Dating in virtual
Either way, two things are certain: VR dating is here to stay, and it will change the way we date.While reality dating shows like The Bachelorette seem to consistently make for an easy hit, Condé Nast and Facebook are betting on a new kind of dating show—in virtual reality.
A recent study by researchers at West Virginia University and the University of Illinois looked at first physical date success after initial contact through online dating.Could VR and the immersive presence it offers make this process even more successful? A VR date might be a more intense and personal experience.Moving from screen to VR invokes "presence" — the feeling of actually being in the virtual space itself.The people are not always even human, at times taking the form of a dragon, a donkey or cactus.(One scene in the trailer shows the Abominable Snowman embracing Bigfoot.) According to Condé Nast, the series was designed with technology from Pomp&Clout and Superbright to create “lifelike human representations and realistic, yet fictional, environments.”The idea of VR dating is something that has started to breach pop culture.Dating Lessons tries to coach you on things such as body language and what to say on a date, although the game has been criticised as sexist.
Even further from reality, a Japanese gaming company reportedly offers men the chance to marry their favourite anime character in a real chapel where physical sensations such as kissing are mimicked using props while the groom carries out the actions in VR.
Online dating has been around for more than 20 years, but for the most part, the goal has been to eventually meet your new paramour face to face. From Match.com, which launched in 1995, the idea of meeting and chatting with someone in a digital space has spread to Facebook, Second Life and apps like Tinder.
The entertainment industry is already trying to capitalise on the idea of VR and romance.
It’s not that is a partnership between Condé Nast Entertainment and Facebook, made for Facebook’s recently launched Watch video feed.
(The show itself is not shot in virtual reality.) As you may have guessed from the title, each episode sets up a blind date between two strangers who are wearing HTC Vive headsets, then... If, as many people have suggested, VR is a bit like drugs, then inaugural couple is Shelby, a hedge fund office administrator looking for “someone who can make me laugh.” The second is John, a soccer coach who wants “someone to capitalize on my own happiness, and vice versa, whatever that looks like.” Sorry, I don’t really know what that looks like, either.
In the first episode, a man and a woman meet in VR outer space.