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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Online Dating in Second Life- Jessi2009 Warrol Reporting…

With increased internet usage, online dating has taken the world by storm. Couples who are thousands of miles apart can now find love via their computers. Using web cams, instant messaging, and even virtual worlds, couples who normally would not have ever met, are now meeting and falling in love.
Virtual worlds such as Second Life, give online dating a twist. Couples can go for a movie, grab a bite to eat, and snuggle up in front of a fire, all from the comfort of their living rooms and without even next to each other!

There are limitations to online dating. The biggest part is being able to give that special someone a physical hug or looking into their eyes. I caught up with two friends of mine who are currently in a long distance online relationship. “Mara” and “Steve” have been dating for almost 8 months online. They met each other via World of Warcraft and have since joined Second Life.  “The biggest part for us is explaining to everyone around us that yes we are a couple and committed to each other”, explains Mara. “Many people raise their eyebrows when I mention that I met Steven online and that we are dating”.  Steven elaborates further and explains, “I have had many people say that Mara isn’t real or that she is going to do bad things to me”. He later adds that he shrugs off the concerns by saying, “The same concerns exist in both the virtual and real worlds. I could meet someone in real life who could do harm to me. If a person is not willing to take chances, they may never find love”.

Both Mara and Steven web cam each and every day. They have exchanged their real life mobile information and are planning to meet later this summer.  In the meantime, they fill their days with fun activities in both World of Warcraft and Second Life.
I was quite interested in seeing that they take part in restaurants in Second Life and teleported to two restaurants they recommended. One was the Pixel Pot Restaurant and CafĂ©. The Pixel pot offers a full dining experience, complete with an avatar serving your meal. Avatars are seated and go through an entire roleplay experience. You can “eat” a variety of food and even get a bottle of wine to take home. The restaurant offered a variety of dining options and was affordable. The second restaurant, the Bella Bistro, is located in the Second Norway sims. This restaurant was free to use and while it did not have live servers, a couple could still sit down and dine. The location was quite with a great view.

Another favorite activity that both Mara and Steven loved to partake in, was watching movies. They each have Netflix accounts and will watch the same movie at the same time or will find a movie online. They also watch movies in Second Life. “We go to a variety of theaters in Second Life or we watch movies at home”, explained Mara. “Going to a theater in Second Life gives us the atmosphere as if we were actually going out in real life”. Both recommended a few theaters and I particularly liked Squeebee’s Mystery Science Theater.  This theater shows many vintage and classic sci fi films, free of charge.

Of course online dating would not be dating without dancing. With the many romantic ballrooms and clubs in Second Life, it is very easy to find one and dance the night away in your loved one’s arms. “We like the larger crowded places in Second Life, but we also like to dance in smaller, lesser known places”, explained Steven. One such place is the BlueFox Butterfly Ballroom. The BlueFox Butterfly Ballroom is an unstaffed romantic ballroom which has three beautiful rooms and free couples as well as singles dances. Romantic music plays. It is the perfect setting for a romantic night out.

Back from my teleporting around Second Life, I asked Mara and Steven about the odds of online dating. “Online dating does have the same risks as real life dating, “said Steven. “People should be careful online and in real life, but online dating seems to get the bad rep all of the time”.  He suggested that people use the same caution as they do in real life and do not simply “give their heart away”. Mara echoed similar thoughts, “With online dating it is easier to get to know a person first. Take the time to know the other person and see what they are about. Do not simply rush into anything”.  


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