Welcome to MMO couples

Every one who is familiar with MMOG's (massive multiplayer online games), knows the stories of people who are so addicted to playing these games that it costs them their real life friendships and relationships. There are also stories though of people who meet in a MMOG and fall in love, like my boyfriend and I. 'MMO couples' is a tribute to our lovestory, but also an invitation to share your story and experiences with others.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Follow-up results of the MMO Couples Questionnaire nr. 1

I recently decided to see if more people had found their way to my questionnaire. To my pleasant surprise, another 13 people have filled it in, making it a total of 46 participants. Here are the results:

1) Gender of the participant
Female: 73,9%
Male: 26,1%

2) Sexual orientation
Heterosexual: 87,0%
Homosexual: 0%
Bisexual: 13,0% (all female)

3) Age of the participant
< 20: 8,7%
20-25: 34,8%
25-30: 26,1%
30-35: 21,7%
35-40: 2,2%
40-45: 4,3%
45-50: 0%
> 50: 2,2%

Most female participants were between 20-35
Most male participants were between 20-30

4) Gender and age difference (5-10 years or more)
Older man with younger woman: 34,78%
Older woman with younger man: 21,73%
Man and woman in the same age range (less than 5 years): 43,47%

5) Being in a relationship while getting to know the MMO lover
One was in a relationship: 43,5,8%
Both where/are still in a relationship: 10,9%
None were in a relationship: 45,7%

6) Gender and taking initiative to pursue the online relationship
Female: 19,56% (mostly European and Canadian women)
Male: 17,39%
Both taking initiative at the same time: 63,04%

7) Use of other media to communicate
39,4% started using other media within less than 1 month of knowing eachother
The telephone was used most often: 37,0%
E-mail: 19.6%
Skype: 15,2%
Webcam: 8,7%

8) Cyber- and telephone sex
65,2% of the participants had cybersex/telephone sex

9) The first real life encounter
50% of the participants met for the first time in real life after 6 months or more of knowing each other online
6,5% met in less than 1 month

10) Knowing what the other person looks like in advance
67,4% shared pictures in advance
21,7% used the webcam
8,7% had a blind date

11) First time having sex in real life
50,0% had sex on the first date
28,3% had sex after a few dates
21,7 did not have sex yet

12) Living together or planning to start living together
32,60% of the participants is living together now
52,17% plans on living together in the future
15,21% of the partcipants have no plans to start living together

13) Of the participants who plan to move together
62,5% will have to move to another country or state
40% of the couples in question are still debating on who is going to move; 46,66% of the couples decided the woman will move; 13,33% of the couples decided the man will move.

14) People who live together (15 participants)
73,3% of them have been living together for 1 year or longer
33,3% of them had to move to another state or country

- 13,1% of the participants have married their MMO lover; 39,1% are not married; 47,8% of the participants have plans to get married

- 84,8% consider their relationship to be successful; 15,2% are not sure if the relationship will survive

- About 76,1% of the MMO couples are both still playing the game in which they have met, or have started to play a new MMOG; 4,3% of the MMO couples stopped playing MMOG's; in 14,4% of the results, one of the two is still playing the game (5 men, 4 women).

- 63,04% of the participants live in USA; 26,08% live in Europe and 10,86% in Canada

And last but not least... in which MMOG did the relationship develop:

World of Warcraft: 63,04%
Final Fantasy XI: 17,39%
Everquest: 6,52%
Guild Wars: 4,34%
Half Life FPS: 2,17%
Warcraft: 2,17%
Asheron's Call: 2,17%
Counter Strike: 2,17%

Thanks you all for taking the time to fill in my questionnaire!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gamer Boys: nerds or studs?

After having written something about the enchantment of Gamer Girls in online games, it is only fair to also shed some light on the Gamer Boy. In general, the Gamer Boy is not perceived to be or have been the most popular guy in school who has had all the girls and was the number 1 in sports. Most people will in fact call the Gamer Boy... a nerd. But is he really?

According to Wikipedia the first time the word 'nerd' was documentated, it was in a Dr. Seuss's book called 'If I ran to the Zoo' (America, 1950). Here it was used as a name for one of the creatures Gerald McGrew wanted to collect for his imaginary zoo ('.... a Nerkle, a Nerd and a Seersucker'). If you are thinking: "Who is Dr. Seuss?", maybe the books 'A Cat in a Hat' and 'Green Eggs and Ham' ring a bell...
In the fifties and sixties, the word 'nerd' refered to a dull, square person. It was in the seventies that its meaning changed into being socially inept. Nowadays the word 'nerd' still describes an introvert person or someone with poor social skills, who is not involved in or even excluded from social activities, but who is intelligent with either good technical or scientific know-how as well. Especially people who are passionate about everything having to do with computers are often being stereotyped as nerds.

Are the online Gamer Boys nerds in this sense of the word? Yes when it comes to their passion for games, and most of the time also yes because of their profession or education. But are they also socially inept? I think not. Playing in groups, raiding and being a member of a guild requires the player to be socially active and communicative. Therefore good social skills are a must. That some male gamers are introvert and shy in real life, is probably true. But of all the Gamer Boys that I have met, online and in the real world, I would say 95% of them have a very active social life with many friends, are not only into computers and games but also do sports, go out and party, make music or are otherwise engaged in creative activities. Apart from its setting, an online gaming community is no different than any other community. It is merely a reflection of every day society, with the gameplay as the foundation to keep us all connected.

I think it is safe to say that the term 'nerd' is being used falsly too often. Online Gamer Boys certainly do not fit the description. Because of all of the above, they are in fact interesting. Once you get to know them on a more personal level, they also open up more easily than the regular guy at the pub. And they turn out to be great at flirting as well. Gamer Boys know how to balance macho behaviour with being charming, funny and sensitive, making them... well, let's not overdo it, almost perfect. Those of you Gamer Boys that are shy, don't need to be worried: with the Gamer Girl generally being the more agressive huntress in online games, you are bound to be won over one way or the other :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Are Gamer Girls Really Hawt?

Girls who play games are cool and 'hawt'. At least in the male nerd's perception. Hence all the attention girls get in online games. Of course, the online environment offers great opportunities to show off and impress; in my almost four years of playing World of Warcraft I have met quite some girls who exploited their hotness ratio by combining their nerdiness with excessive flirting skills. Being more 'agressive' in her approach than the regular girl, plus the safety of virtual distance and the shared interest in games, makes it easier for her to connect with the nerdy male cutie and sweep him off his feet.

The question is if we Gamer Girls really are so cool and sexy outside the virtual world as we pretend to be. Who are we, what do we like about games, and: what do we look like?

A couple of Gamer Girls recently came up with the idea to create a Gamer Girl Pin Up calendar. You can read more about it on bezerkraccoon, a blog by a friend of mine, that will also include a Gamer Girl column. The project is young and in the stage of development, so some patience is required. But being part of the team, I can tell you it will be worth the waiting! Next project would have to be a Gamer Boy Pin Up Calendar. Any volunteers?