The possibility of swiping right to date an orc wearing a pink propellor hat has come one step closer with the release of Nevermet, a new dating app designed to match up virtual reality (VR) avatars in the metaverse.
Nevermet functions like dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble and Hinge, but no images of real human faces are allowed. Instead of uploading photos of yourself looking hot, you upload images and video of your VR avatar, then select age and gender filters for potential matches, as you would in a standard dating app.
You can then swipe through other avatar profiles and match with them, potentially getting a virtual romantic partner in the metaverse.
Instead of putting your real location on your Nevermet profile, you can select a metaverse location such as the Meta company’s Horizon Worlds, or VRChat. Should you choose to, you can then meet your new Nevermet avatar match in your selected metaverse location for a VR date.
Nevermet is available on the iPhone, and is yet to be released on Google Play. It was launched by developers Solaris Nite and Cam Mullen, who worked on the VR social platform Cheerio.
The launch of an app allowing VR users to match and meet up for virtual dates without revealing photos of their real selves, or their real names, is likely to lead to scrutiny for potential misuse. Recently reports of metaverse locations, such as Meta’s Horizon platforms, becoming hotbeds of sexually aggressive language and avatar behaviour have been rife.
Users have to be aged 18 or over to use Nevermet, according to the app’s user safety policy. All profiles have to be moderated by the app’s moderation team, with users interviewed before being taken off the app’s waitlist and going live. You can mute or block other users in the app, and report inappropriate content to the app’s support team.
Nevermet says it sees avatar dating as a logical next step for VR interactions in the metaverse. A ‘manifesto’ on the app’s site reads: “Now, people might presume the ‘real world’ is real and that VR is fake. They’re wrong. The truth is, VR frees us to explore the depths of authentic expression and connection.”
“20 years from now, dating in the metaverse will be so commonplace that people will hardly be able to conceive of a time when it didn’t exist,” it continues.