It was only a matter of time until the worldwide phenomenon known as Pokémon GO would also serve as an exciting, new way to hunt down potential dates as well. Nintendo's groundbreaking mobile game has been making headlines since its release earlier this month as the first of its kind, mashing virtual reality with real life while creating a new social platform. By now, we've all heard about the dangers of playing like stampedes in Central Park, the discovery of dead bodies, muggings, groups of people taking tumbles down cliffs, and even shots being fired at some Pokémon GO users. The game currently has over 21 million active daily users and is crushing other apps like Tinder and even Facebook.
Speaking of Tinder, a new dating service is taking full advantage of the Pokémon GO craze. Feel like catching the elusive Charizard with a potential romantic partner? Well, you're in luck because a new online and offline dating app called PokéDate just launched. The process goes as follows: you sign up on PokéDates' website, answer a few questions about what you're looking for in a date, and then fill out a schedule of when you're available to adventure the local Pokémon hot spots. PokéDates pairs up applicants and sends both parties a time and location to meet up and start playing together. But isn't this already happening on its own with singles showing up at gyms and Pokéspots to make some new friends and hopefully catch 'em all?
PokéDates is claiming to be different by using actual humans to match up potential partners instead of generic computer algorithms like other online dating websites and apps. These "romance specialists" match up users based on their personal interests, hobbies, and what characteristics they are searching for in a partner. However, the service does not take into account whether you're Team Instinct, Valor, or Mystic.
Project Fixup, the company responsible for PokéDates 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. Sign up is free and so is the first PokéDate is free (by using promo code POKEDATES2016). But after you use up your one free date, each additional date costs $20 each, which is a high cost to pay for...teenagers
Dank Korenevsky, Chief Officer, claimed in a press statement that their service will save applicants time (but not money):
"Browsing, swiping, messaging back-and-forth starts as fun and exciting and turns into a huge time-suck. PokéDates and Project Fixup give people their time back and turns online dating into offline dating."
Let the online dating horror stories begin as PokéDates is sure to spawn quite a few of them just like any other dating website. While this does seem like a novel idea, it also means that companies of all kinds are starting to figure out how to capitalize off the massive success of Pokémon GO. At first, it was innocently sponsored Pokéspots at McDonald's, now it's companies claiming to match you up with your soulmate, or at least Pokémate.