The Virtual Reality Dating Game

The Virtual Reality Dating Game

One of the most serious issues with internet dating is that the people we meet frequently fall short of our expectations, but that’s how it goes sometimes. People occasionally mislead and exaggerate to make their virtual selves seem appealing, creating an image that isn’t always true to reality. But what if the actual and the virtual were identical? This could be the future of dating thanks to virtual reality (VR).

We know that the virtual space is changing real life in many ways, from gaming to work, and now it’s virtual dating’s turn. Let’s dive into the new version of online dating and see how it fairs in this new digital space.

The Dating App’s Replacement

According to studies, virtual dating may be preferred by some when it comes to long-distance relationships and blind dates. It covers the idea of meeting with a more guarded approach to it. Many also find this a better way to see if there is any sort of chemistry with a person before actual contact is made.

People in other versions of VR could experiment with their appearance by choosing an avatar to stand in place of their physical form. Avatars, rather than being deceitful, could be part of the pleasure of VR dating. People who use avatars can opt to be realistic about their appearance or to experiment, such as going across time to go on dates as younger or older versions of themselves.

A New Platform for Romantic Relationships

VR would also allow people more control over where their date takes place. A VR date would be limited only by the boundaries of people’s imaginations. In one evening, you could leap off of a plane, travel to outer space, or dive beneath for a scuba diving excursion. Seems like the sky actually isn’t the limit.

Excitation transfer is a social psychology phenomenon in which people attach the arousal they feel from doing something exciting (for example, crossing a shaky bridge) to those around them. This shows that the adrenaline surge from a VR date may make someone more appealing to potential partners, however, whether that feeling will continue is unknown.

Another way VR could transform the way we date is by increasing the number of options for in-platform coaching. Bailenson and colleagues have written about the ability for “virtual ghosts” to consult with a person while remaining unseen to others in the conversation in their theory of altered social interaction. Although several online dating sites have experimented with date coaching in the past, most users are on their own by the first date.

The idea of invisible date coaches obviously raises ethical concerns regarding whether or not their existence should be disclosed to others, but for those who struggle to handle social situations on their own, this type of individualized coaching could be beneficial.

Dating in a Virtual Space

The entertainment industry is already attempting to capitalize on the concept of virtual reality and romance. There are numerous shows and apps that demonstrate how technology is generating new dating concepts. Facebook has launched a show called Virtually Dating, which is a virtual reality version of a blind date.

It’s an odd mix because the people are physically in the same room yet can only see and interact with each other in VR. Body scanning also includes bugs that cause their avatar’s limbs to do bizarre things, such as arms going right through bodies. Then, for people who are uncomfortable with dating in general, another HTC Vive software provides virtual dating education.

Although the game has been criticized as sexist, Dating Lessons attempts to train you on things like body language and what to say on a date.

Is This The New Dating Culture?

The influence of VR dating on our social structure is still unknown, but research into online dating provides a glimpse of its potential impact. A recent study conducted by academics at West Virginia University and the University of Illinois examined the success of first physical dates after initial contact via internet dating. In many cases, despite prior positive online interactions, there was a drop in attraction after the initial face-to-face encounter.

However, this was “tempered” by the quantity of online conversation prior to meeting, showing that the greater the amount of online communication, the lower the disenchantment with physical interaction. Now, could VR, with its immersive presence, make this procedure even more successful? Well, it’s not impossible.

Get Ready For Your Virtual Date

As we know the personal experience, meaningful connections, and real-life relationships is benefits we get from dating. Tech companies managed to speed up that process by introducing the world to online dating and it spread like wildfire. Now, the dating app may be slowly replaced as the virtual experience is slowly growing in popularity.

But, is the dating experience better in virtual reality? We’ll see what the future holds.

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