There’s no shame in looking for love online.
There was a once a time when finding digital love was frowned upon, but online dating has become more acceptable for those looking for their significant other thanks to the rise of countless dating sites. However, it would seem that finding your perfect partner via the ‘usual’ dating sites isn’t specific enough for some folk, and a whole host of niche websites are keen to capitalise on that.
One such UK site catering to a niche is Date-A-Gamer, which as you might expect, claims to hook up avid videogaming singletons. We decided to take a look at what was on offer, following an exposé of its more blunt sister site, Shag-A-Gamer, by PCGames N. PCGames N found that Shag-A-Gamer seemed to be populated with fake or illegitimate users, the majority of which were not even remote videogame fans.
So, is Date-A-Gamer, which on name alone seems a more reputable venture, a more reputable site? We wanted to find out — does it contain any actual gaming enthusiasts looking for their long-term co-op partner, or is it just another generic dating site?
To investigate Gamebrit sent in Leo Worsdale, 27 from Lincolnshire, who enjoys sport, sunsets and most importantly of all, them videogames.
Over to you Leo:
First and foremost I need to point out that I am not single, so my interest in this website is purely from an investigative perspective, honest. Now, there’s no shame in looking for love online, in fact I do a different, more solitary, search most evenings — however online dating is not something I’ve considered, nor had to do.
That said some people do, so a site claiming to be “the UK’s No. 1 dating site for gamers and geeks” intrigues me. As a videogame enthusiast I feel a certain moral obligation to protect our kind. If anything, I’m doing this for you.
Signing up to Date-A-Gamer is straight forward, supply just your first name and an email address and you’re in. Fortunately for those that are just curious the site is, on the surface at least, free to use, allowing you to browse and search for other users in a limited capacity.
There is no mention of cost on sign-up, but like many others Date-A-Gamer earns its keep through premium additional features, such as its messaging service. In order to send and view messages users must pay for one of several packages starting at £19.99 per month, or pay for up front for 12 months for £5 per month. While the payment plans may seem a tad high, the site needs to make a profit — however once signed up it isn’t easy to cancel according to the experiences of PCGames N’s Steve Hogarty. Love doesn’t come cheap folks.
As with many popular dating sites, the number of returning paying users is often relative to the trust that particular site/brand has. With Date-A-Gamer it’s difficult for the service to seem trustworthy and genuine when, without even setting up a full profile, I received several messages within days of getting started.
Unless these women are attracted to a man who looks like a default IM icon it’s safe to assume that these are fake accounts and/or bots. No offense to the women in the photos, but these aren’t the type of women I would be looking to romance. Apologies ladies but questionable profile pictures and poor spelling aren’t a turn on for me, and I’m almost certain that non of them have ever got a kill/death ratio of 5 on Call of Duty.
Unfortunately, as much as I would love to converse with these various women on their favourite videogames, Gamebrit didn’t see it fit to fork out cash for sorting out employee’s love life’s — whether I needed it or not.
If there are legitimate users on the site, which I’m sure there are, receiving messages in this manner doesn’t fill me, or other potential users, with confidence. That said the site did give me the opportunity to contact one ‘user’ who had messaged me, for free. Unfortunately I didn’t get the choice as to who I could message back, so it was the lucky Clare, 33 for Manchester who would be the subject of my advances.
Clare is in luck, I also like gigs, movies and normal things. I also like tattoos and I know some wicked jokes that would no doubt satisfy her “evil sense of humour”. Unfortunately she doesn’t mention games, at all, which for me should be standard. Undeterred I messaged her back to find out if she likes gaming, after all she is using Date-A-Gamer.
Sadly, following my message, that’s where our whirlwind romance ended, as Clare never replied. Was it because she didn’t like Halo? Unthinkable, but likely. Maybe she just isn’t an Oddball fan — if I had said Slayer I could have been in with a chance. Or was it because she was a bot? Much more likely.
Clare, if that is her real name, is just the tip of the iceberg in what’s wrong with a site that claims to be for gamers. When setting up your profile for the first time not a single question on gaming is asked. In fact, there is not one single mention of videogames past the sites name and the enticing picture of an attractive trio cavorting with Wii-motes at the log-in screen (the very same trio are also present over at the Shag-A-Gamer login screen, although the Wii-motes have mysteriously disappeared from view, there location yet to be confirmed).
Date-A-Gamer, in a unconvincing, half-baked attempt to be somewhat relevant, will automatically include “internet and “computing” as two of your user profile ‘interests’. Nice try.
The lack of gaming references continues into the profiles of the other users. Having looked at numerous profiles I failed to see a single mention of videogames or consoles. Not one mention of Call of Duty, Gears of War or even Fruit Ninja, and even David Cameron has said he enjoys playing Fruit Ninja.
Given the supposed unique selling point of both sites is to hook you up with fellow videogame enthusiasts it seems that this approach has been forgotten by everyone involved, both users and developers alike. Date-A-Gamer abandons its gaming niche as soon as you sign up.
The distinct lack of any gaming references across the site, which claims to be “Home to over 150,000 single gamers”, just doesn’t add up. The numerous suspect messages I received points the finger at the site being just another carbon copy white-label dating site — seemingly making use of a generic database of spammy irrelevant disingenuous users.
If that wasn’t enough, Date-A-Gamer along with its sister site Shag-A-Gamer, have recently launched a YouTube channel with tips on how to get with a ‘sexy gamer girl’. The sexist videos include such choice lines as this:
“Some men think us women are high maintenance. They obviously haven’t played Diablo 3.”
Date-A-Gamer defies it’s mission from the offset – this is not a site with gamers best interests at heart. Instead it just comes across as untrustworthy and at times crass.
If you’re genuinely looking for love online, look elsewhere. Please.