- 12:54 ET, Mar 22 2022
- Updated: 13:02 ET, Mar 22 2022
A NEW form of online dating is letting VR users connect in the metaverse – one married man has shared his experience.
In a new article for Vice, Ross Buchanan writes that he was on a mission to see what dating in the metaverse is like.
“Recently, I took a trip into the metaverse to find out if it’s possible to have a fun night out and it was… distinctly average,” Buchanan said.
“Now, I’d like to find out if the metaverse holds the key to the future of dating and, dare I say it, love in the 21st century,” he added.
After talking it over with his wife, the journalist explored several VR venues in different metaverses, or digital worlds that combine gaming, social media, and augmented reality.
For his research, Buchanan first talked to the CEO of Planet Theta, an upcoming VR dating platform.
But as that app has not yet launched, he ultimately settled on entering VRChats and Microsoft’s AltSpaceVR in his quest for virtual love.
Attempting to find a date in VRChats proved to be a bust for the Vice journalist, who described the digital venue as “seedy”.
“I find myself in a high-rise apartment overlooking a serene city skyline,” he said.
“I wander around and find a seedy room in the back where I can see, what I can only describe as ‘a frog-person giving fellatio to a toadstool mushroom’, followed by a man with a bin on his head getting a tattoo from a pixie.”
“Sensing a very unique vibe and feeling very Louis Theroux at a swingers party, I decide it’s time to leave.”
Next up was AltSpaceVR, where Buchanan ended up having a spontaneous basketball session with an avatar whose name he did not catch.
However, after relegating that experience as far too “wholesome,” the writer decided to venture back into VRChats.
This time around proved to be more fruitful for Buchanan as he received a digital kiss, which he described as “clunky and messy”, from another avatar.
“I’m awash with feelings. Sure, no actual contact was made in the real world, but in the metaverse, this was real enough. A true success,” the journalist proclaimed.
As many tech giants are currently in the works of developing their own metaverses, it’s not unlikely that numerous everyday activities including dating will become common in virtual venues.
“There are so many massive advantages to the metaverse over the internet. And the bottom line is that one’s immersive, and the other one you’re looking at something on a screen,” Chris Crew, CEO of FireFlare Games, told Business of Business.
“For dating, getting to feel like you get to go on a date and feel like you’re part of it, or that you’re in a place with another person instead of looking at your phone screen and trying to chat with them and imagine what they’re doing and what they’re thinking [is] such a better experience.”
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