Gaming and the Coupling Index:
Strange Bedfellows

By Orogurath

Somewhere in ourselves, there is a deliberate mechanism grinding away,
driving us to find attraction to other people.

This inner machine
blazes through hundreds of calculations in the span of a second, and
sends the relay to your conscious brain, which can interpret the data
and form an opinion. The result: Male A sees Female B and is instantly
attracted. If the message were different, he might take no notice of
the female and vice versa. The standards fall within a well defined
boundary that becomes easily predictable in the majority of cases. When
we factor in gaming, however, the mathematical predictability falls
through the floor. Why is this?  What strange factor brings
seemingly disparate people together in romantic ties?  I delved
into the theory of attractiveness to discover the truth!

The basic feedback you receive from your inner mechanism is simply ones
and zeroes. This creates a binary code that breaks down into: 1) You
would, or 2) You wouldn't. This happens so fast that you can walk by
someone and simply say “yep” or “hell no”.

Behind the scenes, I discovered a series of root factors that play into
this equation, individual attributes that can be swayed within a few
points on a scale of 1 to 10. One through five are relayed to you as “I
would rather kill myself” while six through ten communicate a much more
pleasant “Yes, have some”. The following is a breakdown of contributing

Outward appearance: the first
thing you check and predominantly the most important for attraction.
The average human would be, say, a six. This takes the factor of
species-specific recognition, allowing for a +1 to average, and
explains much of why men would court most anything with human
mammaries. Well groomed folks exude an additional +1, confidence nabs a
peppy +1, and there is a + or – 1 due to personal preferences of
height, weight, size of cranium, etc. Thus, an average human with no
aberrant qualities, well groomed and confident becomes an instant 8 and
thus highly attractive to the opposite sex.

Money: this became a huge
factor weighing in!  Although diametrically opposed, men and women
both place huge emphasis on money in the attractiveness quotient.
According to most women, men exuding an aura of cash-flow receive a
complimentary +8 to their score, explaining why hideously disfigured
millionaires always have trophy wives. Conversely, women with a great
deal of money receive a substantial -4 on the scale. When asked why, a
survey of 100 million American men revealed:

  • 99% - She's probably a self centered bitch.
  • 1% - Abstained, married to the aforementioned.

The shocking truth came through and the numbers made sense. The
remaining categories were alcohol and shared ideas. Alcohol consumption
produced a steady rise in attractiveness for both sexes, up to a point
where ethical filtering became impossible and all bets were off.

The equation of the inner mechanism typically creates couplings of
like-attractiveness and similar social/moral background. The real
wrench in the whole thing comes from the GAMING FACTOR. This is a
factor that comes into play only when two people both enjoy games, such
as our beloved Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO). In fact
our Ralsu mentioned something of this nature in his editorial, target="_blank"
& Dragons. When tested with a very attractive female, we'll
call her Sasha, the results were astounding. The geeky looking, poor
male we tested her with we'll call Tim.

Sasha's equation in Tim's perspective:

6 + 1 (grooming) + 1 (confidence) + 1 (preference) – 4 (money)

Tim's prospectus: “She's hot, but she's probably a real self centered

Tim in Sasha's perspective:

3 (looks) + 0 (grooming) + 1 confidence + 0 preference

Her initial reaction: “Ew.”

Obviously, these two were not going to hit it off through any natural

However, when asked if they like DDO, they both lit up and started
talking. Sasha was immediately struck by Tim's knowledge of "clericism"
and the infinite permutations of multi-classing. When he learned that
she could get him a +4 Holy War hammer from her guild, he dropped all
of his previous concerns about her being self centered. The resulting
backfire of their inner mechanisms produced the equivalent of a +4
synergy bonus applying only to gamers, placing both of them squarely
back into the “Let's get it on” category and creating an instant match.
Their children will be odd looking aberants and their families may
commit suicide, but the two have found a kind of happiness that defies

My conclusion is that gaming is one of the great equalizers, bringing
together like-minded people through good times and giving us a reason
to look beyond the outer shell. It's a great passtime and fun
environment, allowing people from all over the world to play together
and drop their boundaries. If the rest of the world could find that
same kind of social adhesive, I think we'd see some dramatic
improvement in everyone's quality of life. Enjoy the game and see you

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.