Dating game shows are television game shows that incorporate a dating system in the form of a game with clear rules.
Human matchmaking is involved only in selecting the game's contestants, who are usually selected more for the amusement value than any concern for their happiness or compatibility.
The audience sees only the game; an important feature of all dating game shows is that the contestants have little or no previous knowledge of each other, and are exposed to each other only through the game, which may include viewing a photograph or at least knowing the basic criteria for participation (typically participants are not already married).
Variations featuring LGBT contestants began to appear on a few specialty channels.
Other shows focused on the conventional blind date, where two people were set up and then captured on video, sometimes with comments or subtitles that made fun of their dating behaviour.
In shows involving couples, there is a substantial incentive to break up any of the existing relationships.
In shows involving singles, there is a mismatch of numbers ensuring constant competition.
The genre waned for a while but it was later revived by The New Dating Game and the UK version Blind Date, and the original shows were popular in reruns, unusual for any game show.
Cable television revived some interest in these shows during the 1980s and 1990s, and eventually new shows began to be made along the old concepts.
This creates the action, tension and humiliation when someone is rejected.
There are also reports of mercenary practice, that is, members of one sex paid to participate in the game to attain balance of sex ratio.
The first gay version of these more realistic shows to receive mainstream attention was Boy Meets Boy, with a format similar to that of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.