AliceX: Better Than Your Girlfriend

Now that Internet porn has found its way into virtual reality, it should come as no surprise that in the beginning of this month a VR “girlfriend experience” had launched. Offering 24-hours companionship to anyone with an Internet connection and a VR headset, the website takes their users into a virtual room where they sit face to face with a real woman—in real time. Introducing AliceX.

First off, Alice is not a real person, but rather a modeling agency for Phone Sex Operators (PSO) with a webcam pointed to their faces. While live VR porn often presents itself as the impartial VR version of a camgirl, AliceX stands out as the first self-declared VR girlfriend experience (GFE). The streaming service introduces high-end escorts performing elaborate relationships with clients that often includes sex, but predominantly focuses on the fantasy of actually dating a woman.

Virtual girlfriends are nothing new to the Japanese games market; industry giants such as Nintendo and Konami have published dating simulation games on various platforms since the 1980’s. During the Tokyo Game Show earlier this month, a mannequin embedded with touch sensing software was presented, allowing players to fondle and interact with the augmented anime character through real-touch feedback. Unfortunately, after concerns that the game was too erotic, a touching ban was imposed to the figurine.

Even though future developments in augmented affairs are paving the way to news forms of intimacy, these may as well be implicated in it. Simultaneously, spending too much time building a relationship with virtual girls could blur the line between real love and pleasure, leading to social isolation. In our age of cold intimacies—a term coined by Eva Illouz, describing a new emotional culture in late capitalism—it is important to remember that these services are profitable entities that probably don’t really care whether you have a girlfriend our not.

Source: Engadget

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