Trying to find that special someone can be difficult no matter whom you are, but when it comes to gamers the challenge can be even harder than Battletoads. While gaming is a much more social outlet than it was just ten years ago there is still the concern of spending too much time playing a game and not enough time out meeting new people. Add to that in most cases gamers tend to stick together with their friends and less time looking for someone new. Even if you find someone 9 times out of 10 you are not going to give up gaming so the question is, will your new interest understand your gaming or will it cause a rift before anything really gets started.
Online dating has been the great equalizer because you already share something in common, that being you both used online dating and at least have some computer experience. Secondly you can search for the type of person you want and take a chance. Most of the time you will know if your gaming will become an issue before the first date. However, sometimes diving into the public pool isn’t the best solution maybe the key is finding a special group that fits your specific wants and needs.
Believe it or not some gamers have found their special someone within a game. World of Warcraft has been really good at connecting two gamers together. Now to be fair it does not always become a happy ending, but the ability to meet someone within a game offers a special dynamic because much of the strains of meeting someone and the opening conversation is lessoned because you already have interacted with someone. This happens in game lobbies as well from Xbox Live to Stream and even Ventrilo.
Specialized dating sites are nothing new, but only recently have they turned their attention to gamers. The idea is to create an atmosphere where the people you interact with are, in theory, just like you. Enter Single Gamers FTW, a website where gamers can meet other gamers and hopefully make that connection.
Obsolete Gamer had a chance to talk with Jose and Jason, creators and owners of the FTW (For the Win) networks which includes gaming reviews, hardware and dating sites.
Obsolete Gamer: Give us an overview of Single Gamers FTW.
Single Gamers FTW: Single Gamers FTW (for the win) is an online dating site that we have created that caters specifically to the gamer community. Unlike other sites that match you based on personality points or other criteria, we figured we’d create something that starts users off with the main interest they all currently share — games!
Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us about how came up with the idea of Single Gamers FTW?
Single Gamers FTW: Being gamers ourselves we thought about all the resources that are available on the internet to the gamer community and the only one that really didn’t stand out was dating. I mean in all honesty when people think of gamers they don’t immediately associate romance with the term so we figured hey, gamer’s need love too! So we hatched this idea of creating a site that would allow gamers to look for love amongst others that share their same main interest.
Obsolete Gamer: What went into creating Single Gamers FTW and what were some of the challenges?
Single Gamers FTW: Single Gamers FTW took a lot of time and beer that’s for sure! We wanted to create something unique but at the same time useful and community driven. I think the biggest challenge was trying to figure out how we would distinguish ourselves from all the other dating sites out there. We didn’t want to be “just another dating site.” We wanted a target audience and we wanted that audience to blatantly know what we were all about. I think we’ve been able to do just that in the few months that we’ve been up and running.
Obsolete Gamer: How hard is it to market to people who are gamers with so many dating sites out there?
Single Gamers FTW: Well given the recent rise in e-romance sites the web itself is heavily saturated with dating sites making it tough to really stick out. So aside from traditional marketing we also promoted on known message boards, social networks, and also in game chats to get our name out there. I believe it’s an advantage we have over other sites in that we come from this community so we know where it lives and where we can talk to its citizens. It’s worked out pretty well so far.
Obsolete Gamer: What makes gamers unique in your opinion to warrant their own dating site?
Single Gamers FTW: Anyone can play video games, but to be a Gamer, well that is unique. To allow yourself to fall into the story or to be affected by what is happening inside the game takes a particular kind of thinking. Just like movie or book lovers, Gamers just don’t play the games, they experience them. A lot of people don’t seem to understand that fact when a Gamer gets upset or excited while playing or when they suddenly cheer at the end of a level or during a cinematic trailer as if their NFL team just won the Super Bowl. Those that do though are the ones that have LAN parties together, that play different games together for hours at a time and can all become immersed in the game together. That is why we made Single Gamers FTW, to help bridge that divide.
Obsolete Gamer: Besides being for gamers what else about Single Gamers FTW makes in unique?
