215: Grinding the Dating Scene

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Grinding the Dating Scene

Is OKCupid the successful union of MMO concepts with a dating service or is it all just another gimmick? Robert Yang examines the service from both a dating and gaming perspective.

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This article strikes me as painfully familiar. Not because I've read it elsewhere, but rather because I've had the same experience with the site.
I personally don't see winking as a form of poking however. Poking on facebook is something you do with people you've already known for a while, as a playful form of flirting, which is commonly accept. Winking on the other hand is a thing that most dating sites have, often under different names, that tend not to lead anywhere. A lot of people even mention on their profile that if you want to contact them, write a message, don't wink. In my experience, winks get ignored completely.

I know the feeling of overfishing on that site as well. Though that might also have to do with my country's community being smaller. I had the feeling after less than a month already, and I didn't even spend too much time on the site to begin with.

Right now the only reason I still have my account is because I've been messaging back and forth with someone from the beginning. We're both not really into each other in terms of relationships or anything, but we talk anyway. I get the feeling she's only still there for the same reason.

The stalker feed, much like real life stalkers, creeps me out. I have several people who check my profile on a weekly basis without ever sending a message, rating, winking or anything. It's creepy. I don't feel like sending them messages, simply because of the stalker-like behavior. I might be paranoid from real life issues with stalkers (seriously), but it just doesn't work for me. If people want to talk, they should talk.
Then again, that might be what the stalker feed is for. To show people digitally staring at you from a distance without engaging in any form of contact... Still, I'd rather not know if they do.

Now I've seen everything - an MMO dating service. Anything that likes to take a "personality profile" for dating/stalking purposes is something that I'm wary of. That said, I think I'll be avoiding OKCupid like the plague. How fortunate I feel now to already have a gaming girlfriend of 2 years that I don't feel the need to actually look into this.

Awwh you sound ALONE. Wanna cuddle? I'm in love so I'm sorted.

Wow that sounds horrifyingly creepy.

I can't say I've ever thought to myself "why am I alone on valentine's day?" It is after all, just another day. And yes I know why I'm alone. I just don't care :]

This reminds me though. After hearing about 50 EHarmony commercials a day, I finally gave and started a profile just for kicks. I don't quite understand how they got across their "dimensions of compatibility" when I found that every match I was paired up with with mid 20 something year olds who worked at starbucks and had a one year old. It was uncanny like I was paired with every girl in the states with low self esteem.

Needless to say I don't often check back with them and I sure as hell am not paying their fee just to look at some photos or to get my ID verified (evidently because they want to be sure I'm not some serial rapist or something). I still get emails often that say something to the degree of "You've got a new match!" that I promptly delete

This article is horrifyingly accurate.

I've dated before I got married and yeah, for real life and online dating I see exact similarities between the two. I never married anyone I've dated in fact, my marriage was arranged by my family because they were scared that I'd be alone for the rest of my life. I have no regrets as to getting my family's help in fixing my relationship status because my wife and her family are awesome.

Yang, I've filled out OKCupid, eHarmony (which paired me with no one), and even a SoulGeek profile, even going so far as to meeting up with one said geek to go on an incredibly awkward date.

I should also mention that I've "dated" someone I accidently met on facebook. We decided we weren't compatible and are still pals. About a year or so after that, I dated someone that I met online that lived on the other side of the country. Hell, I never even heard the guy's voice in that incredibly short period of time we dated.

I haven't gone back to the dating scene in months. It's just not worth it. And why be in a rush to get into a relationship when there are so many single player games dying for your touch? Grab your controller, and mess with that baby all night.

Cool your jets. You've got so much ahead of you, man. Love will find you when it needs to.

A happy ending to the story, in case anyone's wondering: I've actually gotten into a pretty good relationship since the writing of this article - off a different website, heh. "Dreams CAN come true!"... just not on OkCupid for some reason.

This piece was spot on for me. I've used OkCupid for the past year or so, and I've been amazed at how perfectly designed it is to encourage shy people to meaningfully interact with one another. Yeah, dating can be stressful - even online, when rejection is as easy as closing a browser window - but overall OkCupid has been great for me, especially when I first moved to Escapist HQ and didn't know anyone in a 200-mile radius.

