Dating in the Metaverse

In this episode of Women of the Metaverse, we explore the evolving landscape of ‘Dating in the Metaverse’. We delve into online dating trends, the shift to virtual reality dating, and the emergence of immersive virtual venues and social spaces for fostering connections. We share intriguing insights, personal experiences, and discuss important considerations like privacy, safety, and consent in this expanding digital frontier.

VR Chat
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Show Transcription

[00:00:00] Cheryl: Welcome to Women of the Metaverse. I am Cheryl Laidlaw

[00:00:07] Angela: I am Angela Harkness. We have been and are still on a journey to discover the Metaverse with 3.0 NFTs and anything that we are required to know to join this world.

[00:00:20] Cheryl: From this podcast, we will help you to unlock how the Metaverse is going to impact your brand, your business, and even your personal life.

[00:00:30] Angela: Join us as we take the mystery out of this new digital universe.

[00:00:37] Cheryl: Welcome to Women of the Metaverse. In this episode, we are talking about dating in the metaverse. And what the future holds for online dating world. As we move closer to virtual reality dating in the Metaverse, we’ve seen the likes of Tinder, Bumble, hinge, and many more dating apps be a massive hit online, and I’m [00:01:00] looking forward to seeing how they adapt their apps for the metaverse.

[00:01:05] Cheryl: So we’ve both done some research on this subject and as we were completely clueless, and you could say I went a step further because I actually had my very first date in the Metaverse last month, but we’ll get to the juicy bit later in the episode. So, Angela, do you wanna hit us with some stats on the dating world as it stands right now?

[00:01:33] Angela: Okay. I was really shocked with this. So 19% of internet users are currently using an online dating platform. It is estimated that there are over 8,000 competitive online dating sites and platforms worldwide. That is astonishing. Amazing. Dating app revenue was 5.6 billion in [00:02:00] 2021. I wonder if that’s such a massive amount because we were coming out of Covid and it was kind of the only way that people would, could, could meet each other.

[00:02:07] Angela: Yeah.

[00:02:08] Cheryl: Yeah. Maybe

[00:02:09] Angela: in twenty two, twenty two, three hundred and sixty 6 million people worldwide use dating apps or dating sites to meet new people. That is astonishing. Almost 14% of online data get married to someone they met on a dating site or app. I know. You know, must know someone that’s been married.

[00:02:30] Angela: Yeah. Yeah. I know, I know. Loads of people

[00:02:32] Cheryl: that have got married as a result of Tinder, Bumble, or, or any of the other apps, we’re not being sponsored.

[00:02:37] Angela: No, we are not. We are not.

[00:02:41] Cheryl: I mean, I, I was gonna say, I remember that you sent me a TikTok about the girl.

[00:02:46] Angela: Oh, this is incredible. Yeah.

[00:02:48] Cheryl: Created an avatar. Yeah. So she created, basically go on,

[00:02:53] Angela: tell She created, created her own avatar.

[00:02:55] Angela: So she is a influencer and she created her own [00:03:00] avatar, I think it’s called, is it called Karen ai? Where she, so Karen, is it, I think it, no, but I’m sure it starts with a C I’m think it might be We, we are gonna, we’ll put the link in the show notes so you can see, cuz it really is very interesting. And she offers one minute dates or she, it’s a, it’s $5 a minute to, for you to be this, um, avatar’s boyfriend and she is raking it in.

[00:03:31] Angela: I mean, she believes she can get to 5 million pounds a month doing this, which is unbelievable. So I’m not sure I’m in. Yeah. But I did, I did do a bit more research cause like, well, how’s she doing this? This like if you just got ABR B avatar together. But she did spend a lot of time, she spent probably a lot of money.

[00:03:56] Angela: They took a lot of data from [00:04:00] YouTube videos that she’s created to make sure they had all her mannerisms, they had her voice down, and then they created this avatar that looks exactly like her. And that’s her. She can sit at home making money because she’s not doing anything now. She just puts the avatar out there and people can go on a date with her.

[00:04:20] Angela: I

[00:04:20] Cheryl: can’t wait for London Web Girl to do that. She can make, she can, she can do all the sales stuff. She can build the websites.

[00:04:29] Angela: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it will get easier as well. You know, she was really ahead of the game. I think there’s even an agency for this too. So, anyway, so. Before we go into dating side of things, let’s talk about the virtual venues and social spaces that already exist in the metaverse.

[00:04:49] Angela: The possibilities for meeting new people and forging connections are boundless. Virtual venues and social spaces serve as vibrant hubs [00:05:00] where you can engage in a myriad of activities, socialize and yes, even find love. Let’s dive into some of the most popular virtual environments that have become hotspots for dating and meeting like-minded individuals.

