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Love In The Time of Warcraft 87

Via Edge Online, an article at the Wall Street Journal talking about the process of finding love in an MMOG. From the 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. Yankee Group, a Boston technology-research firm, estimates that MMOGs, which can be played simultaneously by thousands of people using the Internet, are played by 25 million to 30 million people world-wide."
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Love In The Time of Warcraft

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  • by metasecure ( 946666 ) * on Monday June 12, 2006 @02:39PM (#15518497)
    for those times when that bouncy night elf female isn't who you thought she would be !
    • by fobbman ( 131816 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @05:59PM (#15520001) Homepage
      Ah yes, WoW. Where the men are men, and so are half of the women.
  • My God! (Score:5, Funny)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday June 12, 2006 @02:39PM (#15518502) Journal
    Someone saying something positive about games? Someone is suggesting that healthy relationships can arise from gaming?

    We need to stop that. Those stereotypes and social stigmas are time honored and sacred traditions. If we lose those, the terrorists have already won.

    I need to be able to say, "Well, at least I didn't meet my wife online!" in order to point out how obviously better I am than everyone else. I got drunk at a bar and knocked my wife up and that's how I became happily married. My son and his son are going to do the same thing if I have anything to say about it!

    This is change & I don't like it. We need to stay as static as possible and prevent this from becoming the norm. Sure kids in my day listened to rock music and went to dances despite what our parents said ... but kids today go on the internet and I've seen the things on there--it's the devil!

    Someone get me Jack Thompson, we need a man of religious convictions that will secure the sanctity of this nation!
    • Actually, I'll bet Jackass T could spin this the right way. Ahem:

      "Games are teaching our children to find love (well, ok, teenagers. Actually adults, ah screw it, we'll just say children and hope they don't notice the age range). This must be stopped at once! Think people - your children could be FALLING IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE RIGHT NOW! It's sickening. Games must be banned before more people find happiness!"

      Oh, and the real JT could probably work something in there about child predators. You know, jus
    • Re:My God! (Score:3, Informative)

      by flibuste ( 523578 )

      I'm lost...Well at least my soul is.

      I met my wife online AND she now plays World of Warcraft.

      So much sin in the house, so much immorality! I can't take it anymore. I need to...I need to...KILL RAGNAROS AGAIN!

    • Re:My God! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kesuki ( 321456 )
      ROTFLOL :) you are funny. Kids have been getting into dating using the internet for as long as I've been on the internet... and maybe a little longer. We're 14 years into internet dating, It's a reality, and with all the community sites and blogging out there, the internet is even starting to be used by bitter ugly trolls. []

      I'm actually quite an attractive guy, if only I got past my shyness and talked to people the way I know how to after years of chatting with pe
    • Re:My God! (Score:2, Funny)

      by kryten_nl ( 863119 )
      Someone get me Jack Thompson, we need a man of religious convictions that will secure the sanctity of this nation!
      Channeling Jack at your request:

      Marriage is a sacret institution between a man and a woman, NOT between a night-elf and an orc.
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @02:41PM (#15518519)
    Love. Warcraft. Two awful somethings that are something really awful together.

    Epic Mounts, Part 1 [] and Part 2 [].

  • by MrSquirrel ( 976630 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @02:42PM (#15518530)
    Now if only in-game avatars matched their users. I'm sick of going on dates with 40 year old men when I thought I was going to meet a 20-something "long cool woman in a black dress" (to quote the Hollies).
  • I was citing Nick's work on social issues in gaming years ago, just when is he going to finish his Ph.D.?

  • by SirBruce ( 679714 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @02:50PM (#15518592) Homepage
    Well, my current data shows 12 - 13 million in the MMOGs I track, and there's probably that many again playing many Asian MMOGs that I don't track, so 24 - 26 million worldwide is in good agreement with their estimate of 25-30 million.

  • I can see it now..... Friend: So how did you meet? Guy: We were in this party in WOW. It was love at first healing wave! She completes my barabarian so well with shaman side. I was totally under her spell. Girl: He was tall, dark, and handsome... and he could plow through those night-elves like no one else! Friend: So where was the wedding? Guy: Oh, we invited several hundred of our closest friends to the Druid village. Girl: We wanted an all-inclusive wedding, so everyone could attend. I'm trying not to
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hey Baby my Stamina isn't the only thing that gets bigger while in bear form.

  • by kongjie ( 639414 ) <> on Monday June 12, 2006 @02:57PM (#15518643)
    The statistical difference between the percentage of males vs. females who have dated based on an in-game connection is of some interest.

    It's much higher for women. The question is, why? A reasonable conclusion could be that more females participate in MMORPGs for social reasons than for pure gameplay. One question worth investigating is the ages of male vs. female players. Might it be that female players are generally older?

