Scrap those physical invites – even marriages are making the switch to digital, with one US couple diving headfirst into the metaverse with a fully virtual wedding.
The idea of virtual weddings is nothing new. All of the RuneScape players out there have definitely attended or partaken in a wedding in the early 2000s. There was no better way to up your inventory than getting a hold of wealthier players' cash stack through the exchange of a diamond ring in Lumbridge church.
MMORPGs have continued to play venue to such events over the years, whether that's RuneScape, Habbo Hotel, World of Warcraft, or Club Penguin. In my experience, these had no real-world implications and were simply part of the role-playing experience.
When the pandemic hit, I bore witness to my first Zoom wedding. That's not to say the wedding was like a daily stand-up, but due to restrictions, only the bride and groom were at the venue, while guests attended via camera.
The experience was strange, to say the least. Something deeply intimate felt distanced and detached.
For one US couple, the ultimate modern wedding experience offered a combination of a fully virtual and physical experience via the metaverse.
Traci and Dave Gagnon, who met online, held a ceremony staged by Virbela, a company that builds virtual environments. Their avatars – which borrowed their physical appearances and the clothes they wore at their real-life ceremony – were joined by those of friends and family.
Unlike physical weddings, those that take place online come without the limitations of physical restrictions. Guests can number the hundreds or thousands, gifts can come in the form of NFTs, and you can wear, or look like, whatever you want.
The event has sparked discussion about what possibilities the metaverse holds for the future – will we attend school fully online, go through the court process, go to the cinema?
Similarly, it has left many wondering if we're already living in The Matrix.
Though we've bare scratched the surface, we've already seen Fortnite host virtual concerts, Roblox tap into the fashion awards, and Nike sweep up virtual land. Seemingly, the possibilities are endless.
Buckle up, it's going to be a wild ride.