Your mouth doesn’t move when you talk and your slightly misshapen legs bend away from your body. But it’s a first date so you’re making the best of it. Mood lighting and romantic music come on, so you move in closer for a dance.
“I like the way my hand goes through your entire neck.”
That’s what happens when you try and find your soulmate outside of meatspace.
That, more or less, is the premise of Condé Nast Entertainment’s newly launched web series “Virtually Dating”—a dating show on Facebook’s Watch platform where two people go on a blind date in virtual reality. The first episode of five was released on Wednesday and, holy shit, this is the modern love we deserve.
The premiere pairs up John and Shelby, a soccer coach and an office assistant at a hedge fund, respectively. Shelby wants someone who can make her laugh. John wants someone who can capitalize on his happiness.
Once geared up, the two enter the void to meet each other’s avatars, which can be best described as moderately dysmorphic Sims characters with free will. The date is guided by an omnipresent female voice which gives them directives like “can you a draw a spaceship around yourselves” and “now disco,” occasionally relocating them to new environments like outer space. They also try out some digital bodies other than the aforementioned malformed Second Life skins. Here’s John desperately trying to pick up a drink with tiny dinosaur arms:
When their virtual date ends, the pair takes off their headsets to see what they look like in real life, and are then given the choice to go on a second date or not. John and Shelby both opt in for another shot. A great day for love and an even greater day for Vive PR.
There are four episodes left, and honestly I’m just hoping someone achieves presence in spite of the shitty avatars and goes in for a kiss. One major downside of dating in virtual reality is the physical challenge of making out. On the upside, imagine getting to tell your children that mommy and daddy met when mommy was a horse and daddy was a 3D cactus humping her.