Virtual dating worlds
Even though Meta had intended to keep things casual -- she was in the midst of ending a 16-year marriage -- it soon became clear that this was not your average one-night stand.Over the next few weeks, they would go to amusement parks, take walks along the beach, tour architecturally-interesting houses and stay up through the night talking.The Riselings also number among the many people who have found love through massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) such as Utherverse, World of Warcraft and Second Life.According to a 2007 study, one in three MMORPG players have found themselves attracted to another player.Sean and Meta, 37 and 38, respectively, met as avatars.They make up two of approximately seven million registered users of Utherverse, a 3D virtual world geared to an adult audience with a design that was inspired by Amsterdam’s red light district.They picked a date to meet in October in Oklahoma City, halfway between Meta's home in Ozark, Mo., and Sean's home in Walsh, Colo.
The twice-divorced single father proposed on Christmas Eve, and the couple married after Meta, who now works at a local junior high school's lunchroom and coaches the cheer squad while maintaining her job as a wedding planner in Utherverse, had finalized her own divorce.
Sean and Meta now celebrate two wedding anniversaries.
Of the 912 MMORPG players from 45 different countries who were polled, 42 percent of female and 26 percent of male players admitted that they were attracted to other players they met as avatars."We turned on our cameras on Skype because our daughters wanted to meet each other," Meta told The Huffington Post.
After Meta's daughter Kinzee, 14, and Sean's daughter Josie, 8, finished talking, "we pretty much knew, this was it," Meta said.
Sean and Meta Jo Riseling first met on the dance floor of a club in July 2009.Pushed together by mutual friends, the two instantly hit it off and a few dances (plus a couple rounds of body shots) later, they went home together.