. We're an education site."
The premise of the site has many people wondering whether the entire thing is an elaborate hoax. For instance, Rebecca Greenfield, writing for fastcompany.com, ponders whether it's a "huge troll" that "blows Silicon Valley's sexism problem out into one website of cleavage-laden horrors." She goes on to express hope that it's "some sort of social commentary on how Silicon Valley culture alienates women at all levels."
I don't know what the intentions of CodeBabe's creators really are, but my gut sense is that this is neither a hoax nor a troll. After all, the site really does have "babes" in video tutorials. So it seems to me they've progressed past the point of parody. They're already delivering on their promise.
One good test of whether or not a site is a hoax is whether it's willing to take your money. Hoax or parody sites will usually stop short of taking people's money, because a financial transaction carries real legal weight.