You might have already seen the video of the proposal where a man bends his knee, VR headset and all, to his future fiance in the Salt Lake City-based VR theme park, The VOID. If you’re doubting the veracity or sincerity of the gesture, wonder no further. It was real (and I might have teared up a little bit too).
Enos flipped through online profiles until he found what he calls “the most attractive thing [he’s] ever read.” Awaiting salacious details, I asked “what’s that?” Michelle, an English grad from Brigham Young University, listed the topic of her senior thesis on her dating profile: Jungian theory and the film Inception (2010). Enos, an advertising and film student, couldn’t resist asking Michelle on a date to get to know her better.
Fast forward to the birth of their first child in virtual reality… wait, too far. Rewind back a bit. A little farther. Ok. Now Enos is trying to plan the best, most fitting way to ask Michelle to marry him, but how? He asked himself “what’s the closest thing to a real life Inception, or being in a movie? Well… The Void,” he concluded.
“I thought it would be a Hail Mary (to message them). I had nothing to lose if they said no, or ignore my request. I contacted them and was like ‘Dear Fairy Godmother, would you?’ and they did.”
The email was sent and to his surprise, The Void agreed. Enos would of course need some practice to get the whole routine down, but after a few times bending his knee and presenting the ring, which was placed atop an optically-tracked surface (notice the retro reflective balls on each corner), he had it down pat.
Enos went on to tell me about how Michelle and he had actually never used a VR device before getting engaged in The Void, not even the humble Google Cardboard. Needless to say, the untethered VR experience blew both his and Michelle’s mind completely.
Michelle, a huge fan of Star Trek (everything but Enterprise that is), now proudly tells her friends and family that she “got proposed to on the Holodeck!” Rating from zero to Holodeck in terms of immersion, Michelle gave it a solid 8 or 9.
“You’re wearing a helmet, but you don’t really feel it when you’re in the experience… the extra mile is the wind, and the incredible graphics, the way you can communicate with each other—it just feels really natural,” she said.
“People can’t understand it until they do it. In my brain it’s registered more like a memory, than say, some online experience,” Enos told me.
The happy couple is getting married in late December of this year, and we want to wish them all the best in their new life together. We’re hoping to see some 360 footage from the wedding to keep in the VR-theme.
The Void is currently in beta testing, but you better be quick on the draw if you plan on getting a reservation slot, as the first rash of reservations were “sold out within hours.”