    As one leaves school, one also leaves behind social opportunities for dating--most people find that it is a lot easier finding dates in college than at work.
    • I was thinking about the difference as well, but I'd say that, rather than stemming from a different perspective on gaming, it would make more sense for this to arise from the vast difference between the number of males who play vs. the number of females who play.
    • my guess:

      1000 women play WoW

      29% of this measn 290 of them have dated

      3625 men play WoW

      290 men to date the 290 men = 8%

      it's probably the huge sausage party atmosphere that keeps this statistic so seemingly off balance.
      • I'm not a statistician but I think your analysis is based on a couple of assumptions that may not be true.

        The inference in this argument is that one unique man has a date with one unique woman.

        Also, you're suggesting that if there were 3625 women playing, still only 290 of them would date. In other words, you're suggesting that 8% is the "real" number of people who would find a date in WoW or another MMORPG.

        I'm suggesting that if 3625 women were playing WoW, more than 290 of them would be looking to find a
      • You are not taking into account same-sex dating. Tho I agree that it might be an insignificant number.
    • Ermm... I think it's more that the overwhelming population of online gamers are probably male. There just aren't enough girls to go around.
    • Women can find dates online way more easily than men mainly because we're a lot less common. We're also the ones answering requests for dates rather than asking, and some of us have a hard time finding a nice way to say no. If guys were rare and had to deal with countless girls begging for dates, we'd probably see the statistic swing the opposite way.

      Incidentally, I haven't dated anyone that I met on World of Warcraft, but I have gone out with a few guys that I met via MUDs. Nothing ever came of it, t
    • Another possibility is that way more men than women play these games. So even if the same absolute number has gone on dates (which would make sense if each man dates one woman and vice versa online) then the proportion of men would be much lower.
  • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @02:58PM (#15518655) Journal
    Enjoy! []
  • by siberian ( 14177 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @03:02PM (#15518687)
    "As part of your eHarmony compatibility profile you will experience dungeon raids and other exercises designed to determine your true compatibility.'

    "When Johhny cast the spell of Eternal Light and destroyed the dark lord I just knew he was the man for me!"

    eHarmony MMPORG

    • Funny, but if someone tryed to do that for a dating service it would not work. Because people would know its for dating and act better.

      But when you are in normal game situations you will react somewhat like you react in real life. Also 29% of woman dating people from MMORPGs I need to watch who my wife is going on raids with...
  • by SirBruce ( 679714 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @03:05PM (#15518710) Homepage
    I was surprised to learn that women flirt SO much more than men do online. And on the depressing side, I haven't really seen it, which either means they aren't flirting that much with ME, or they are and I'm too much of a clueless male to see it.

    Then again, maybe the difference is explained by gender-biased definitions of "flirting". Maybe most guys think saying, "Wow, you've got a nice rack!" doesn't count as flirting, whereas maybe women think simply typing a winky-smiley-face counts as flirting.

  • My girlfriend (whom I met first in real life) and I both play WoW. I play a holy/discipline priest, which I suppose says that I'm nurturing, focused, a team player, and can't fight for crap. My girlfriend is a fire mage, which says to me that she's a potentially unstable pyromaniac. Uh... uh-oh, better hide the matches.
    • by 2megs ( 8751 )
      My girlfriend is a fire mage...

      Mine too, and she's all about the DPS (and the more dramatic the mob's death animation is, the happier she is). I'd be interested in seeing a breakdown on what classes men and women are drawn too. My theory is that a lot of girls who game are using virtual worlds as an outlet for aggressive tendencies they can't or won't express in their real-world societal roles.
      • I usually prefer to wade into combat when I'm gaming, whether it's MMORPGs or GURPS. While I was originally biased towards playing mages (high INT and low STR in real life), I've found that standing back and shooting off magic missiles just doesn't do it for me.
      • Hell, I'd go one step further and say it's about the same for everyone. I'm a fatass in reality who's beginning his PhD track in mathematics, but when I play online I can't stand finger wiggling and playing the traditional intellectual archetypes. Gotta be a warrior or rogue of some sort.
  • Sad man (Score:2, Funny)

    by Threni ( 635302 )
    > Nick Yee, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication at Stanford University who studies
    > online games

    And you thought `media studies` students were a waste of skin...
  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @04:46PM (#15519481)
    29% of women players and 8% of men said they had gone on to date someone they met in a game.

    This means either...

    Only 8% of the men are smart enough to know how to score a date through WoW so far, and are doing it multiple times...


    21% of the women are dating each other!

