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LovelUp: Love Life +5

The app that swaps profile pictures for gaming tastes

Considering recent events, games may not seem the greatest place to love right now, but a new app hopes to bring people together by swapping profile pictures for online gaming dates.

"I've met a lot of people just playing games, never met them in person, and we've created bonds by going on the same journey and playing the same games together and I think over time that's built a stronger bond than saying we both like this band so we must be able to date," explains Raymond Walintukan, one of the small team behind LovelUp.

"Playing a game you really bring out the true person inside, whether they're a troll or fun to play with"

"There are sites out there that have gaming and dating associated with them but it's still very much a profile picture and we wanted to avoid people judging someone based on superficiality because I think playing a game you really bring out the true person inside, whether they're a troll or fun to play with. This type of anonymous dating is the way it should be... we want people to get to know each other without judging what they look like."

Of course, who could forget the delights already lurking on the internet like ShagAGamer or it's romantic older brother DateAGamer. Instead of a version of OK Cupid with the word "gamer" hastily cut and pasted into every possible bit of marketing, LovelUp has created a platform where gamers pick an avatar and then find people based on a shared interest in games, rather than hot pants or grilled cheese sandwiches.

"We're going to have Facebook verification and then with that you have to have a certain number of friends," explains Walintukan of the safety measures the team is putting in place.

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"We also have a proprietary backend system where we're going to be rating each of the users and basically at the end of a game date they would rate each other. Clearly if the other person is not who they say they are or perhaps they're a troll or someone unpleasant, we want to do away with that.

"We want to protect people and make sure they have a good experience and that has to do with ratings and also the verification of their background."

"We can start hooking people up not based on how they look, but how they game"

The current plan is for an Android release with a beta this month, followed by iOS and then a browser based version. Which makes sense, as online gamers spend plenty of time at their desktop. So far the company has rejected private funding, and while a Kickstarter campaign last month failed it's still recruiting beta testers. Walintukan really wants to make sure the product works before accepting outside investment.

The team have also battled some trademark trolling, which meant a change of name from LFDate to LovelUp.

"It's been a tumultuous ride as we've gotten so much positive feedback from the community - a lot of future users keep asking us to release this ASAP," Walintukan says.

"On the other hand we've also been targeted by a trademark troll. I think we got it right this time and we can start hooking people up not based on how they look, but how they game."

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Latest comments (1)

Axel Cushing Freelance Writer 2 years ago
This was sounding interesting right up to the moment they said "Facebook verification, X number of friends." If that's their idea of a safety measure, I'd be very concerned. For the Facebook denizen that has thousands of "friends" but not a single one of them knows anything about the person in question, it provides a false sense of trust. On the opposite side, a Facebook user might not have a broad enough circle to qualify for the app, which hampers the expansion of the userbase and makes the people who don't qualify poorly disposed towards trying again. And that doesn't even cover people who (for various and good reasons) aren't using Facebook.

The internal rating system is probably the better mechanism to go with. Let the sheep and the goats separate themselves through play. Are there going to be crappy match-ups? Yeah, but that's life, handy app or no. What matters is that those quick responses will help make the system better for users who join later.
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