The old times when you would meet the love of your life in the library or your local shop while doing your weekly grocery shopping are gone. Instead, the younger generation is taking dating online, with recent studies revealing that finding your significant other on the internet completely replaced all the other ways of meeting people.
The most popular way to meet someone is through datings apps, of course. All you need is to create a profile, upload a pic, and swipe right until you match with your soulmate. Other people also love to slide into other people’s DMs, starting a conversation this way.
But there is also another way people find love online. And that is through gaming. Last year, Logitech G UK surveyed over 1000 gaming Brits and found that over 60% had met their significant other while gaming. Brits also believe that couples who game together are more likely to have a long-lasting relationship.
It seems that many people are open to the idea of developing online gaming relationships and connecting with their significant others through their shared love for games. So, is online gaming the new Tinder?
Breaking Down Gamer Stereotypes
Online gaming has never been seen as a viable or a good place to find love. The old stereotypes surrounding people who game are that they’re nerds, anti-social with poor hygiene habits, and never leave their homes where they spend hours everyday gaming. And let’s not forget the belief that gaming is just for kids and teens. However, the reality of gaming in 2022 couldn’t be further from the truth.
Research reveals that online games are highly socially interacting, allowing players to form strong friendships and relationships with other people. Also, researchers pointed out that online games provide people a better environment to express themselves without the fear of judgment due to their background, looks, gender, and sexuality.
In another survey where over 11,000 gamers were asked questions, researchers found that over 60% of players were over 19 years old, proving that online games are not only for kids. Adults can and do play online games. Also, in that same survey, a quarter of the players revealed that their favorite part of playing video games is socializing with other players.
How Pandemic Changed Online Gaming Relationships
The recent pandemic has also changed the way people view online activities such as online gaming. The gaming industry reported a 14.4% increase in an estimated industry worth from 2020 to 2021, and that number is expected to continue growing.
When people found themselves unable to go out and enjoy their time in public places, they turned to the online world for entertainment. Nintendo’s Animal Crossing, the console game where you can work on creating and cultivating your island, skyrocketed at the start of the pandemic. And people are using the in-game ability to socialize as a place to have interactive online dates.
Due to the pandemic, many people were forced to isolate alone, which caused a lot of negative feelings like loneliness for many. Loneliness could be one of the reasons that forced people to get into online gaming. Research finds that 26% of people admit that the reason they gamed during the pandemic was to socialize with strangers.
Developing Online Gaming Relationships
Most video games have progression systems that allow people to progress through a story or a challenge. Also, most of the games focus on overcoming obstacles and solving problems on their way to the finish line.
For example, League of the Legends encourages people to find groups, play against opposing teams, and find a way to win. Or World of Warcraft, one of the oldest MMO games, has multiple progression systems that encourage people to group up and progress through the content together.
Going through this gaming experience alone is entertaining, but going through it with another person can be a great way to create a deep bond. Both of you set goals, create plans, and go on a journey where you have to communicate, encourage and support each other.
It’s a great way to see if you and another person are compatible when it comes to solving problems, which will be a great indicator not only for your personality compatibility in-game but also in real life. So, you can easily test whether a person is right for you from the get-go in-game, whereas, in a real-life dating scenario, it would take longer to see this side of someone.
Another advantage of online gaming relationshipsis that there is no pressure and awkwardness that comes with first dates when you first meet someone. You have a chance to get to know someone without having to stress about them being a possible romantic interest, which leaves more space to form a genuine connection with another person.
Also, when you meet someone in-game, you already know that both of you have an interest in common, which is a crucial part of building a long-term successful relationship.
The Downside of Online Gaming Relationships
While finding love in online gaming can be fun and exciting, it also has downsides. One of the most prominent ones is distance. Because the online gaming world is international and you can meet people from all around the country and the world, there is a chance that your significant other might be miles away from you.
If you meet someone you like and are attracted to but who lives in another city or country, you might need to consider entering a long-distance relationship. And long-distance relationships can be hard to maintain and are not for everyone. So, that’s something worth considering.