“Should We Meet IRL?": Gauging Matches in Virtual Reality
European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)
Virtual Reality has evolved as a powerful, embedded and immersive technology medium to transform dating experiences. However, there is no rigorous CSCW research examining ‘dating’ in VR, despite social interaction being a serious topic of exploration. We aim to push the CSCW discourse on social interaction further by analyzing the dynamics of romantic reciprocality in a fully immersive VR application. Through a qualitative study of 30 participants in 15 pairs, we examine a customizable VR application ‘RecRoom’ as a dating technology medium to analyze how dimensions of interaction - including but not limited to voice, haptics and spatiality - influence dynamics of dating experiences. We employ Tinder as a contrasting chat based medium to situate and deepen our learnings about dating in VR. Our study finds VR allowing users to efficiently and effectively ‘gauge’ matches resulting in well informed decisions to meet (or not) virtual partners ’IRL’ or in real life than existing chat based mediums like Tinder. We believe this leads to improved experience of first dates.