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).
There have been a number of dating shows aired on television over the years, using a variety of formats and rules.
Once, someone divorced after appearing on The Newlywed Game got a "second chance" on The Dating Game.
Gimmicks were the lifeblood of all such shows, which drew criticisms for instigating disaffection that could not have been effected.
In shows involving singles, there is a mismatch of numbers ensuring constant competition.
They are presented for the entertainment of the viewers.
As the genre progressed, the format developed towards a reality-style show and more into a relationship show then simply finding a mate.
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.