Happily ever avatar
A British couple have got married after getting engaged in a computer game before they had even met.
Marie and Jay Coulbeck met as the alter egos they created when they joined 3D chat room IMVU.
Marie's character 'Goddess of the Orient' was befriended by a handsome avatar called 'Gunner,' sparking a whirlwind romance.
It was only after their characters got engaged in the game that the couple exchanged their real photographs and it became clear neither had been entirely honest about their looks - but by then they insist they were already in love.
Marie, 44, described the anxious wait for a response after emailing a picture of herself and admitting that at a size 28 - 30 she looked nothing like her size eight alter ego Goddess.
But Gunner, aka divorced fork lift truck driver Jay Coulbeck 41, had also created a rather flattering virtual image of himself and the couple arranged to meet a week later. They haven't spent a night apart since.
Marie said: "I was terrified when I sent him my photo. I created her to represent the slim gorgeous woman I want to be but thankfully Jay said I looked beautiful anyway.
"We were already engaged online before he came to see me so it felt natural for him to stay and he moved in that day.
"He was my dream man in IMVU and he's turned out to be my dream man in real life too. I never thought when I created that avatar it would lead me to love".
The couple arranged to meet at Marie's home in Staffordshire, 90 miles away from Jay's in Lincoln.
Jay comments: "No we haven't been back on the game since. Why do I need to now I've got her for real?
"We actually think the game is a bit silly now, but thank God we both joined or we would never have found each other."