Dating

Tinder users are going on Animal Crossing for their first dates

How to find love at home

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Photo by Leigh, Twitter: @starheavenly

Weeks after it first launched, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has risen above the usual clout of cutesy video games. Across the world, the island life simulator allows individuals to connect with friends, family, and even coworkers.

In a tough era of social distancing, everyone’s looking for an alternative for social interaction, including those who want to spice up their love life. For example, a new Brooklyn couple met through the clever use of a drone and FaceTime. Naturally, prospective lovers have also homed in on Tom Nook’s island getaway.

On Twitter, physically distanced lovers are broadcasting their appreciation for the game, sharing their virtual dates on each other’s islands. For already established lovebirds, a cozy platform like Animal Crossing is already second nature. How about first-time Tinder hopefuls, though?

If you’re on the popular dating app, Animal Crossing might give you the platform you need to get that first date up and running. Newly-mets are also using the game to meet for the first time.

Via Polygon, these first dates narrated the thrill of dressing up their avatars for a date and bringing the game’s prized turnips to another island. Rather than talk about the insanity of the real world, the game allows people to talk about simpler things like fruit prices and favorite pieces of furniture, limited only by their typing speeds on the Switch.

Of course, playing in a family-friendly game doesn’t make anyone immune to ghosting or heartbreaks. In one Tinder date, a woman’s date gifted her 63,000 Bells to pay off her in-game house loan. However, despite the chivalrous gesture, she’s still ghosting him.

Likewise, Tinder users are also including Animal Crossing in their bios. If you needed a new gig for thirsty nights, Animal Crossing: New Horizons might be your go-to until the community quarantine ends. Regardless, a Nintendo Switch is quickly becoming a requirement today.

SEE ALSO: #PlayApartTogether: Embracing lockdowns and social distancing

Dating

Facebook Dating now has audio calls for daters

And two new matching features

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Dating apps are getting more advanced. Before, prospective daters had to rely on simple text messaging and often wonky pairing algorithms. Now, finding a partner has never been easier. Some apps have even partnered with complementary services to provide the most seamless way to go on a date. Though not the most popular dating service out there, Facebook Dating is packing in more features for daters.

With a new update rolling out, Facebook Dating now allows users to start audio conversations or “audio dates” for people they match with. Users can initiate a call, and it sends an invite to the other person.

Facebook Dating also has a new Match Anywhere feature. Since the advent of remote working, people can find themselves working in two different cities in a single work week. Match Anywhere allows users to select up to two additional locations for matches. For example, they can find matches in their city of residence and in a separate city where they work.

Finally, a new Lucky Pick feature expands the service’s matching capabilities. Though users select the traits that they find attractive, Lucky Pick can potentially match them with people they don’t usually include in their searches if the algorithm deems them compatible with one another.

SEE ALSO: Google is banning ‘sugar daddy’ dating apps

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Dating

Google is banning ‘sugar daddy’ dating apps

Starting September 1

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Dating apps are a dime a dozen nowadays. Regular daters have the more popular apps available including Tinder and Bumble. Niche daters also have their own set of apps for their own preferences. Did you know that there’s a dating app for farmers, for example? Apparently, despite the wide variety of apps, Google is less than thrilled over a very specific category of the market: sugar-daddy dating apps.

First reported by Android Police, Google is issuing new policies to cover the strange niche. And yes, they do exist. As the name implies, these dating apps are specifically made for daters looking for their own sugar daddy or sugar mommy (or vice versa).

In dating parlance, sugar daddy and mommies refer to rich daters who spoil their partners using their wealth in return for physical affection. The relationship type shouldn’t be an issue in itself. (“Different folks, different strokes,” as the saying goes.) However, Google certainly has issues with these apps.

According to the new policy, there will be “new restrictions on sexual content, specifically prohibiting compensated sexual relationships (i.e., sugar dating).” The policy will go into effect starting September 1.

Google has always been moderately tough on sexual content. Though looking up “sex” on the Play Store elicits a swath of tools and apps, the online catalog never outrightly includes any sexual content. Google potentially dislikes the “compensated” part of sugar-daddy dating apps, which can link it to a form of prostitution.

That said, Google seems to be all-in on less transactional dating apps like Tinder. Instead of propagating relationships through transactions, apps like Tinder do promote finding a true partner.

SEE ALSO: How to quench your thirst for dating in the time of social distancing

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Dating

Couple co-op games to play during the pandemic

Loving from a distance

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co-op games

It goes without saying that the pandemic has drastically altered our lives. And, for the lucky few who’ve found love amidst the global chaos or barely kept their love life while apart, playing games has become one of the best past time in quarantine.

Below are cooperative games you can play with your partners or friends. We’re open to all forms of love here. Also, note that this list won’t include classic multiplayer games like Minecraft, Stardew Valley, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons because I’m assuming you and your partner or friends have already played these for an ungodly number of hours. Which, by the way if you haven’t, I recommend you start there.

Not included on this list are multiplayer online battle arenas(mobas) since that’s a whole genre of it’s own. And, I’m sick and tired of blatant sexting and flirting on moba team chats. Get your lives together or stay alone, yeah?

It Takes Two

Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, & PC

It Takes Two is a cooperative action-adventure platformer with gripping stories and game mechanics. You play as arguing parents at wit’s end stuck in doll form. The doll form bit is due to your daughter’s attempt to cope with her parents’ eventual split. Speaking of splits, it’s a split-screen multiplayer that allows you to play locally or online. The game mechanics and design are witty and eloquent–drawing you into the characters’ stories.

It Takes Two is a good game to play with your partner to see how well you work through obstacles together–in more ways than one. It Takes Two was developed by Hazelight Studios and published by Electronic Arts under the EA Originals labels.

Heave Ho!

Steam, Nintendo Switch, & GOG

Heave Ho! is a multiplayer co-op platformer where you and your partner or friends get through tough puzzles using your wobbly and dangly limbs. Grab on to each other’s hands, climb across dangling bodies, and swing your way into safety.

Heave Ho! forces you to work together by throwing the other, climbing over, and using our partner to get to the other side. It’s a quirky simple yet challenging game that have left players screaming desperate for hand grabbing. Heave Ho! was developed by Le Cartel Studio and published by Devolver Digital.

Overcooked! 2

Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, GOG

Overcooked! 2 is a cooperative cooking simulation video game. It’s the sequel to Overcooked! which had the same game mechanics just without the new and improved stages, mechanics, and features. Overcooked! 2 will make it necessary to yell at each other–which doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You work together as a team to prep, cook, and serve.

It’s the perfect game to play to break the ice, work together, laugh, and panic. Test your relationship, strengthen it, or break up over a silly game. Overcooked! 2 was developed by Team17 alongside Ghost Town Games and published by Team17.

Valheim

Steam

Do two burly Vikings braving the elements sound like a romantic way to spend the night with your partner? No, of course not, but you’ll get hours of entertainment riding together with your nordic allies. Valheim is an explorative survival game. Build yourself a little home, roam the giant wilderness for resources, and hunt some trolls. If Minecraft doesn’t hit the same way anymore, this will probably fill that gap. But make sure you’re playing together, microphone on, and you’ll get lost in purgatory.

Valheim was developed by Iron Gate AB and developed by Coffee Stain Publishing.

SEE ALSO: 10 video games for players 1 and 2

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