Opinion Other

Let's talk about that dating site for gamers

Gamer Daters.jpg

I'm incredibly happy that I'm no longer in the dating game. Ok, to be fair I haven't been a part of that in a VERY long time, but if I look at my friends and colleagues who are still single, I'm aware of how difficult it is to meet people once you leave university. Work relationships are generally a bad idea, which means you constantly have to put yourself out there in order to meet people.

Alright, this sounds like a dating column now, and you're probably thinking, "What the hell is going on?" Luckily I do have a point. I was recently asked to write some articles for a dating website that specialises in dating for gamers. Although I politely declined, I did check out their website first and bribed a friend of mine to sign up (it's free, I didn't make him pay anything!) because I'm curious.

I'm curious as to whether or not websites such as these are successful. I'm not talking about online dating in general - I know many people who have met, dated and married as a result of that. I'm curious if gamers specifically want to date other gamers and if a site such as this holds more than a passing attraction (excuse the pun).

They advertise that they have "gamer singles" from all different backgrounds - first-person shooters, role-playing games, multiplayer online battle arena's, massively multiplayer online games, etc. but is this really what you look for in a partner? Is it essential that you both play role-playing games to enjoy each other's company?

My husband and I have been together for over 20 years, and we both play games, but honestly we rarely play together. We both enjoy different types of games, and even those that appeal to both of us aren't games we feel the need to co-op.

Again I know people for whom this is not the case, and they regularly play together, but I don't think that this is necessarily the strongest selling point for a dating website. Of course, it's always encouraging when your partner shares your interests, but it's not essential and, in fact, I think that you should have enough diversity in your relationship that you can still enjoy different things independently.

If you're creating such a narrow selection criteria that you're choosing your partner on the basis that you both play RPGs, is it really likely that you're going to be compatible? Are you not more likely to compete against each other than want to co-op? Will you begin to narrow it further, so you only date other magic user characters? If you're into FPS games, you'll only date people who don't identify as campers. Ok, that's getting a bit silly, but the point is that I think to narrow your search for a partner based not only on the fact that they play games but on which games they play, is like saying you'll only date someone who eats overripe bananas. It's ridiculous.

That said, from my spy's delegate's research, this site doesn't actually give the members gaming preferences (unless this is a paid feature) - so what differentiates it from other dating websites other than the name and the promise of being able to meet people with a similar interest?

I feel like I'm a bit contradictory here, arguing that you shouldn't narrow your partner selection criteria and then arguing that they don't offer that feature. I think what bothers me, however, is that there is a promise of something in the website description that is never even close to being fulfilled. I could browse Tinder more easily and still achieve the same level of engagement with potential partners.

If I was going to take the time to sign up I'd, at least, like to see something that fulfils those promises even on a superficial level. I might not think it's wise to narrow my search to black men that only play as fire mages, however being able to differentiate between someone who plays Candy Crush and someone who plays Battlefront, at least, helps you get a sense of their preferences.

Otherwise *gasp* you could be a FAKE GEEK! The horror! Or maybe that's a fetish thing...

What are your thoughts on dating websites for gamers? Am I blinded by the fact that I don't need to play the dating game? Share your thoughts with us.

Pippa photo credit: Kat Grudko

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