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"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.
In September, they decided to take things to the next level and see each others' faces for the first time.
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.
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.
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.
Today, more than 100 million Internet users chat regularly.