3 things to know about virtual dating

Will meeting people online morph into holding dates online?

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Here are a few things to know:

1. It might become a bigger part of existing dating sites and apps

According to this article in NBC News:

Visitors to major online dating Web sites could soon see virtual dating functions.

‘With email the anticipation builds and builds and by the time you actually meet the person there is a mountain of expectation,’ said Abelman. ‘All people want is to learn more about the person behind the online profile in a safe and comfortable manner.’

Going on a virtual date entails logging onto a Web site like OmniDate and creating an online profile, like many other Web sites. Unlike other Web sites, a virtual date also requires setting up an avatar, or virtual representation of yourself, from a library of avatars.

2. It could integrate into the real world as well

According to this article in Vice:

Should you happen to agree with the poignant worldview expressed above, you’re in for some damn good news, because an Osaka-based ramen chain just announced a promotion that allows diners to eat a meal ‘alongside’ a virtual version of a girl group idol. That’s right, ramen chain Sasayama is offering a special experience at its Amerikamura (American Village) and Tenjinbashi branches.

There, you will be given a card with a QR code on it, which entitles you to access to one of five videos starring a lovely young lady from the idol group Hamburgirls Z, who will virtually eat ramen with you. While there are sure to be plenty who have no objection to the service, others might be turned off by how closely it resembles a virtual form of compensated dating, which happens to be disturbingly popular in Japan.

3. It might have a video game-like component

According to this article in Huffington Post:

Here’s how it works. In Second Life, and other sites like it, you can interact with others through the means of avatars. Your avatar can explore the world, known as the grid, meet other avatars, socialize, and participate in individual and group activities. Like Beyoncé becoming her alter-ego Sasha Fierce, you create a whole other “you” whose world you can actually control in all aspects. Who among us doesn’t want to have a perfect life where you are forever young, beautiful, and life is exactly how you want it to be? You may want to try it just for the fun of it. Be careful though. It does help to remember that cyber-reality isn’t reality at all. Virtual dating can seem a bit sad if taken too seriously. As in the real world, there is also the unpleasantness of breaking up in cyber-space.


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About Jordan Murray Jordan is a journalist who has written extensively about dating and lifestyle for multiple publications.