Posted inLifestyle

Interviewing the MatchOx creators

After several Oxfesses yearned for the excitement of their termly dating fix, they stepped up to the role: MatchOx was born.

For mere participants, the best part of the process may have been receiving a match or completing the questionnaire. As for the creators’ favourite part? The coding of the algorithm. I have no doubt in their programming abilities, what with them having created MatchOx and learning that their goal is to go into software. Although, they admit that they would need to take extra care the next time round and perhaps not leave out a college from the questionnaire (“Who even goes to Worcester, anyway?”). There is one thing that they wish for the readers to know, other than the fact that they are aware Worcester college exists: they stuck to their GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) policy. A GDPR policy that, with hindsight, they now consider too restrictive, and which needs to be modified so that they can give themselves a bit more leeway. So for those of you who asked a direct question in the comments section of the questionnaire, know now that the creators of MatchOx did not (willingly) ghost you. They couldn’t respond because their hands were, unfortunately, tied by their own policy, unless you emailed them directly. 

The creators felt it would be fun to make a matching algorithm, but emphasise that it was important to add a friendship option. “We know so many people who did this romantic matching thing to find friends. So I imagine it would be a real pain, if you signed up to be in a relationship, and someone just said, ‘Oh, I’m just looking for friends,’ it would just be a useless match.” I am inclined to agree; it allows for a larger demographic to be excited about the termly roll-out of a thing such as MatchOx, as it removes the pressure of necessarily forming romantic relationships. 

There were many potential names floating around before they settled on MatchOx. OxDate, OxFlirt, OxCupid, to name a few, and even OxConnect, though that one already existed, with one of the creators jokingly quipping that it was for “something nowhere near as useful as dating” (based on some quick research, they appear to be a social media management provider). In the end, they decided on MatchOx because of their main mantra: “It was quite a running theme… to make things just stupid.” And so they did, starting with the name, and continuing on via the duck question (‘What is the difference between a duck?’, their personal favourite of the questionnaire), and hiding several Easter eggs, such as the fact that in every promotional story on their Instagram, a photo of a Cambridge college was used. They were surprised that one person actually noticed. 

Speaking of their promotions, the art that they produced for it can only be described as chaotic evil: the neon pink of the cat silhouette, the jarring neon green of the MatchOx font, and pictures of Cambridge colleges all work successfully to push forward their “professionally unprofessional” aesthetic. People may have also noticed the familiar format of certain questions. For the question: ‘How kinky are you?’, ‘Yes’ was one of the answers, reminiscent of the meme language of our generation. The creators chose a theme of stupidity, and it seems as if they had immense amounts of fun sticking to it; hopefully those who took part this time round also pulled some amusement from it. 

You may be wondering why they’re remaining anonymous; love is a game, and the creators thought they’d add another amusing layer on top. They say that “it’s mostly just for fun,” but when considering it on a larger scale, it’s so that people don’t bombard them with questions, commands, and negative criticism in their personal inboxes, which is a justified reason. Only their parents (and now I) know their true identities. However, if someone were to figure it out, rest assured that they won’t deny it: “[I’m] not gonna lie to someone if they put that much effort into deducing it.” 

Having released the Michaelmas questionnaire a bit late into term, they may start rolling out the Hilary one in late Week 0, in order to give some more time for submissions. So, to wrap things up, they had one last thing to say to readers: “Sign up to the next one.”