    • Or better yet, some really lucky guys dating multiple women :P Unfortunately, all it really means is a great deal more males than female.....
    • Actually it's probably just because there are so many more male gamers than females. Let's say there were an equal number of each... say 200 gamers. That means out of those 200, 100 are female and 100 are male. 29% of those women (totalling 29 women) and 8% of those men (totalling 8 men) suppossedly date. Now, say there are 500 total online gamers and the %'s are a little more realistic (say 1 in 5 gamers is a woman)... so 400 guys times that 8% is 32 and 29% of that 800 is 29 -- now the numbers match u
      • Actually it's probably just because there are so many more male gamers than females...(say 1 in 5 gamers is a woman)

        Do you mean that all those lovely Blood Elves are guys!!! Now you've totally burst my bubble.

      • You're about the 10th person who says this. But never mind, don't forget that women will go on a date, get appalled with the geek on the other side and say "that was fun, we should do it again sometime". Which means in womanese "this wasn't fun, I'd rather not see you again". If a woman wants a second date she'll ask about dates and when you have time, she won't say "soon" or "maybe". She will probably go on a next date, and a next date with different people, while the emo guy sits home alone playing, cryin
  • Its true - sort of. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sherpajohn ( 113531 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @04:47PM (#15519490) Homepage
    All the oh-so-witty mangina and crying-game references aside, this is a very interesting article. And I think not that far off the mark.

    My girlfriend and I (who met 7 years ago online but not in a MMOG) are heading down to the US next week to party with the folks we played EQ1 and now play WoW with. This is the third year for us, and the 4th year for the guild as a whole to hold an annual picnic. And ya know what? Its a blast, we don't just sit around re-hashing raids, or talking gear or skills, but actually find that we have this odd bond of trust and openess (likely due to spending countless hours together in somewhat stressful situations). We were really nervous the first year, but look forward to it even more each year. We are expecting from 40-50 people to show up this year, from all over the US (and us two from Canada). Quite a few of us are couples, yes, some are guys who play girls online (oddly most of them single), and there is not a large number of single women in our guild (but there is a few).

  • I could see WoW as a good way to measure someone's personality. There's the trust building, as was mentioned above, but there's more than that. Aggro management, the key to surviving most of the dungeons and even raids, depends heavily on the group working together, with individual members adhering to others' advice. And between loot distribution, and the dependency on the group, there's bound to come a point of conflict where the character of the players (no pun intended) gets put to the test. Do the m
  • I will not be so worried about the "security of the sanctity of this nation". But it seems to be some truth in the fact that some people shows some parts of their personality playing online.

    I've been playing online since '96 or '97, a popular local MUD named "The Crow". And now I play RO, and in these long time I've discovered that it's not really easy to find good and thrustworty people. Some are easy to tell only by just listening (well reading) how do they speak. Some others are fownd by watching the

  • by Arkham ( 10779 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @09:41PM (#15521113)
    There is a married woman in my guild who is cheating on her husband with someone she met in my WoW guild. I feel really bad for the guy. It's not all roses.
    • "There is a married woman in my guild who is cheating on her husband with someone she met in my WoW guild. I feel really bad for the guy. It's not all roses." Ooooooh, that's the worst diss ever! Can't you just see it now? Girl: Is that Tim? Is he single? Friend: Yeah, but he's really a loser. Girl: Why? Friend: Well...let's just say his last wife left him for a guy she met in an online role-playing game. Girl: Ooooh. Never mind.
    • "There is a married woman in my guild who is cheating on her husband with someone she met in my WoW guild. I feel really bad for the guy. It's not all roses."

      Ooooooh, that's the worst diss ever! Can't you just see it now?

      Girl: Who's that Tim guy? Is he single?
      Friend: Yeah, but he's kind of a loser.
      Girl: Why?
      Friend: Well...let's just say his last wife left him for a guy she met online in a role-playing game.
      Girl: Ooooh.

  • 74 comments and not a single Cthulhu joke :(

    (And love in WoW? Not from anyone on the wrong end of inedible heart candy spam, I'll wager.)
  • While his work is very interesting, it's important to understand something about Nick Yee's methodology. He bases his results on surveys. He advertises the surveys via his site and others and by email, and whoever wishes to can drop by to complete them. This means that the surveys are likely not representative of the population as a whole, but are biased to the hard-core types who participate in the "meta-game" of forum trolling. In this particular case, it seems possible that people who are interested in s
    • My guild has 4 husband/wife couples in it... (But I don't think they all met ingame)
    • How many people do you know who have dated a friend from an on-line game? What are the odds that that person you're playing with is reasonably nearby, of compatible age, and actually the gender they claim to be? How on earth, then, do we get to nearly 1/3 of female players participating in real-life dates with people they've met in-game?

      In the last 10 years of online gaming (mainly MUDs, with the graphical MMOGs only being the last couple of years for me) I've probably seen a good 10-15 relationships form

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