Virtual bar dating games

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Not that anyone’s keeping a tab of gamer credentials.

“I’ve always had a slight distaste for the term ‘gamer’,” says Swain.

“It doesn’t really have an equivalent in any other media, and I don’t think it has a place anymore in the sphere of people who enjoy video games.”Indeed, the dates I spoke to all had different relations to games, from those who haven’t picked up a controller since their school days to a few who still actively play the latest releases, while one single parent mentions how her kid ropes her in for the odd session of Fortnite.

Regardless of experience, an interest in retro games simply puts everyone on an equal footing. “It’s not really interesting to talk to someone and go, ‘Oh, I got this on at the minute,’ or ‘I was playing this last week’.

We just do what we can to make it easier,” says Swain.

In a basement bar located just off King’s Cross Station, you’ve got about a dozen men and a dozen women getting to know each other for five minutes at a time.

It’s just practically better.”The event does however take a rather traditionalist structure, where the women stayed seated while the men move around at the sound of a ringing bell.

It’s a slight imbalance, given that the men get to sample a whole range of retro gaming while the women are stuck with one the whole evening almost like a booth attendant - the upside is they have chosen their game in advance (they can also opt to swap the cartridge or disc if they get bored).

But say, ‘Oh, I remember when this came out’, and you can talk about that time of your life, maybe you went to similar places or did similar things – it’s a way to just connect in a broader way.”Activity-based dating events aren’t exactly a novelty.

Dating company Smudged Lipstick, who Joypad has collaborated with for ‘Ready Player Two’, actually puts on many different types of events every month, from Jenga to life-drawing classes to escape room events.

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