A quirky new card game is shining an important light on the realities of online dating, particularly for women and queer people.
Matchr is the brainchild of Mars Incrucio and is meant to serve as both a fun party activity and as a critique of various online dating platforms. Incrucio describes the game as "a crazier version of gin rummy, but instead of traditional suits, each card has a sexual orientation and three hashtags," adding, "the objective is to create pairs based on compatible sexualities and at least a two out of three hashtag overlap. The hashtags are a comment on the photo or make generalizations about the personality of the card, such as #homebody, #tothe9s, #selfie, #eyesuphere, ect."
The Huffington Post caught up with Incrucio to learn more about Matchr, what inspired and what she hopes players take away from it.
The Huffington Post: Why did you decide to create Matchr? How did the game come about?
Mars Incrucio: My closest friends are mostly women, all of whom have been on Tinder at some point. They would ask me for advice on Tinder matches and send over screenshots of their particularly fantastic profiles. I'd send back a screenshot of a clever profile I matched with, and it felt like we were trading. I grew up at the height of the Pokémon craze, so I guess something just clicked.
Of course, we couldn't just publish people's selfies and 500 character life summaries without permission, so I spent a good three months searching through various dating platforms for participants, both as myself, and using a couple of my female friends' profiles. The act of indiscriminately swiping right on my fellow man, and seeing how some of them speak to women, really killed something inside of me.
How do you play?
Matchr plays like a crazier version of gin rummy, but instead of traditional suits, each card has a sexual orientation and three hashtags. The objective is to create pairs based on compatible sexualities and at least a two out of three hashtag overlap. The hashtags are a comment on the photo or make generalizations about the personality of the card, such as #homebody, #tothe9s, #selfie, #eyesuphere, ect.
And of course there are wild cards that do special things, such as the card, The Unicorn Hunters, that lets you search the deck for any bisexual girl.
First player to create four matches wins the round; however unmatched singles count for negative points, so the game hosts both aggressive and defensive strategies a player can employ.
What do you want people to take away from this game?
Love is such a hassle.
What larger commentary about online dating, especially for queer people, are you trying to communicate?
I used Tinder to crowdsource this one among my queer-identifying matches. (Tinder is actually quite excellent at the vox-pop.)
What I got back, and it wasn't necessarily specific to queer culture, is that online dating is incredibly shallow. I totally agree. This simplification is actually part of what makes the entire system so attractive. The emphasis placed on ease of use has streamlined attraction to a binary gut reaction. Hot. Or not?
And a lot can be learned about a person in 500 characters, but after combing through nearly 3k matches, you start to see patterns. After meeting the fourth person who writes, "Peace, love and Josh Groban," you can't help but start to make associations.
My hope is that the game will chisel away at some of these stereotypes. So I swapped the images and bios of some of the more, forgive me, #typical profiles. The result? An image of Alan, a yuppie from Yonkers whose bio is,"Long hair. Don't care. I dare you to challenge me to a Disney sing off."
Anything else you want to say?
If any of your readers need a date to their high school reunion, I'm single.
Want to see more of Matchr? Head here.