There are websites for everything. Therefore, there are websites for gamers who need dates, and there are websites for people who want to date gamers. These sites might be one and the same. It's not really clear in the surprisingly inept world of video game dating sites, a web of false promises, Google search bait and general crappiness.
I spent Tuesday afternoon signing up for a bunch of the web's leading websites dedicated to gamer dating. Better me than you. There's some bad stuff out there.
Our First Stop On The Tour
Shag A Gamer is the site that inspired this miserable trawl. It got some press earlier this week thanks to its snicker-ready premise. An entire web operation dedicated to helping gamers enjoy some casual sex? That's as cynical as it is charitable. Thanks, ShagAGamer!
- Shag A Gamer
- Tag-Line: America's # Adult Site for Gamers and Geeks
- Official hype: "The biggest adult dating site on the net that lets gamers and geeks meet up for no-strings attached sex... you will get immediate access to our sexy singles looking for sex. There's no commitment, no fuss and you get to have gamer sex with the girls or lads that rock your boat. What's not to like?"
- Central Mystery of their Site: Why is there a gun in their logo?
- Gaming Elements: None. That's right. Once you become a member you will be able to browse profiles of prospective sex partners who don't bother to even mention video games. You thought you were going to be greeted by possible shag partners who fill their profile with their list of favourite Mario Kart tracks or even admit to playing video games? Not at ShagAGamer.com, where video games aren't mentioned past the point where you've given them your e-mail address.
Way to commit to your mission statement, ShagAGamer.
Again With The Gun Logo
For video game daters who want something more lasting than casual sex, the people behind the aforementioned bait-and-switch also offer DateAGamer. This one appears to be UK only. Oh, the pity.
- Date A Gamer
- Tag-Line: The UK's #1 Dating site for Gamers and Geeks
- Official hype: "Gaming is hot. So don't stay single any longer. Come in and start dating on the biggest and the best dating site for gamers... Gamers make awesome partners! If you're a single gamer and you want to date a gamer then look no further. This is the dating site for gamers and we can help you get a date straight away. We hope to see you on the other side..."
Central Mystery of their Site: They seem to believe that all gamers are straight.
I registered for the site and started searching for ladies to date (well, to pretend to date. I am married, after all). Presumably I'd find one who likes video games, right?
First lady's interests: Pop Music, Rock Music, Movies, Dancing, The Outdoors, Restaurants, Pubs/Clubs, Reading, TV/Radio, Computers, Internet, Cooking, Travelling, Keep Fit and Sports (Watching).
Second: Pop Music, Movies, Theatre, Dancing, Restaurants, Pubs/Clubs, Reading, TV/Radio, Computers, Internet and Keep Fit.
Third: Pop Music, Classical Music, Rock Music, Movies, Dancing, Animals, The Outdoors, DIY/Crafts, Restaurants, Pubs/Clubs, Reading, TV/Radio, Computers, Internet, Cooking and Keep Fit
OK, well maybe these women on Date a Gamer don't really want to throw their passion for gaming in your face. Maybe they want to show you that they're well-rounded. And maybe this site is a total joke and not really about gamers after all.
I randomly clicked on a lady's profile to read more about her. She wrote: "I'm the kind of girl that can be taken anywhere, apart from a Dungeons & Dragons or Star Trek convention, thank you." Yeah, whatever. Next!
It Does Hurt, Actually
- Video Gamer Personals
- Tag-Line: It Doesn't Hurt to Search
- Official hype: "Video Gamer Personals is a member of the Tangowire network which brings together like-minded singles based on their special interests. Together we create and connect communities of singles across the globe."
This site is part of a bigger network of online personal ads. Like the other sites mentioned so far, it's just a slick photo on top of a site that barely has anything to do with gamers going on dates. It does automatically lock your profile to a preference for video games, but, let's just say that doesn't seem to work.
I started searching for women in my area who shared my interest in video games. The first person I clicked on... didn't mention gaming. Second person? She likes "Computer Geeks and Techies; Gamblers & Card Gamers" Third? She likes watching sports and movies. No mention of games. Fourth? "I enjoy museums, movies and games… In short you must love family, pets, travel and Anime." There we go. I'm so glad I was on a site dedicated to finding video game-loving singles.
For All You PlayStation II Lovers Out There
- Gaming Passions
- Tag-Line: unknown
- Official hype: A 100% FREE online dating and social networking site specifically for video game lovers. Are you obsessed with XBox? XBox 360? Are you aPlaystation fanatic? Playstation II? Playstation III? Or maybe you are aNintendo Wii fan? Looking for someone else addicted to WOW? Gaming Passions allows you to meet other video game lovers who 'get it'. Whether you are only interested in console games, or you also like PC Games, this is the site for you. Discuss strategy in the video game chatroom. Arrange for online competitions. Make new friends! Sign up now to enjoy free video gaming chat, message boards & email."
Note that most of the keywords in the official hype are hyperlinked. That's because Gaming Passions appears to be more or less run by robots.
Gaming Passions does let you declare you're into video games, but its listings don't exactly turn up people proclaiming that they too can tell a PlayStation II from a PlayStation III. Yeah, yeah, I get that it's possibly just uncool to brag about your gaming passions in your real (or fake) online dating profile at a site called Gaming Passions. It's just assumed, I guess. Why else would we have stumbled into this nest?
Hey, at least this site has a Games section!
It looks like this.
