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Plugged In

‘Words With Friends’ spells love and marriage

Plugged In

The game that got Alec Baldwin kicked off a plane is kicking off a globetrotting love story.

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Words With Friends (Zynga)

The Chicago Tribune's Redeye tells the heartwarming story of Megan Lawless and Jasper Jasperse, who, in addition to having some seriously superheroic names, found romance through a random game of Zynga's immensely popular Words With Friends.

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The couple's tale begins in 2009. Lawless, who hails from Chicago, found herself without a partner, so she hit the game's handy 'random' button to find another player.  She wound up with Jasperse, who lives in the Netherlands.

The two struck up a friendly chat during their play session, but it soon moved from "hellos" and emoticons to emails and Skype.

"Most people think, when we tell the story, that we right away started a very intimate conversation," Jasperse told Redeye. "It very gradually built up to finally meeting each other...At one point, I spoke to Megan more than anybody else around me."

He'll be spending a lot more time doing just that. After Jasperse relocated to Chicago, the two got hitched last July.

Finding love through gaming isn't rare, though it typically happens via virtual online worlds like World of Warcraft and Everquest, where meeting new people is an inherent part of the gameplay. Words With Friends, as its name implies, is most commonly played by people who already know one another.

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"This is the first [marriage] we know of," said Paul Bettner, VP and General Manager of Zynga. "I think that's an awesome story."

But meeting the love of her life online isn't without its pitfalls, claims Lawless, who has struggled trying to explain the relationship to her 75 year-old father.

"I think he still doesn't quite understand how we met," she said.

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