Romance Roundup: 5 Real-Life Stories of Love and Marriage in Social Games
Dinner Love and the Quest for SoupZynga developers & co.
As a company, Zynga gets a lot of flak, but there's no doubt that plenty of good people work there. So when 24 year-old Anders Howard, then an artist for Zynga's FishVille (and later, FronterVille), wanted to pop the question to his girlfriend of 5 years, Steffany Farros, his co-workers -- Thomas Bennett Jobling, Ian Buczkowski (joined by two friends, Justin Fong and Jeff Aydelotte) -- teamed up with Anders for a super geeky proposal... they were going to do it with a video game at her 25th birthday party. Now that's super romantic for them, but the fun part for us is that the event was captured on video. Anders also made the game available on his website, so you can play it too!
[Photo Credit: SimpleRegistry.com]
As if finding love by playing Mafia Wars wasn't enough, imagine having Zynga pay for your honeymoon trip! That's what happened to two Floridians who lived on opposite sides of the state, John Sweeney in Margate and Joanne Doane in Treasure Island. While they've known each other through a gaming clan called "Mafia Wars Dark Angel" since March 2009, they didn't meet in person until John moved to Treasure Island to be with Joanne in 2010, followed by a mafia-themed wedding (and that goes for the cake too). Marriage hasn't slowed their fun though. The two run a weekly podcast called "The Facebook & Zynga Podcast" on Blog Talk Radio.
Words With FriendsZynga
Two thousand and three hundred miles kept two strangers apart, but a match of Words With Friends brought Megan Lawless and Jasper Jasperse together. Megan said she got tired of waiting for a vacationing friend to make a move in the game, so she clicked on the "Random" button, which set her up for a game with Jasper. (Keep in mind, though, that for that to happen, Jasper had to have been looking for a random opponent too!) So they first began chatting in-game, then emailing each other beyond the game, and then video-chatted using Skype. Supposedly, the chats really took off on Jasper's birthday. Within months, Jasper, who lived in the Netherlands, moved to Chicago to be with Megan. Both were married last July. Megan's 75 year-old dad doesn't get how it happened, and for some people, it seemed to have happened quite suddenly. But then again, the now-married couple have been communicating for more than a year, while having fun doing it.
[Photo Credit: The Mary Sue]
Those who don't have the resources to build their own game can still find other ways to get someone to say, "I do." FarmVille player Michael J. Kent did such a thing when he planted Morning Glories to spell out "CINDY WILL YOU MARRY ME?" and had his high school sweetheart, Cindy Birch, check his harvest.
Cindy recounted the story in a contest at Invitation by Dawn, a wedding party online store. "As I was waiting for his Farmville to load I looked over and saw him down on one knee, I asked him what he was doing and he said 'Oh, nothing.' I looked at the FarmVille page and saw [the farm]. I told him it didn't count as a proposal because he didn't say the words, so he looked at me and said 'Will you?' I of course said yes. Then he put the box in front of me backwards. Hehe. I took the ring out and placed it on my finger. I can not wait to marry my high school sweet heart, best friend and soul mate on June, 30 2012! :)" She ended up as the winning entry and was awarded $100 towards her next purchase, which rocks, because she's totally going to need it!
Bejeweled BlitzPopCap Games
And 'less you think that Zynga's got a monopoly on social gaming romance... Chris and Laura Sheriff caught the eye of PopCap when Laura submitted her real-life love story to the company's call for favorite memories of Bejeweled Blitz. The Sheriffs credit the Facebook game for bringing them together.
Here's how Laura tells it: "Chris is really into hardcore games like Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament so he's an experienced gamer. He almost always manages to beat me at Bejeweled Blitz but that one week, I was on fire. I racked up a score of over 600,000 which is a lot for me-my highest score ever is 775,000. I hit that score early in the week and then I watched as Chris tried and tried right up until the last minute to beat me. But he just couldn't top my score. The next day, he surprised me with a proposal, saying that he knew I was the one for him after I trounced him at Bejeweled Blitz."
They got married on Oct. 10th, 2010, which also happens to be the 10th anniversary of the Bejeweled franchise. Now they're the happy parents of two kids. To thank Laura for sharing her story with them, PopCap mailed a gigantic Bejeweled gem (complete with stand) commemorating the Sheriffs' one-year wedding anniversary.
Have you made a love connection through playing a social game? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment