Welcome to the third installation of my miniseries Play to Date in which we discuss the strange, perhaps upsetting, perhaps useful overlap of dating and gaming. Have your own dating/gaming anecdotes? I’d love to hear them.
I will begin with a letter from a reader:
“Dear Al — When do you normally tell prospective partners that you’re a gamer? I’m always afraid of scaring people off. —G0ym3r”
First of all, I love your handle. I laughed. We Jews (or, perhaps just this Jew) appreciate when non-Jews make Jew-y jokes. (I will stop typing the word “Jew” now.) Second, I wish you had written more! Why are you afraid of scaring people off? Are you one of those gamer-werewolves that turns into an angry, hairy mess when you pick up a controller?
Or are you afraid of all of the other associations tied-up in the word “gamer?” I feel you there. I find it easiest to “admit” in-person on the first date. That way my obvious charm and extreme beauty outweigh any negative reaction they have to the term. Actually though, I put it right in my dating profile. On my OkCupid I state, “I get paid to play video games,” because, in a sense, I do! I’m a gaming journalist; I have to game in order to make a living. No shame there!
And no shame in gaming for any reason. There are so many reasons to game. Maybe you should admit it immediately and perhaps even try dating other gamers.
Which brings me to this month’s topic: geek dating sites. I’m a pretty firm believer that the only good dating sites (for queers and probably others too) are Tinder and OkCupid. I’ve tried all the lesbian sites/apps/what have you that pop up and then fail. I’ve been to speed dating and gone to mixers. Until this last month, I had not yet tried the world of internet geek dating.
So, here we go, for the first test run I tried:
When making your profile you’re asked to select your physical hobbies, then what you read (options include: cereal boxes), then genres of movies you like (i.e., “Fantastic” Netflix Movies), and what you like to do when you go out (i.e., LAN Parties). Annoyingly, you cannot leave any of these options blank. And the only options for gender are “male” and “female,” yet another reason to use OkCupid.
There are all sorts of normal categories too: are you married, do you have children, what religion are you, pets? There’s an attempt to be clever (Education: I beat Zelda before I could walk), but it’s sprinkled about pretty unevenly. Then there are a whole series of gaming related questions, which is good given the aim of this site.
Then the MOST ANNOYING OF ALL: They make you fill out ALL of these questions again for your “ideal match,” INCLUDING ETHNICITY. And you can only choose ONE, and “Does not matter” is NOT an option. WHAT. Plus it’s also really annoy to go through and answer every single one of these questions again. If I was not writing an article on this I would have given up already.
And then I did give up, because not only are there almost no users on LFGD, but you have to pay to message the ones that do exist.
Verdict: LFGDating is not the site for you. Any of you. All of us deserve better. Though there are a lot of questions about what kinds of games you are interested in/your partner should be interested in, there’s no other “gaming” focus on the site. It’s just another dating site that wants you to pay to play without delivering any goods. No thanks.
Well, join me next time when I review two more gamer dating sites!
I really want you to read an Al’s Advice column.
Casey here. Co-founder of LFGdating. First, I’m sorry your experience with us wasn’t what you wanted. To be blunt, I’m sorry. That’s not what we’re going for, and we fell short.
Here’s what we’re doing about the points you made. Patrick (the other co-founder) and I are talking later this week about your points below. We’re going to address each one of them, and see what we can do to make the new member path, well, better.
1. Match preferences path as a whole
2. Ethnicity not having a “Does not matter” option.
3. Other questions where we may include a “Does not matter” option
Again, I’m sorry we didn’t live up to what you wanted us to be on your first go-around. One of the things that we feel separates us from the pack is our honesty and transparency. We’re not perfect. We’re a constant work in progress. And we feel that LFGdating is worth our time and effort. We hope in the future you feel the same.
Thank you for checking us out, and if at any point you want to throw a question or two my way, please email me at casey dot tebo at LFGdating dot com.
Your words matter, and this is the best way I can prove that.