"Marriage hunting in the metaverse" A new form of encounterMarch 3 at 22:17

Marriage hunting events are one of the projects that local governments nationwide have actively carried out to attract young people to rural areas, but with the new coronavirus and technological advances, marriage hunting is also becoming more diverse.

Meanwhile, Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture came up with a new form of marriage activity ...

The idea is to take all the people who are looking to meet in the virtual space "metaverse" on the Internet, and first of all, they will become a couple in the virtual space.

Marriage hunting event in virtual space.
Is it a good idea? Or...?

We covered the changing forms of encounters closely for five months.
(Kofu Broadcasting Station Reporter Runa Otomo)

Meet with your alter ego "Avatar"!

The "dolls" in the image are men and women who are in a serious marriage activity.

A total of 39 men and women under the age of 23 who registered in advance participated in marriage hunting on the "metaverse".

At the metaverse marriage party, you create your doll-like alter ego "avatar" in advance and participate in the form of an avatar.

There are a wide variety of hairstyles and clothes, and everyone participates in their own unique attire.

In the world of the metaverse, just like a traditional marriage party, there will be time for each participant to promote themselves.

It conveys your hobbies and enthusiasm for meeting on this day.

: "I hope we can live a wonderful life together in the future, thank you."

There is also time to chat with each other one by one.

You will still be an avatar, but if you enter the blue circle on the metaverse, only the people in the circle will be able to talk to each other, and you can enjoy a conversation between the two of you.

At this marriage party, real information such as face and age is not revealed, and participants check their compatibility by the voice and tone of the other person.

It may seem inconvenient, but some female participants say that it is easier to participate than previous marriage parties.

A woman
in her 30s who participated said, "To be honest, I had never been married before, but that didn't mean I didn't want to meet someone like that in person.

Male participants said that they enjoyed their voices alone.

A man
in his 20s who participated said, "I was worried that I couldn't see their faces, but I could feel that they were enjoying themselves by the tone of their voices and that the other person was also a little anxious, so I thought that we were able to talk without any particular discomfort when it started.

Dating in the Metaverse

At the first party, 8 couples were born.

The eight couples will go on a one-on-one date for the first time in a town built in the metaverse space at a later date.

Control your avatar to climb mountains and admire the views of the town, or ride a motorboat for two across the ocean and enjoy a variety of dating courses just like in the real world.

For a way to get married in a local area?

Mr. Shinohara Nobumune, Childcare Policy Division, Hokuto City:
"For the past three years, I have been worried that it is difficult to do real things due to the influence of Corona. 」

Hokuto City has been planning events such as marriage hunting parties and matchmaking bus tours for more than 20 years in an effort to attract young people to the area, but due to the spread of the new coronavirus, we have refrained from face-to-face gatherings since 2020.

What we focused on as a new form of encounter in the With Corona era was "metaverse marriage hunting".

In order to make the first attempt safe, Hokuto City checked the participants' IDs in advance with the management company and communicated with the participants, so that they could be thoroughly verified and the participants would feel at ease.

Perhaps because of these considerations, a high percentage of couples were born on the metaverse, 23 out of 16, or 8 couples.

From the connection on the metaverse, how many people will actually meet in the real world?

I visited one couple who was born at the event on their first date.

Close contact with the first date!

Sumire, a woman in her 30s, and Red, a man in his 20s.

The two met at a metaverse marriage party hosted by Hokuto City, and after confirming their compatibility on a date in the metaverse space at a later date, they actually went on a face-to-face date.

The woman lives in Tokyo and the man lives in Hokuto City, but the place for the first date was decided on Hokuto City, which was also the beginning of the meeting.

Early in the new year, on January 1rd, the two met at the station.

It's kind of awkward to meet for the first time.

As they spend time together, visiting shrines in the city and drawing fortunes together, and visiting skating rinks to enjoy skating, the distance between the two gradually decreases.

Dinner is served at a restaurant in the city.

In the conversation, there are memories of the metaverse marriage party.

Woman: "It's not like an avatar at all, why that avatar?"
Male: "I really wanted to make them look alike, but they don't look like each other at all, so it's completely different, so it's okay."

The two ended their first date by promising to see each other again at the end of their date.

Since the avatars communicated with each other in advance, it seemed that they were able to feel the goodness of each other even if it led to an actual date.

The two said they would like to slowly deepen their relationship in the future.

I don't know my face or age, and I have a catastrophe

On the other hand, I was able to talk to people who said that matching at an event did not develop a relationship.

I am a man in his 20s who lives in Hokuto City.

He even met and dated a woman he matched at an event, but he doesn't have contact with her now.

Male in his 20s (Mr. White):
"I participated because I didn't have many encounters at work, and I thought it would be an opportunity to interact with various people at the event.

It seems that the unique feature of the metaverse, in which you don't know your age and appearance from the beginning, can become a nickname.

Can you meet better in the metaverse?

However, the planning and management company in Tokyo that operates the metaverse matchmaking party says that the percentage of couples who are established in a single event is higher because marriage hunting in a faceless metaverse space leads to more inward-oriented encounters than traditional marriage hunting parties.

Miyako Takasu, Representative Director of a planning and management company in Tokyo
: "I've been in the matchmaking business, and there have been a lot of mismatches until now. Conventional marriage parties focus on the prettiest person in the venue and the person with the best conditions. In the case of metaverse marriage hunting, we don't know the appearance and conditions, so everyone mainly remembers the feeling they talked about and moves on. Metaverse marriage hunting boasts a matching rate of 1% to 7%. I would like you to experience the marriage activity that you try to talk about, and the marriage activity that you enter from the feeling."

In addition to Hokuto City, this company is also receiving consultations about holding similar events in Mie and Shimane prefectures, and it seems that marriage hunting using "virtual space" as the entrance will expand as a new form of encounter.

After the interview

Does it really work at first? I started the interview with half a doubt, but when I interviewed the participants, many of them said, "I can tell the characteristics of the other person, such as whether they are reassuring or not, and whether they can talk lively," and I was impressed that everyone enjoyed themselves.

Many female participants feel reluctant to meet a stranger in person right away even if they want to get married, or feel burdened by preparations such as makeup and changed clothes for a marriage hunting party.

The participation fee was also cheaper than the face-to-face party.

The future of the encounter depends on the compatibility, but I thought it would be good to try the thread of the edge extending from the metaverse with a casual feeling.

Kofu Broadcasting Station reporter
Runa OtomoAfter
joining the
Yamaguchi station in 2018, he was in charge
of the prefectural government and Hokuto City at the Kofu bureau This time he experienced the metaverse for the first time, and there is also a marriage activity that starts with the voice! I feel that