2008-08-09

RNDP 13: Avatars

two avatars having a delightful virtual date

This week's adventure in the quest for an RNDP takes us to Omnidate.com, where an enterprising Toronto couple have created a virtual world where people looking for love can send their avatars on virtual dates. Vidya Rao of Columbia News Service explains how it works:

Through OmniDate, users choose avatars, or animated images, that will represent them on their dates. They are given the option to choose from six male or six female avatars, with each wearing a different outfit and hairstyle. For both genders, the avatars have one option each that clearly represents a person of color.

Virtual dates can include touring a museum gallery, going to a bar, listening to the user's choice of music in a lounge or even going to the beach. The avatars can interact with each other to express emotion. Type in “LOL,” for example, and users can make their avatars giggle. They can also direct them to blow kisses, hold hands, yawn and even roll their eyes to let the person on the other side of the screen know exactly how much they are or aren’t enjoying the date. [Full Article]

Omnidate's blogger tells us "an average virtual date lasts over half an hour" and predicts that in a couple of years, "dating sites without a virtual dating component will be considered lame and will experience a major decline."

4D Analysis: In Omnidate's world, you can "blow kisses", but you can't try out your moves. Major drawback. On the other hand, you'll be able to tell how fast the other person can type and that may tell you something about their manual dexterity. Possibly important to you.

Although new, and maybe even paradigmatic, I'm not going to think about endorsing it as a new dating paradigm until they incorporate smell effects technology.

We've yet to have any of our fieldworkers report back on an Omnidate virtual date, but you can click on the image below to watch to see how a date that lasts less than half an hour might go.


title screen for 'The Avatar Date'

1 comment:

xup said...

Settee!! Bwah-ha-ha...