Love and Gaming in the Age of Coronavirus
Gaming|Jun 29, 2020

Love and Gaming in the Age of Coronavirus

ePal Exists To Help Lonely Gamers Find Their Special Someone.
Ian Miles Cheong

With everyone indoors and with nowhere to go, those of us without significant others are experiencing a bit of a dry spell. Sure, it’s possible to hit up Tinder and violate a curfew or two, but for the introverts among us who’d like get to know someone before going out with them, there’s a bunch of online websites that fill that role. And for gamers, that might actually come in the form of a little-known site called eGirl dot gg.

Well, it’s called ePal now, because they felt that calling it eGirl was too exclusionary to guys and people confused about their gender identity or something. Regardless, it’s become a place some lonely gamers have been using to find their special somebody – at least that’s what I’ve been told. And given that women are still unicorns when it comes to certain types of games, the ability to search for someone based on the games they play serves as something of a shortcut – or at least I thought so when I signed up for an account.

You see, ePal’s not even actually a dating website. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – it’s a platform gamers can use to sell their companionship and time. When I first heard of it, it sounded a bit like prostitution minus the exchange of sex. 

I was hesitant to try it out. But what I ran into was quite different from what I expected. 

“When I first heard of it, it sounded a bit like prostitution minus the exchange of sex. I was hesitant to try it out. But what I ran into was quite different from what I expected.”

I looked up some video games I normally play and searched for anyone who seemed interesting enough to want to play games with. Some of the people listed on there are Twitch streamers who charge a premium for their time. Others were just starting out and using the site as a quick way to create content for their YouTube channels. One of the girls I talked to said that all her previous “clients” were also YouTube streamers looking for a female voice to feature in some of their one-off videos – again, it was all for content. 

Most of the hosts on the site asked only for a pittance for their time – a couple dollars for an hour, just enough for a coffee. They’re not exactly making bank. As such, most of the people I met didn’t even treat it like a job. It was just a way to play a video game, have fun with a stranger, and get paid just enough for some snacks. A fair trade.

It turns out that I wasn’t so different from anyone I’d paid to spend time with me, either. I signed up because I wanted some company – and it turns out, so did they. In fact, once I got past the mercenary aspect of meeting someone, it was 
a lot easier to just chill with them later. In one instance, I spent a couple hours just engaged in conversation before we even played the video game we agreed to play. 

At the end of the day, I didn’t necessarily run into that “special someone” I was hoping to meet, but I sure as hell made a few new (extremely gorgeous) friends along the way. You won’t hear me complaining.  


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