Single Gamers FTW: We have regular drawings for various types of prizes, are speaking with various local businesses in regard to hosting gaming events and tournaments and have also successfully merged a dating site with a social community. In the future we will also be looking at other platforms for delivering services and information.
Obsolete Gamer: Do you think in general two gamers have a better chance at a lasting relationship?
Single Gamers FTW: Absolutely. There’s nothing better than sharing time in an activity both people love. So if that activity is a game or gaming in general then its all that much better. I’ve personally been around couples that have actually met due to the fact that they were playing the same game and to this day they are happily married and have spawned little gamers of their own.
Obsolete Gamer: Do you think the still present social stigma of being a gamer might hinder membership?
Single Gamers FTW: It’s a challenge, sure, but since our site is centered around gamers we feel that it helps to alleviate that worry of “oh what if they find out I’m an avid gamer” because all the members are gamers themselves.
Obsolete Gamer: What is the key to balancing gaming and a relationship?
Single Gamers FTW: I would say it varies. You have couples that love to spend hours online within the same game and that’s their way of bonding and romancing each other while still some others have set dates that they play together and then spend the rest of their time offline. The real key is communication, as long as both parties are clear from the get go as to what they want out of each other then everything should be ok!
Obsolete Gamer: Have you found a good ratio of men to women members with gaming still being a male dominated activity?
Single Gamers FTW: It has been slow but we have started to see the numbers evening out a bit. From our research we have actually found that there are more female gamers, a lot more, then people realize. The problem is how they are generally treated or looked upon. You would be really surprised at how many people on your friends list, whom you think are guys, are actually women. Gaming is certainly, at this time anyway, male dominated but as any smart Man-Gamer knows, it is only that way because the females let it be that way.
Obsolete Gamer: What are some of the ways you get the word out and promote yourselves?
Single Gamers FTW: We use traditional online marketing as well as targeted marketing to gamer websites, forums, and even in-game promotion where allowed!
Obsolete Gamer: Tell us about the FTW network?
Single Gamers FTW: FTW Networks is our main hub to which all of our satellite sites will roll up into. Essentially, before we came up with the idea for Single Gamers FTW we had another larger vision — an all-encompassing gaming nexus. With FTW Networks we wanted to provide a flow of information tailored to the gaming community that encompassed all of our sites and partner sites presenting the users with a vast array of gaming information and a community in which they can participate as well. I think that’s all I can say for now but once we launch the site I can share some more.
Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us about your background in gaming?
Jose: I’ve been avidly addicted to gaming since I had my first NES console so I’ve been gaming for over 20+ years. As I worked up through the consoles I eventually found my home with the PC. I think of all the platforms the PC is definitely the most dynamic and provides the most immerse experience. My all-time favorites are real-time strategy games — you can’t beat never knowing what will happen.
Jason: My first console was one of the original Sega’s. I ended up going the NES route and sticking with Nintendo for a long time. Switched back to Sega instead of Sony and then jumped to XBOX. I have always enjoyed all types of games; sports, action, RPG, etc. I generally enjoy playing on the computer more, just like Jose, but there are certain games that I just like to chill on the couch and play with a controller.
Obsolete Gamer: What is your favorite classic video game and why?
Jose: Kirby’s Dream Course: It’s pure insanity, especially with other players!
Jason: Tetris! Those blocks were cutting edge man!
Obsolete Gamer: What are you currently playing?
Jose: StarCraft II
Jason: Starwars the Force Unleashed II
Obsolete Gamer: How important are communities such as yours and gaming ones in general to gaming culture?
Single Gamers FTW: Very! The gaming community has always been a very vibrant and dynamic community and sites like ours and others help to augment it and support it by providing a forum or outlet where fellow gamers can come together and share their common interest and experiences. I believe that’s one of the unique qualities of the gaming culture, in that no matter what happens in the real world, people will always find a common outlet in gaming that leads itself to lasting friendships, camaraderie, and by our view even romance!