[00:05:14] Angela: Dreamland oasis. This in charting virtual beach resort is the epitome of relaxation and leisure. Picture yourself strolling along pristine sandy shores, dancing under a starlet sky, or cozy up by a virtual bonfire. Love this. You would love that,

[00:05:34] Cheryl: but just without the guard, without people,

[00:05:40] Angela: without anyone annoying me. Yeah. Stellar city nights for those Seeking an electric atmosphere filled with energy and excitement. St. Stellar City Nights is the place to be. This bustling metropolis simulates a vibrant night life experience complete with bustling clubs [00:06:00] and rooftop bars. Serenity Gardens are your nature lover.

[00:06:06] Angela: Serenity Gardens provides a serene and pictures setting for those who prefer a more frankwell environment. And then there’s Cosmic Gallery. If you and your potential match, share a love for art. The cosmic Gallery is a must. Visit immerse yourself in a virtual art exhibition that transcends the boundaries of traditional GAR galleries.

[00:06:31] Angela: Marvel at stunning digital art installations. Engage in lively discussions about artistic expression or even collaborate on your own virtual masterpieces. That’s really lovely. I love that. I,

[00:06:44] Cheryl: I like that last bit. I’d like to create a masterpiece. Yeah. Together. Yeah. With my, you know, date. Yes. Without getting dirty and.

[00:06:53] Cheryl: You know? Yeah. Paint all over

[00:06:54] Angela: you. Yeah. Remember, these are just a few examples of the diverse virtual venues and [00:07:00] social spaces available within the Metaverse. I love most of you, though. I think they sound really good. They’re great

[00:07:06] Cheryl: ideas.

[00:07:06] Angela: Yeah, right. Great ideas. Yeah. Well, we only further tell us your dating story, your metaverse dating story.

[00:07:17] Angela: Okay,

[00:07:18] Cheryl: now this actually came about organically guys. So I was introduced to some, the person that shall not be named, no, and they don’t live in London and is a bit of a gamer, so, He actually suggested, shall we have a date in the Metaverse? Now, I absolutely jumped. I was so ecstatic, and I text Angela that day.

[00:07:53] Cheryl: I said, oh my goodness, I’ve just been asked if I want to go on the, in a date, uh, on a date in the Metaverse. I couldn’t quite.[00:08:00]

[00:08:03] Cheryl: I was like, well, how’s this gonna actually work? And he’s like, well, you’ve got Oculus. I was like, yep. He’s like, I’ve got my own VR headset. And um, the one that is, uh, compatible with both is a app called VR Chat. So we use VR Chat. So I went, you know, downloaded the app and created my avatar. And, uh, there was only a few to choose from, but again, I made sure that I was looking appropriate for my date.

[00:08:37] Cheryl: And, um, then we had the experience of trying to find each other.

[00:08:44] Angela: We’ve heard that though, when we go into. Some other things you, you’ve meta face. Yeah. You’ve got a, you are a bit like where are you? Where are you? But I guess if you were trying to find one another in London, it would be the same thing.

[00:08:56] Angela: Where are you? Where are you? Drop up in, drop me a bit, you know. Well, you

[00:08:59] Cheryl: can [00:09:00] summons people if you get their name right. But again, we had a few technical hiccups where we couldn’t find each other’s, um, handle. So eventually we found each other and I was like, where have you taken me? And he was just this really.

[00:09:16] Cheryl: This modern house, I dunno if it was it, it was his homeroom or something like that. And I was like, right, well now that we are here, what we gonna do? He was like, follow me, come with me. Just follow my avatar through this glass window. So I’m like, okay. Think goodness. This is the first time I’ve heard his voice.

[00:09:34] Cheryl: Right.

[00:09:35] Angela: Did you feel safe? Did you feel like, oh yeah, I’m intrigued, or,

[00:09:39] Cheryl: oh, I felt completely safe. Um, and. If anything, I was a little bit embarrassed that we were, I mean, he was dressed as a wolf. I’ve later, since I’ve later, I’ve later since found out that he wasn’t meant to be a wolf, but his character, his character and his avatar wasn’t, um, [00:10:00] uh, basically the Oculus couldn’t, I basically couldn’t see his

[00:10:05] Angela: See you.

[00:10:05] Angela: So creation. The interoperability couldn’t, yeah.

[00:10:10] Cheryl: Default. I got the default avatar, which was a fox or a wolf or something. I was thinking of all the things he could have picked for the date. That’s a bit of an odd costume or a bit odd, odd avatar. So, so I follow him into this room. He is a huge, um, snakes and Ladders game.

[00:10:35] Cheryl: And I’m like, okay. And he’s like filling around with these buttons on the wall and he’s like, this is a get a questionnaire, like dating game, a lot like snakes and ladders where we roll the dice and then we land on a question and that person has to answer it. So I was like, this is so cool. So he configured it to a, cuz you can go in there, this particular game and.

[00:10:59] Cheryl: And, [00:11:00] and have it to any jo, any genre, for example. So you could have it on Star Wars or you could have it on. You know, something else. So he, he put it in dating mode. Um, we played this massive game of snakes and ladders, um, for probably about an hour. And I found out so much about him. Uh, I think we were in the metaverse about two hours.

