If you're tired of Pac-Man, you can now play the dating game on your computer.
Billed as "the first computer singles network in the country," microEncounters is an electronic forum for placing "personal ads" and sending messages to attract "friends, roommates, soulmates or whatever you may be seeking in your personal relationships."
Sociologist Lisa Kenyon started the service in September after buying a home computer and discovering the numerous electronic "bulletin boards" available to users who want to exchange information.
"It seemed like a great way to meet people," says Kenyon whose "personal ad" notes she is "35, attractive, graduate of two Ivy League schools, drives a sportscar and hates singles' bars."
Nearly all early subscribers have been men age 30 to 45. "We had to convince women who worked at terminals," says Kenyon, "that they could call microEncounters during lunch."
Access to microEncounters costs $30. Subscribers use secret passwords to keep their "love bytes" confidential. After signing on and confirming identities with their passwords, they can peruse a list of personal ads, enter their own ad or send and receive messages.
Although nearly 1,000 prospective subscribers have inquired about the service, the network has not resulted in any marriages. "But there have been several maxiEncounters, the details of which are strictly confidential," says Kenyon, who has met "two nice fellows" via computer.
Computer users can call up information on their screen by dialing (703) 560-9555, or write microEncounters, P.O. Box 2078, Falls Church, Va. 22042.
"Single Parenting -- Together," a four-session workshop at the Northwest Center for Community Mental Health, begins Nov. 2 and runs consecutive Tuedays from 5:30 to 7 p.m., $30. 471-6030.
The Home and School Institute has rescheduled its "National Conference on Single Parent Families and the Schools" for "sometime in the spring," says board president Dorothy Rich. "We're going to broaden the focus to include the concerns of dual-career families who also need innovative approaches to interacting with schools." To be put on the conference mailing list, call 466-3633.
When psychiatrist Dr. Leo Hennigan met public-relations consultant Maxine Atwater at a private singles' club party last spring, they discovered a mutual interest in the single psyche and decided to launch "Loving Friends," a free quarterly newsletter for Washington singles.
The two-page Fall 1982 debut issue contains a calendar of events, book review, news items and an essay by Hennigan--a format that editor Atwater says will be followed each issue.
"I'm interested in conveying to people some of the tactical errors they're making in man-woman relationships," says the 60-year-old Bethesda psychiatrist, who specializes in counseling single people "because I happen to think it's where the greatest need is.
"Singles are beginning to stop seeing members of the opposite sex as the enemy. The biggest problem they have is their own fear of rejection. Basically what people want are close relationships, but they're terrified about them, too."
Send news, calendar listings, comments -- and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to receive the winter issue -- to Loving Friends, c/o Maxine Atwater, New Age Promotions, 2400 Virginia Ave. NW, No. 417, Washington, D.C. 20037.