Sean and Meta Jo Riseling first met on the dance floor of a club in July 2009.Pushed together by mutual friends, the two instantly hit it off and a few dances (plus a couple rounds of body shots) later, they went home together.One post on a Second Life forum complained: "My SL husband is cheating on me with a Bisexual Skunk Furry and is asking for a divorce. " While weddings on MMORPGs can be expensive, depending on their extravagance, it should be noted that divorces come cheap.
"A lot of the people on Av Match are looking for online partners only in the site, and many are looking only for friends," Mosel told Huff Post.
"Others are looking for real life partners." While some members post only their avatars -- a perfected image of an often-idealized self -- others post pictures of their offline selves and make it clear that they see dating on Second Life as equivalent to dating in real life.
The plaintiffs stated accurately, "users can mimic sexual acts, going as far as rape scenes, bondage, zoophilia and scatophilia." While Shuster and his late business partner, Ray Schwartz, actually created Utherverse in 2005 to put a new spin on adult sex sites by creating an MMORPG version, he found an almost immediate demand for weddings and opportunities to foster romance, not just virtual hookups. It's like real life -- you can meet in a club or a comedy show." In 2007, however, Marc Mosel, 42, decided to combine elements of flat dating sites and online and virtual dating.
"There are 100 [virtual] weddings a month right now, which is mind boggling," Shuster said, and they often lead to real long-term relationships. Mosel created Av Match, a dating profile site similar to or Ok Cupid for users' Second Life avatars.
"People will send me pictures of their [real] kids. The site currently has 20,000 members from 50 to 60 different countries.
It would be hard to put a count on the number of couples who meet on our world." Shuster, who uses Utherverse himself, and four MMORPG players interviewed said they believe dating in Utherverse is far more natural than dating through "flat page" dating sites like Match or Ok Cupid where avatars do not exist. "I'd have notes from women, and if I wasn't interested I'd feel just horrible ... Its premium unlimited package, which allows members to reach out to as many avatars as they want, costs 1425 lindens (units of Second Life currency) a month, which translates to .25.Avatars can attend and participate in educational classes, political town halls, live comedy shows, DJ performances and entrepreneurial endeavors. A study released this month by the Visa-owned research group Play Span found that almost one third of the general gaming population uses real money in virtual games as game dollars can be bought with real dollars (230 Lindens in Second Life translates to 1 USD plus a 30 cent fee; one Ray in Utherverse roughty translates to 7 cents, although the actual cost shifts based on the world's market prices).Other gamers make a living in businesses created on MMORPGs. The French watchdog organization Familles de France filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against Linden Lab, the creator of the MMOPPG Second Life, opposing the adult content of the site.After Meta's daughter Kinzee, 14, and Sean's daughter Josie, 8, finished talking, "we pretty much knew, this was it," Meta said.They picked a date to meet in October in Oklahoma City, halfway between Meta's home in Ozark, Mo., and Sean's home in Walsh, Colo.From users hiding their real-life marriages from their Second Life spouses (and their Second Life marriages from their real spouses) to people signing in as multiple avatars -- male and female -- to couples finding real love, Mosel has seen it all. He describes virtual dating as the ultimate way to meet women. With so many users, there has been plenty of opportunity to meet women." Different members have different ethical standards when it comes to virtual fidelity.