Unexpected Love: Dating in the Gaming World

Unexpected Love: Dating in the Gaming World

World of Warcraft Romance

One of the most interesting things about dating is getting to know the person that you are with. But what happens when that person is a sorcerer and living in the other side of the country? That’s sometimes the case when it comes to relationships that bloomed from an online game and continue into reality. This type of romance is becoming the norm as technology gets more involved with our personal lives.

 
It sounds strange that people would find love through playing an online game as an elf, a mage or a healer, but in a world where you can be whoever you want, why should love be out your reach? There are plenty of computer and video games with online play that let players interact with one another, (it’s like being in a cafeteria or mall that you can complete adventures in). Although the presence of video games within dating and relationships is growing, most people start playing these games for fun rather than looking for love.
 
Stephanie Rivero, an English Secondary Education major at The College of New Jersey, found her fiancé through World of Warcraft, but not on purpose. Rivero says that treating the online game as a dating website does not sit well with the online gaming community. “People will be put off if they know you’re looking [for a relationship],” she says.  She mentions that these games are a way to have fun and make friends and if you happen to find someone you like, then you get a bonus. “If you’re just looking to date, join a dating service website,” said Rivero.


In a study that focused on relationships formed between World of Warcraft players, “The rogue in the lovely black dress: intimacy in World of Warcraft,” it explains that the players develop their relationships and dating through a similar process than anyone else. “While conversations may originate in [The World], they often move to instant messaging, phone calls and eventually physical meetings.” So you meet and befriend a character and if you hit it off (like in school) you move on to getting to know them in real life. It makes dating a game with updated rules.


Judging how addictive these online games are and how people like to turn to the cyber world to have fun, online games may be the dating wave of the future. In a study by Nicholas Yee, author of The Psychology of MMORPGs, he mentioned how from a population of online role-playing gamers 15.7% of women (from a group of 420) and 5.1% of men (from a group of 2991) have dated someone they met through these games.

 

If you’ve been afraid to let your imagination roam free because you think you might not find that “special someone,” fear not. Seeing as how relationships and dating are becoming more common through online role-playing games, you might want to let your inner spellcaster come out and play. Although people doubt you can find a relationship through an online game, love is tricky and can sneak up on you—unless you cast a protection spell.

—Gabriela Castelan

Photo credt: Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

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