Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kicking Tires


I have blogged before on my view that dating is not a necessary detour to marriage and found something to ponder over this story I read some time ago, about a Japanese man marrying the avatar from a dating game. There are some interesting possibilities that come to mind. A lot of people swear by the efficacy of getting to know their potential partner over time - trying to simulate conditions of their real life after marriage. The idea being that they will be able to uncover "the real" person. When the right circumstances intersect, the stress will be enough to peel away the facade and the truth about who they are will become evident. When that happens, making a decision one way or the other becomes simple. 

More often that not, the "stress test" method fails because it is almost impossible to weight the large number of variables that are at play, exactly right. Sometimes, people will get entrapped in situations that they will regret later and at other times they will have walked away from a person and relationship that would might have been ideal for them.

A dating game if set up right should be able to do a lot more for two people in a Second Life setting (not a sim) than they might be able to left to their own devices. They can take their relationship through the paces without actually being there.What would make things more useful is for players to save and share their previous games with new partners. When a relationship turns serious it would default to full-disclosure mode so there is nothing left to guess or need to spend time in the whole discovery process that  dating is all about. The more pre-scripted the moves, the more efficient the whole process would be. Assuming people are busy and time is of the essence, it becomes imperative that the game goes from start to end fairly quickly and the results are unambiguous. If a game ends up taking months to complete and/or the outcome is not deterministic then one might as well go out and date in the real world and deal with all that it entails.

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