Meeting Your Life Partner Inside Virtual Worlds

Love in-game ended up in a Real-Life Marriage, that’s not new, in fact we all heard about it before, even before the advent of the graphical online games we now call by various names like MMOG, MMORPG, Casual Online Games. Such great stories were already happening since the days of MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) – online test-based games. This time though, The Wall Street Journal Online takes a look at it through the research of David Kesmodel.

Follow up:

In To Find a Mate, Raid a Dungeon Or Speak Like an Elf, David Kesmodel discusses about how people in today’s every shrinking world are meeting their “right” partners online, not just “online” but inside a game, games we call MMOGs or Massively Multiplayer Online Games. Politicians (mostly) and some parents are not very happy with such games. They always see these games as “violent”, “abusive”, “money-eaters”, “distractions”, and a center for producing “war-freak adults“. Parents on the other hand thinks that their children are still “immature” because they are still playing “games”. But time and time again, no research or experts has proven what these politicians and parents are claiming to be real, or the truth, or a serious matter or threat in the society (read: Games Do Not Produce War Freak Adults).

In fact, one of the good things about playing in these virtual worlds is it gives everyone a place to act as s/he would be IRL (In-Real-Life), though some are “Role-Playing” (RP), we seldom go far from our actual set-of-mind or real-life character when we are put in certain situations. To quote David’s article:

Nick Yee, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication at Stanford University who studies online games, found in a survey earlier this year that 29% of women players and 8% of men said they had gone on to date someone they met in a game. He says the games are filled with scenarios that shed light on players’ personalities. A risky raid on a dungeon, for example, can reveal whether someone is a team player. “These are trust-building exercises,” he says. Players “are constantly having to make decisions like, ‘Do I run out and save myself or help the others survive?’ ” Situations that reveal so much about someone’s character are less common in the real world, he thinks.

And I agree, as someone who have been playing online games since 1996, before the 1st MMOG was released (that’s Ultima Online by Richard Garriott and Origin Systems, Inc. [OSI]), we do act like what or how we will act if it is really happening to us IRL. Because of that, many people found their life partners in these virtual worlds. Even if they are miles apart, living in different cultures and/or timezones, haven’t met each other personally before, in-game, we already learned who and what type and kind of person the player behind that character is.

Read the full article by clicking here.

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