[00:11:23] Cheryl: Wow. For in this dice

[00:11:23] Angela: hour. So when you were doing all of this game, were there, were there any other couples in there or any other people? Did you have that room to yourself?

[00:11:30] Cheryl: We had the room to ourselves. Okay. So I don’t know if, I mean, we, it must have been exclusive for us because I don’t think anyone else could have come in and, and you know, well we didn’t have any, that experience with anyone interfering.

[00:11:43] Cheryl: So yeah. Would

[00:11:44] Angela: you recommend it? Would you go on another date in the metaverse?

[00:11:48] Cheryl: Definitely. Honestly, cuz you get their personality. Yes. Um, comes through, especially with an hour or two being with them. I probably had a smile on my face [00:12:00] the whole time. One, because it was so new and exciting, and two, because we actually gone as well

[00:12:07] Angela: and you didn’t need to go outta your pajamas.

[00:12:09] Angela: Oh my God.

[00:12:15] Cheryl: It was, it was really, really good experience. And um, just so happens that we were doing this episode that, We

[00:12:25] Angela: kind of spurred this episode, right? Like you, yeah, you, we thought there was a really good idea. So it

[00:12:31] Cheryl: won’t be long before there was a full on app, especially for dating,

[00:12:34] Angela: I think. Oh, I’m sure. I’m sure.

[00:12:36] Angela: In

[00:12:36] Cheryl: fact, I’d love to be the creator. If anyone wants to collaborate with me, then gimme a channel. I

[00:12:40] Angela: think it would be brilliant. I think it would be a way for, you know, people, a different way for people to connect and I’m sure, because I remember. When there was sort of dating agencies, but you used to have to go to them.

[00:12:55] Angela: I never went to anyone. And then all of a sudden this sort of online, and it would’ve been [00:13:00] by phone, first of all, came out and then it’s just now it’s almost, and PE it was like, oh, are you really doing that? Are you really on online dating? But now it wouldn’t be, nobody would bat an eyelid. No. People have online dating profiles.

[00:13:14] Angela: It was, it would just be

[00:13:16] Cheryl: normal. I think going back to the whole safety aspect of actually showing up and being the person that you say that you are, um, again, I was talking to this guy that said that, um, lots of people say that there, he. When they’re, you know, a she or she or a he or something like that.

[00:13:39] Cheryl: But the, the best thing that came out, say the best thing that came outta our date, uh, the most knowledgeable thing that came out of our date is that in WeChat, if you are, um, uh, deaf or hard of hearing, then the avatars will sign to you. Yeah, I love that. Yeah. Which I [00:14:00] think is absolutely incredible. Yeah.

[00:14:02] Cheryl: That they thought about that. Yeah.

[00:14:04] Angela: I think that I think haven’t done in meta yet. The safety and consent stuff, it’s always gonna be there, isn’t it? Whether it’s face-to-face or we’ve had our own experiences when we’ve gone into meta where somebody’s just been crude and horrible and coming up to us.

[00:14:18] Angela: Yeah. And yeah, I don’t know. I don’t even know how you stop that, but I mean, and I guess the only thing that you can do in those situations in when you are in VR is you take your heads out and you leave and you’re done. You know, the same with online dating. You just block, you’re done. So it’s a difficult one, isn’t it?

[00:14:38] Angela: It’s a difficult one because you, you know, it shouldn’t be there. It, the fact that it is,

[00:14:45] Cheryl: it shouldn’t be an issue, but it is

[00:14:47] Angela: still. Yeah, absolutely. I can also change your avatars and things like that, so, but I think if you are. If you’re sort of adventurous or you know you’re a bit lonely or if even if it’s [00:15:00] something that it’s not easy for you to do, this is a great way to experiment it.

[00:15:03] Angela: And I would imagine in a couple of decades time, it would just be the standard of, well, we do a VR date for us. Of course we do. You know? Yeah. Wouldn’t even be a shock. Absolutely. I agree. Oh, though, I love that story.

[00:15:20] Cheryl: So whether you are seeking a romantic relationship, bit of companionship, or simply expanding your social circle, embrace the Metaverse as a tool to explore connections in a dynamic and immersive way.

[00:15:33] Cheryl: Be open-minded, enjoy the adventure, and let the magic of the metaverse enhance your dating experiences.

[00:15:41] Angela: Remember, the Metaverse is still evolving and new. Virtual venues in social spaces are constantly emerging. Stay curious, keep exploring and embrace the infinite profitabilities that await you in the ever expanding world of dating in the Metaverse.

[00:15:57] Angela: We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. Join us next week. [00:16:00] As we continue our journey into the Metaverse, bye for now.

[00:16:04] Cheryl: Goodbye.

[00:16:05] Angela: Thank you for listening to this episode of Women of the Metaverse.

[00:16:10] Cheryl: You can find all information, links and people we talked about in the show notes on our website. If you have

[00:16:16] Angela: enjoyed this podcast, please comment and

[00:16:19] Cheryl: subscribe.

[00:16:20] Cheryl: Join us again in the next episode as we continue this exciting metaverse journey.