To Robert, in true MMOG fashion: Grats!

Master Exon:
This article is horrifyingly accurate.

AGREED, makes life feel a little more like a video game every day

I was an okc user for about two years. I really enjoyed talking to strangers, but only went on a couple actual dates. More than anything else, activity on okcupid allowed me to pretend that I was proactively looking for somebody. Dating sites carry far less of a stigma than they used to, but you shouldn't rely solely on them! Nurture your existing relationships and engage in activities that force you to socialize.

I would advise users to realize that the okc userbase is a tiny slice of the population as a whole. It's easy to overfish okcupid, but this doesn't mean you've overfished your geography.

JackiJinx:
Yang, I've filled out OKCupid, eHarmony (which paired me with no one), and even a SoulGeek profile, even going so far as to meeting up with one said geek to go on an incredibly awkward date.

I should also mention that I've "dated" someone I accidently met on facebook. We decided we weren't compatible and are still pals. About a year or so after that, I dated someone that I met online that lived on the other side of the country. Hell, I never even heard the guy's voice in that incredibly short period of time we dated.

I haven't gone back to the dating scene in months. It's just not worth it. And why be in a rush to get into a relationship when there are so many single player games dying for your touch? Grab your controller, and mess with that baby all night.

Cool your jets. You've got so much ahead of you, man. Love will find you when it needs to.

SoulGeek? Is that a dating site for, well, geeks?

I do think the article hit some strings. I often "realise" that my life is an existence, where I basically wake up, play games, go to sleep and repeat. Once I get a job it'll be wake up, work, play games, go to sleep, repeat. And yeah, I think back to ex-girlfriends and I just get annoyed with myself, and that's why I'm pretty much always single.

I do and don't agree with dating sites. They tend to just be invasive rubbish, but I won't disagree that they have worked for people. I've used stuff like Faceparty and it's full of desperate drunks/stoners looking for a quick go. IMVU can be a somewhat "powerful" dating tool in its own right, but I found the software very poor.

What jrr said is true though, just because there's no one on these sites for you, it doesn't mean there's no one out there for you.

I just saw my FUCKING ex on okcupid.

I just want to find someone before I end up like these poor bastards.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/magazine/26FOB-2DLove-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=4&partner=rss

I think the problem with the end game in OKCupid is that there's not supposed to be one - by the time you get comfortable with the site, you're supposed to be in a relationship already. That's poor design right there!

Robert Yang:
A happy ending to the story, in case anyone's wondering: I've actually gotten into a pretty good relationship since the writing of this article - off a different website, heh. "Dreams CAN come true!"... just not on OkCupid for some reason.

It was the Escapist, right? I know it was. The Escapist is the lovingest place on earth.

So, does anyone want to see my knife collection? *grins*

Something I would've liked to fit into the article but couldn't find a spot for it - a mention about Luna Online, an MMORPG for dating. I'm not too optimistic for it... I heard it's pretty lame and boring and poorly designed, but the idea of "dating instances" where it's just you two - that kinda tickles me. Pretty cute idea, anyway.

eHarmony is awful.

Ok I clicked the link in the article and this was the image that came up.

image

I'm not too confident in this site.

Dude, there's no screen shots... what's up?

Seriously, I'm convinced internet dating is the future. Accept it, do not fear it, do not be disturbed. I have some perfectly good memories that have arisen from it. Better than good, I must say. It's just a means of connecting with other single people, like bars or church or school, and the internet has its own pluses and minuses. Typically you'll need to meet a bunch of people before you find a match.

I have an OKCupid profile, but I've never used it for dating purposes (I joined when it was The Spark, a quiz site).

I've turned on every privacy feature I could find, deleted all questions, set my status to "seeing someone" and even wrote "I am only here for quizzes" on my profile and yet I still get messages and people visting, and what basically amount to email invitations to meet guys.

However, I know several people who've found friends and partners through the site and it is pretty popular among the 20-something set. I wouldn't mind using it to meet new friends if I could get rid of the stalker-y features and eliminate the dating invites and stuff.

