“The 36 Questions That Lead To Love” based on work by the psychologist Arthur Aron is now not unknown to any. The New York Times caused quite a stir with it in 2015 and now, there is a VR experience based on the same. Oculus along with director Kevin Cornish recently launched an experiential virtual reality effort, Fall in Love VR. The main idea of the study was that people would have to be incredibly vulnerable to ask and answer such questions—and doing so could quickly build intimacy. As director Kevin said, “The most interesting thing from the research is this premise that the thing that creates human bonds is not the words we say to each other, but the act of conversation.”
Fall in Love uses virtual reality in a way to affect the current course of modern dating by reincorporating the human aspect and creating a whole new type of human connection with a VR headgear. This experiential VR effort from Tool of North America uses natural language processing –becoming among the first to utilize the technology in an interactive VR project–to make users feel like they’re truly having an intimate conversation. Cornish mentioned that he got the idea for the project while working on a VR film with Taylor Swift. “There was one moment where Taylor looks into the camera and it feels like she’s looking at you and talking to you. There’s a connection that you can get in VR and not any other medium.”
When you first sit down across from your potential digital love interest–you can choose from any of the five actors- Grace Van Dien (Greenhouse Academy), Ramon Rodriguez (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Logan Huffman (V), Wole Parks (Premium Rush) and model Maya Donovan. Although it gives an initial impression that this will be a two-way conversation, it really isn’t. Subjects choose which actor they want to fall in love with and ask a series of questions over the course of about ten minutes ranging from general info to more intimate conversations. Though earlier the idea had been that the avatars would also ask questions, but that was quickly rejected.
Adding more about the project, Cornish said, “As a storyteller, I am very excited about the possibilities for conversational cinema where the conversations you have with characters in a movie effect how the story unfolds. We as humans were designed to make eye contact with other humans and communicate with our voice. With Fall in Love, we are doing this. It’s still very early in exploring what is possible with conversational video, but there is something unique that happens when you speak and someone on a screen answers, and I could not be more excited about what lies ahead for this new medium.”
The project is Cornish’s first original VR project through Tool and one with a lot of hope for future VR productions. So let’s wait and see if this can finally make us Fall in Love!