Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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The VR girlfriend experience has arrived, maybe

The VR girlfriend experience has arrived, maybe

As soon as VR porn came—in a spattering of lukewarm news coverage all over your Face(book)— it also went, quickly becoming old news. Unsurprisingly, being able to turn your head 180 degrees to stare at a stain on a bed sheet while a gigantic person writhes “on top” of you wasn’t the sexiest application of the technology ever. Intriguingly, however, live performance is now becoming the preferred method for virtual reality sex, with sites like Ela Darling’s VRtube and now the newly released AliceX offering live content.

 I wouldn’t pin all my hopes for VR sex on this

While live VR porn often presents itself as just the virtual reality version of a camgirl, AliceX stands out as the first self-declared VR “girlfriend experience.” The girlfriend experience (GFE) refers to the practice of high-end escorts carrying out elaborate relationships with clients that often includes sex, but predominantly focus on the fantasy of actually dating a woman. Showing the close relationship between the job of a sex worker and the role of a therapist, GFE provides the emotional connection that some mistake for sexual need.

AliceX, the virtual girlfriend service, seeks to use VR to provide “adults everywhere an instant and intimate live connection with beautiful models,” according to its press release. The idea is to take advantage of the “presence” and real-time interaction VR excels at, turning the more simple pleasures of camgirl interactions into a more full-fledged romantic (virtual) date. But judging from the press images released alongside AliceX, I wouldn’t pin all my hopes for VR sex on it. For example, despite the service’s claims about providing a more intimate and realistic experience, the pictures place AliceX’s scantily clad models in front of green screen outer space backdrops. You know, just like how you like to talk to your girlfriend online: with all the visual noise of an iPhotobooth effect.

You can check out the service for yourself here.

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