Hmm. Reducing dating and human romantic interaction to an MMOG? Dodgy. Week old underwear? Downright disturbing. If one is asking oneself on Valentine's Day why one doesn't have a date, it might not be a personality issue - it might be those rank undies ;-P

When I first heard about chemistry.com, I was elated. I'd only caught the end of the commercial on the radio, and grew joyful at the thought of a comprehensive chemistry site, where you could order chemicals, get study help, discuss chemical fun. I immediately ran to my computer, and, lo and behold, became incredibly disappointed by what I ran into. I haven't quite gotten to the point of online dating (I'm in a good relationship right now), so I have a few mixed feelings on the subject.

Coincidentally, would you be willing to share that AIDS joke?

I loved reading your article. :D Keep up the good work!

coldalarm:
SoulGeek? Is that a dating site for, well, geeks?

It very much is. That's where I met the dude I went on a date with. He was incredibly creepy, and people around us noticed. He was all, "Ah, you must be Jacki! It is nice to meet you! HA HA!" Picture a rather tall dude with a bowler and a long, green, spotty tie on. Him standing in line for movie tickets, slightly ahead of me, and a woman a few feet ahead of us occasionally glaring back at me to see that I'm still alive and perplexed as to why I was with him. Funny thing is, we saw Yes Man, and right after the movie, I basically told him that my mother wanted me home by a certain time, and flew out of there in a hurry.

Dating online is risky.

I wonder if you get experience if you ask them if they want to see the severed head of your ex-GF's/BF's...

"36/m sales mgr lfd pst"
"wts [luv] pst"
"wtb [dinner] pst"
...

Edit: after reading the feature, I have to bring up the point that there could be problems when people, once they've found a partner on OkCupid, don't want to stop looking, because it is a game. Guess that explains the lack of an endgame. Most dating services are not really meant to be something people use for most of their lives.

The moment I try and actively look for a compatible 'other half' I always ended up with the TOTALY wrong person, married women etc (I know, I am going to hell for that one). But the moment I stopped looking/worrying about it all. I met a girl I had known for YEARS online, and now 2 years later I am thinking about popping the question.

Life throws us whatever it wants to. Trying to look around is not a bad thing, just dont get desperate and DONT settle. Settling is possibly the WORST thing a person could ever do.

JackiJinx:
which paired me with no one

That's got to hurt.

CD-R:
Ok I clicked the link in the article and this was the image that came up.

image

I'm not too confident in this site.

That woman has a tiny head, and I can't stop laughing.

Anyway, luckily I don't have to venture onto dating sites like OKCupid... xD

beemoh:
That's got to hurt.

EHarmony's algorithm deliberately excludes certain people. A minority, sure, but maybe it was the case here. They were sued for not providing service to gays, for example, but they also exclude atheists, people who've ever had depression, and other categories.

I can see how this concept will run smack head on with the scientific fact that most gamers are fat, depressed, losers.

Plus people kind of do this on WOW already. They call it erotic role playing or ERP for short and it just makes my skin crawl to think that a Night Elf somewhere out there is typing one handed.

Shivering in disgust.

JackiJinx:

coldalarm:
SoulGeek? Is that a dating site for, well, geeks?

It very much is. That's where I met the dude I went on a date with. He was incredibly creepy, and people around us noticed. He was all, "Ah, you must be Jacki! It is nice to meet you! HA HA!" Picture a rather tall dude with a bowler and a long, green, spotty tie on. Him standing in line for movie tickets, slightly ahead of me, and a woman a few feet ahead of us occasionally glaring back at me to see that I'm still alive and perplexed as to why I was with him. Funny thing is, we saw Yes Man, and right after the movie, I basically told him that my mother wanted me home by a certain time, and flew out of there in a hurry.

Dating online is risky.

I bet! I've "used" sites like Facebook/MySpace and really only ever tried to find ladies in the same school/college as me. Not the greatest idea, but as a gamer, means less time off games! ;)

Might give it a look later, if I get bored enough, hehe.

Anarien:

beemoh:
That's got to hurt.

EHarmony's algorithm deliberately excludes certain people. A minority, sure, but maybe it was the case here. They were sued for not providing service to gays, for example, but they also exclude atheists, people who've ever had depression, and other categories.

Did not know that. Explains a lot. Thanks, dude.

Jeez. This story is depressing. Did you at least get some phat loot?

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