In the world of tech, VR is becoming a huge deal. TV, apps and games developers are integrating it with their content, which means you’ll soon be using it too. However, one thing that VR has brought with it, and makes some uneasy, is the VR girlfriend.
What is a VR girlfriend?
Introduced by a Japanese tech company – VR Kanojo is the latest to blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Kanojo means girlfriend in Japanese and the reactions are varied. Some people are hailing this as the beginning of a new age of VR socialization. However, others think there’s something slightly – off – about the whole concept.
Whatever your opinion of a virtual partner, you can’t deny something is interesting about it. The whole concept is fascinating – a girlfriend that you can switch off. A digital precesnse, whose sole purpose is to be there for you, when you need it. But, one who you can never have to take home to meet your mum and dad.
Is that a positive or a negative, I’m not sure, share your thoughts below.
How does it work?
Via a virtual reality headset, you, the player, are placed at the center of a variety of different scenarios such as ‘studying.’ You can then interact with your ‘girlfriend’ in many ways. Right now, the options are limited and include watching her lounge around or studying, although, in an outfit of your choosing.
The actual “fun,” begins when choosing scenarios, at the moment there are several. With the disturbing part being you being able to touch her however you see fit.
So it’s a sex-game?
Not quite, no.
The way the VR girlfriend is designed to work is for it to be as PG or as X-rated as you like.
For instance, one of the scenarios involves your ‘girlfriend’ spilling water over herself and then getting changed. However, she asks you to turn around before changing, and the scene will not continue until you have looked away and remain, doing so.
Saying this, you can go further if you wish – from hand jobs to oral sex and full-blown intercourse. But, ironically enough, due to Japan’s censorship laws, you can’t see anything too graphic, and the most you will see is a load of pixels writhing around.
How did all of this start?
The world of virtual and augmented reality has quite a backstory to it. The history of VR dates back as far as the 1950s with the ‘Sensorama’ a movie viewing type station which incorporated all of the senses instead of just sight. These types of virtual reality evolved into the world of gaming, which puts the player at the heart of a new world – providing a whole new experience of gaming.
Now the virtual reality world has expanded into VR Kanojo, blurring the lines between reality and pretend even further. This app works on Oculus, Rift, and HTC Vive so is accessible to almost anyone with a VR headset. Although relatively new, it’s only a matter of time before you know someone who has tried it or even someone who has their own VR girlfriend.
Who is going to use it?
At this point, you’re probably in one of two minds about the whole VR girlfriend experience. Either you’re intrigued and quite fancy giving it a go, or you feel quite sad for the people who are wanting to try it. Why would people want to give VR socialization a try when they can go out and find a real person to call their girlfriend?
Many of the people who are avid users of VR girlfriend find it very difficult to go out and socialize as many others do. So, the VR girlfriend provides them with some interaction that leaves them with a feeling of fulfillment. Something which most others get from ‘typical’ interactions.
This technology is an excellent tool for people who cannot go out with ease. It means, they get to experience a side to life which is somewhat/if not as perfect as everyone else’s.
However, the naysayers do think that by providing this type of interaction, we are not encouraging people to go out. Instead, developers are encouraging them to remain reclusive and introverted. And of course, there’s the opinion that “It’s just a programmed fiction,” “One that will do you harm in the long term.”
Personally, I tend to agree. However, my opinion is, a little virtual mixed with real-life isn’t all that bad.
In terms of finding love through virtual reality, the VR girlfriend cannot be considered a real substitute. The physical sensations that come from being with someone you are attracted to just aren’t the same when the other person isn’t real. Plus, there’s no chance you will ever feel a real human to human connection.
Regardless, technology is continually evolving – so watch this space.