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Even though Meta had intended to keep things casual -- she was in the midst of ending a 16-year marriage -- it soon became clear that this was not your average one-night stand.
Over the next few weeks, they would go to amusement parks, take walks along the beach, tour architecturally-interesting houses and stay up through the night talking.
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.
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.
Avatars do not have to split half their earnings and possessions in divorce settlements. He has been in over 20 relationships via World of Warcraft, and many of them have evolved beyond the game into the physical world.
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.
Of the 912 MMORPG players from 45 different countries who were polled, 42 percent of female and 26 percent of male players admitted that they were attracted to other players they met as avatars.While sitting together on the couch in their physical living room, they recited their vows in front of hundreds of cyberfriends in an extravagant Utherverse ceremony complete with a long dress, hired DJ and elaborate decorations.Finding Virtual Love MMORPGs cater to the needs of a diverse range of users -- "I don't like to call them players," Utherverse co-founder Brian Shuster said.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."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.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.Decked out in matching jeans, cowboy hats and black boots, they had their real wedding in July 2010 in front of Sean's family and a justice of the peace in a small church in Colorado.Their avatar wedding occurred eight months earlier, however.