They also have a books section, too! The books are voted on by users of Gaming Passions and ranked in the order that these totally real people voted said they should be in. Here we go, proof that this is for real gamers. These are the Gaming Passions user's favourite books:
1) Halo First Strike 2) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 3) The Gunslinger (Dark Tower, Book 1) 4) Ender's Game 5) Dune 6) Cycle of Hatred (World of Warcraft, Book 4) 7) Halo: The Fall of Reach 8) The Umbrella Conspiracy (Resident Evil, Book 1) 9) Resident Evil 07. Stunde Null (this appears to not be in English) 10) Warcraft: War of the Ancients Archive
Let's scroll down to the 16th entry:
16) Call of Duty: World at War Strategy Guide
The One With The Clever Name
- Tag-Line: (are we counting broken HTML? If not, they don't have one.)
- Official hype: "Datecraft is a seriously-funny (and funnily-serious) way for those that call themselves "gamer" to meet others that share the very same interest. Browse gamers profiles, blog, chat, join in the lively forum discussions, post pictures, and more! We are most simply a Video Game Dating Realm!"
Bad news for anyone out there excited about this purported dating site for World of Warcraft gamers. It's been in mothballs since June 2010, when it last highlighted a DateCrafter of the month. That DateCrafter was armoured 24. Let's at least learn something about him:
More on ARMORED24, DateCrafter of the Month for June!
Explanation behind username?
Well, I'm an armoured truck driver, and when i made my user name I was 24.
What other online dating sites have you tried?
Nope, this is the only one game/WoW-related [dating site] that I know of, so here I am.
How many girls/guys have you tried hooking up with in DC?
Too many! Eh, never started counting but couldn't tell you off the top of my head. I had another account but i forgot the information it's been around a year. i have met one person in real life so far. We dated a little bit. She wasn't the one, but we still play wow together.
The Ultimate MMO
- Video Gamer Dating
- Tag-Line: Cute Gamer Girls and Hot Gamer Guys Come Here To Find Love
- Bonus Tag-Line: "... experience the ultimate MMO Now!"
- Official hype: "You love your video games and can't see trading in your joystick and keyboard just to find love. We can help. Our online matchmaking service dedicates itself exclusively to members only interested in dating gamers. Love to play World of Warcraft? Find singles WOW girls looking to date. You already spend so much of your time online, so why not start trying to find love? Let's face it, we're addicted to our games, and should we really have to stop playing just to satisfy our loved ones? Why can't our partners enjoy online gaming just as much as we do? The fact is, there are thousands of others out there looking for the same exact thing. Here, you can date gamers locally, or build a long distant relationship with someone you build a connection with. Join with just your gamer tag, or open up and share your detailed profile with members. ... Playing video games is not just a hobby it is way of life. So why not find someone who already shares this passion with you. Think of us as an mmo dating service, where hundreds of online gamers are constantly online and interacting. We cater to both male and female gamers, and giver you all the tools you'll need to find someone that interests you and make an instant connection. What turns you one? Whether you're looking for a cute geek gamer, or a hot sexy gamer, you can use our search functions to find members that match your exact tastes. Looking for someone from the same sexy? Find lesbian gamers in our gay gamer dating area. From women who like to play casual online games, to serious xbox gamer girls, you'll be able to find a match here....The fact is, the online dating seen has become so popular, that it is now flooded with so many people, that it takes to long to find potential matches for you, if you're able to find them at all. We've tried to simplify this by identifying a passion that can be a key element for whether or not a relationship works, then narrow your list of prospective suitor down to only others that share the same passion. Our success rate speaks for itself, and gamers are find love on our site everyday. So don't keep wasting your time with other generic dating sites. Come start connecting with people you already know you have something in common with. If you are looking for other singles who enjoy video games as much as you do, then visit our Video Gamer Dating site! Join for free and surround yourself with others who appreciate gaming as much as you!"
That's so specific (and long) that it might indicate that we have a gamer dating site that actually involves gamers dating! Excited? Don't be. As with all the other sites here, they don't really care about your gaming. You can sign up, create a profile and tell the world about your favourite... TV shows. And books. And movies. They don't have a category for favourite Video Game. Ha ha. Why would they? Right?
I went searching for that special someone. The first woman whose profile I clicked on didn't mention gaming. The second one described "my great time" as including such activities as "playing dress-up", "going to a concert" and *gasp* "playing video games". The third person I clicked on didn't mention gaming at all.
The Other #1
- Video Game Dating
- Tag-Line: The #1 Video Game Dating Community on the Net
- Official hype: "Gamers of the world, unite! Video Game Dating site offer fantastic service to every true video game fan - a chance to find a great partner who also loves gaming! If you want to find someone with whom you can discuss and play Counter Strike, you're in the right place! Talk about tactics, game engines, resolution, controls and other features of the game, and, of course, enjoy in the game itself while being with someone who is cute and hot! ... Connect with others on this website who also like to play in virtual world - maybe you're a hard core WOW fan and want a cure Elvish girl or a tall Knight to be your date? Connect with people from your area and beyond who share your gaming passion; don't waste time on other sites where people can't understand the thrill of the game and your devotion to tactics, equipment, good graphic card which supports DirectX 11, but visit Video Game Dating where you will find understanding, interesting people in the right mood for dates as well as hundreds of gaming partners! Experience a gaming romance like never before."
I signed up. I logged in. And then?
The site failed to load. Probably because, since they're the #1 site for video game dating, their servers were overloaded.
The moral of the story is that if you want to date a gamer and you want to find one through an online dating service, don't waste your time with any site that pops up when you Google for "video game dating". Don't fall for this stuff. You can find enough people on OKCupid who blab about how much they love video games. And that may be more than enough.
At least OKCupid didn't claim they were going to hook you up just because you were a gamer.