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Debunking the "WoW is better for online dating than dating sites" story

A story is making the rounds that WoW is a better for dating then established sites such as Match.com or eHarmony. It's a feel-good story for those looking for love that warms the hearts of nerds everywhere reading about it on their favorite gaming sites.

The only problem is that the story really doesn't hold up. The source of the story is an infographic that lauds the lovely pleasures of WoW and online gaming. But the makers of the infographic itself, the facts that are presented, and the sources of those facts are not very reliable.

Let's debunk this idea.

Online university ... not really

The infographic was put together by a site called Online University, making its internet home at onlineuniversity.net. It sounds like a reputable place, right? A place where one could go to, say, get a higher education and learn something ...

Not really.

The site has some infographics and some articles. Many are links to other resources on the internet (including real universities) where people can go to get more information.

This Online University really isn't a university. It doesn't have any accreditation or any semblance of being an institution of higher learning. Not that the site claims to -- but it certainly doesn't say anywhere that it's not, either, something that would be important to do when using such a word as "university."

There is no contact information on the site other than a contact form with no email or phone number. The whois record for the domain notes it was registered via GoDaddy's proxy service. No other sites supporting the accuracy onlineuniversity.net could be found via Google.

Essentially, the site is only a small step away from an SEO farm.

Warcraft dating "facts"

The infographic cites a survey at WoW Ladies for the majority of its primary WoW data. The following facts are taken from WoW Ladies:
  • 74.7% are dating someone else who plays the game
  • 14.9% of WoW players are single
  • 24.3% of WoW players dating one another traveled up to 30 miles to meet
  • 75.7% traveled 100+ miles to meet
The article uses these facts, compared to other "facts" that onlineuniversity.net dug up on dating sites, to prove WoW is a better dating service. After all, if 14.9% of WoW players are single, compared to 43% of all Americans, then WoW has to be the hookup capital of the nation, right?

There are a few problems with drawing any conclusions from this data. First, the WoW Ladies survey had a sampling size 336 participants. That is hardly enough to determine any facts or drawn any conclusions for the greater population. Second, the survey was done on and shortly after April 25, 2008. This data is old, and in this very fast-paced, changing world of the internet, it's hardly useful to draw conclusions on a population from four-year-old data. Third, and perhaps most notably, WoW Ladies itself is a specific community with specific audience and participation. It says it right in its logo: "Girl gamers of the World of Warcraft."

Keen eyes will also note that the infographic cites WoW having 12 million players; however, that's incorrect, it's a number from 2010. Right now, WoW has around 10 million players.

These are all key elements of the conclusion, but when the premise doesn't hold weight, it's hard to accept the conclusion as valid.

Putting things in context

While the idea of WoW as a dating method might seem silly (or not so silly if you've met folks through it, which we know many have), it's important that we call truths when we see them. Given a closer look at the source of the news, it's hard to look at this as anything but a bit of fluff that doesn't hold much weight.

Perhaps the greater moral of the story here is that you shouldn't believe everything you read. Five minutes of digging will disprove a lot of stuff.

Filed under: News items

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