New VR Dating Show Asks: What If The Sims Were Misshapen and Horny?

By Melanie Ehrenkranz on at

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.

Image: Virtually Dating

That, more or less, is the premise of Condé Nast Entertainment’s newly launched web series “Virtually Dating”—a dating show on the Facebook 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 football coach and an office assistant at a hedge fund, respectively. Shelby wants someone who can make her laugh. John wants someone who can capitalise 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:

Image: Virtually Dating

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.

Image: Virtually Dating

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 mummy and daddy met when mummy was a horse and daddy was a 3D cactus humping her.