Since this is my first blog post here at YourTango.com, I should start by explaining a few things about me. I'm a social media and content specialist in online marketing at a successful firm. I make my living doing what I love more than anything else: writing and socializing. I write about technology, mostly: everything from gaming to the latest innovations being dreamed up by Apple and Google gets my attention, and my coverage. I'm a dyed in the wool geek - the old school variety. At age 43, I am one of the first generation to grow up with video games and home computers. Unlike the Millennials, we Generation X-ers were in our early 20s before we had Internet access at home. The main form of home entertainment for us as kids was the living room TV, with a dial you had to get up and turn manually to tune in any of the thirteen stations you could pick up if you were lucky. There was no Cablevision, no DirecTV, and certainly nothing as advanced as Hulu or Netflix. Come to think of it, there wasn't even a way to watch movies without being in a theater. VHS tapes didn't come along until the 1980s.
Dating, like entertainment, has changed a lot too. I met my husband the old fashioned way, at a party thrown my mutual friends, while we were still in high school. Our courtship involved long hours on the phone -- and by that, I mean the kind of phone that had a spiral cord that kept you from being able to move around while you talked. There were no cell phones back then, or even wireless home phones. No Verizon. No AT&T. We had Bellsouth. If you also had a brother or a sister who needed to use the phone, your romantic chat time was constantly in peril.
More from YourTango: Weird News: Sex-Toy Vending Machine Irks Italian Town
The first I heard about online dating was on one of the large network television morning shows. The story was presented as something bizarre, what would qualify today as Weird News. I laughed at the idea of typing in some info about myself and having me matched up with someone perfect for me based on an algorithm. Then, there were online dating services, where you could sign up and sort of browse around to find interesting people to consider meeting. I never did any of that. It was the silliest thing I'd ever heard of at the time.
What I did do was get into online gaming in its early years of development. Ultima Online, Everquest, and Neverwinter Nights were my first favorites. In some ways, I always figured that if I ever did find romance online, it would have to be with someone I met in a MMORPG -- someone who enjoyed fantasy role playing games as much as I do, and who shared my imaginative passions. It's not that I would log onto the server with the intent of hooking up with my long lost soul mate, although the possibility stayed in the back of my mind. I'd heard of love stories that began that way and had happily ever after endings. I figured I would focus on the game and if something happened, so much the better.
More from YourTango: Dress To Impress: 7 Hot Holiday Party Styles Under $60
The trouble was, after online gaming for several years, I'd developed a tendency to avoid playing female characters. I played powerful, male fighter types who were intimidating enough to keep people at a distance, rather than inviting interaction. Which, of course, totally defeated any idea of meeting that special someone in one of my favorite games. I still enjoy my online RPGs, but I haven't thought of meeting anyone while playing in several years.
Have you or someone you know ever found romance while playing games online? If so, leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you.