Finding your Meta-half this Valentine’s Day
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Fuelled by haptic hands and an avatar,
A Meta-kiss is all I want today.
Ahh, no one can sonnet like Shakespeare could. And if the Metaverse had been around in Elizabethan times, then I’m sure Shakespearean verses would have looked quite different.
But one thing that is for certain is, regardless of whether you lived in the Elizabethan era or Tinder times, you probably celebrated Valentine’s Day. And now it seems that Meta meetups is the new rom-tech on the block.
Though the true origins of Valentine’s Day remain a hot topic for debate, what isn’t up for debate is both the annual outpouring of love shown all over the world, and man’s technological evolution in the quest to find a soulmate.
But what happens if you never get to meet your soulmate because they live halfway around the world? How do you build meaningful connections with someone if you’re too shy or too self-conscious to make a first move? Or, what if the physical limitations of your own skin stop you from being who you truly feel you are?
Enter, the Metaverse.
Here we explore what it’s like to date in the Metaverse, and ask ourselves, do we really want to?
Metaverse or Met-adverse?
According to a report from Dating.com, 33% of people said that they are ready to date in the Metaverse this year. But what does Meta-dating look like?
Well, it could look like anything you want it to. And so could you.
One of the reasons the idea of the Metaverse is so appealing is because its possibilities are seemingly limitless.
But before you enter this realm of cosmic kismet, you’ll need your virtual persona to be able to meet and interact with your chosen beau.
There are various specific interpretations attached to the word ‘avatar’, but what is collectively agreeable is that an avatar is an image or embodiment of someone or something, and it is used in place of the physical being behind the façade.
So, in the Metaverse, your avatar could be anything that you wanted. Literally, anything.
And whilst you don’t need much to enter the Metaverse on a base level, the one thing you do need is an avatar to carry you on your journey. After all, it would be hard to connect with another avatar if you were just a detached blob floating around in the programme.
The Metaverse itself is, essentially, a way to virtually enter a computer programme and experience it in 3D. However, with more gadgets, gizmos and add-ons being brought to market, a 4D experience is the next obvious step to entice Meta-curious folk to the realms of cyber space.
And once you’re locked into your virtual world you can go anywhere you want. A date up in outer space? You got it. Dining with dinosaurs? Not a problem. Swimming with sharks because you’re a mer-person? If you like!
How do I date in the Metaverse?
You’ll need an avatar, ideally some VR googles and haptic bodywear, and essentially, someone in the space to go on a date with.
And there are a surprising number of dating sites and apps that offer meaningful meetups in the Metaverse. Nevermet, Dating.com and Metaverse Dating are just a few examples.
So, you’ve joined a Metaverse dating sight, you’ve made a connection and you’re going on a date. This is where you can have some virtual fun because your physical self and the real world don’t matter. They could be a million miles away. All you need do is let your imagination run free.
Dating in this way can allow two people to connect on a different level to what they would be able to in real life. Going on a traditional date and telling the person sitting opposite you that you would rather be a Greek God or Goddess, sitting on the moon and eating cheese would probably be an interesting way to start a real-world conversation. But in the Metaverse you can do that with a partner who also shares in your dream.
A creative space?
Could Meta-dating also cause a spike in creativity? Possibly. Once the mind is unleashed and the imagination starts to work, then people are more susceptible to possibilities – which could make your dates even more boundless.
And though this type of dating isn’t intimate in a physical way – you can’t gaze lovingly into your dates eyes or take pleasure in the seeing their pupils dilate every time they look your way – it does raise the question of whether you can connect to someone on a deeper level or not, because you would have, essentially, strolled freely through their mind.
More than a feeling
As the push for the Metaverse to become a place for connecting, not distancing, surges on, so too does the technology to help make that happen.
Wearables such as the teslasuit, and haptic gloves mean that in the future it may be possible to not only see another person, or rather their avatar, but you’ll also be able to touch them and feel that touch in return.
However, everyone is different, and if a love life that’s only ever going to be in a virtual world is something you’re happy with, then Meta-dating is probably for you.
But there is a lot of deeper and more meaningful connections that can only be found by meeting and seeing another person in real life. Body language, eye contact, real physical touch – all these things are human and they are important in establishing and building strong bonds and relationships.
So, for anyone who is single and interested in Meta-dates this Valentine’s Day, it could be a new and fun experience to try, but for a long-term relationship goal – if you like your cyber space partner, and if you’re able to – then go meet that person in real life and see if you can begin your happily ever after together.