We all saw this coming but were powerless to stop it: the world’s first Pokémon Go dating service has launched and its name is PokéDates.
It works as you’d expect. You sign up on PokéDates’ website, answer a few questions about what you’re looking for in a partner, and then fill in a schedule of when you’re free to go roaming for pokémon. PokéDates then pairs up applicants, and sends both parties a time and location (near a pokéstop or gym) to meet up and start playing Pokémon Go. Then, presumably, comes love, marriage, a Weedle in a carriage, etc.
This isn’t a completely new venture, but rather a service built on an existing dating site named Project Fixup. The key selling point of Fixup (which launched in 2012) is that its human employees match applicants by hand, rather than relying on computer algorithms. The same process will happen for PokéDates, says the company, with Fixup assuring users that its specialists will pair people with similar interests — regardless of whether they’re Team Instinct, Valor, or Mystic.
In the past, the company has organized themed dates such as bike rides and wine tasting sessions, and says that finding common ground via a video game is hardly a stretch. There’s no cost to sign up and users’ first PokéDate is free (with promo code “POKEDATES2016”). However, all meetings after that will cost $20, which is pretty steep.
Project Fixup’s “Chief Fixup Officer” Dank Korenevsky claimed in a press statement that the service will save applicants time by finding their perfect partner — well as the best pokéstop to meet at. “Browsing, swiping, messaging back-and-forth starts as fun and exciting and turns into a huge time-suck,” said Korenevsky. “PokéDates and Project Fixup give people their time back and turns online dating into offline dating.”
That’s their strap-line anyway, and only a pedant would point out that if you’re playing a video game on your smartphone during a date, it’s not really offline dating. (Though I’m sure that no one using the service will care about that, and rightly so.) Still, spare a thought for all those dates who are about to suffer a barrage of pokémon-themed come-ons. It’s only a shame that Pokémon Go doesn’t offer users an Escape Rope.