Dating App has Avatars meeting in VR


Dating App has Avatars meeting in VR


Flirtual is a dating app that matches VR users together and facilitates dates in social VR applications. The creators say it’s a collation of a trend that’s already happening—people meeting in VR and forming real-world relationships.

Being in real relationships through online games is not a new concept. For at least a few decades now, players in virtual worlds such as Runescape, World of Warcraft, and Second Life, have formed virtual relationships that often also go into the real world.

The same has been happening in VR, and while the games of yore have players communicating mostly by texting and voice, VR of course ups the stake with the feeling of being physically present. Although VR users are still represented as avatars, and generally have little resemblance to their real selves, VR makes the experience of communicating with people in virtual worlds objectively better; VR users can actually dance together and some use that added immersion feature to get even more intimate in VR.

The added realism makes VR the perfect platform for being in real-life relationships say the creators of Flirtual.

It is not its own self-contained social VR app, in fact, Flirtual is actually a non-VR app which matches users who can then decide where and how to meet in VR. The creators say most of the Flirtual’s VR socializing is currently happening in VRChat.

The Flirtual app itself will feel familiar to anyone who has used a modern online dating app, with a few cautions.

Instead of pictures of themselves, Flirtual uploads photos of their avatar (or avatars). The sign-up process is typical and has questions about your interests, and what kind of person you’re looking for. And there’s a ‘Sexual Orientation’ field along with ‘Experimenting in VR’ among a range of more common options. Also specific to VR, Flirtual asks about the type of VR equipment you own and about your favorite social VR apps.

While it might be strange to match with other users based only on what their VR avatar looks like, the creators of Flirtual say that, for many people, that is what is appealing about VR dating.

When you choose your avatar, it’s the personality that makes the difference, the developers said. Flirtual checks the vibe in VR before sending IRL pics or video calling.

Other than matching users in the app, Flirtual also hosts speed dating and social events in VR.

Flirtual co-founders Anthony Tan and Kyle Farewell say their desire to help match the VR users comes from their own experience with VR dating.

Why we have created this? Because VR changed our lives. Honestly. It helped us come out of our shells, we made some of our best friends there, survived quarantine sanely, and fell in love.

Farwell says he met his girlfriend with whom he has been together for two years in VRChat, and they recently moved in together.

Flirtual is a re-launch of a similar service that Farwell started in 2018 known as VRLFP (Virtual Reality Looking-for-Partner). After appointing Tan as CEO, they worked to launch the modern version of Flirtual, which has the ability to search for new VR friends rather than specifically looking for romantic connections.

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