- A couple from Tamil Nadu has decided to host their wedding within a Harry Potter-themed
- Currently the state allows only 100 people to attend wedding ceremonies, but there’s no law against gathering in a virtual world.
- The couple’s wedding reception is going to be held in a virtual world built using
Polygon’s blockchain platform.
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in many a plan to get married but, just as work-from-home kept businesses going, love is taking to the metaverse. And, that’s just what one Indian couple is doing.
With the burgeoning Zoom weddings industry quickly fizzling out, when the wave of omicron cases forced them to cancel their wedding party, Tamil Nadu-based Dinesh Kshatriya and his fiance Janaganandhini Ramaswamy decided to step into the metaverse.
On January 9, the Tamil Nadu government had announced that people going to family functions would have to produce invitations, and that only 100 people would be allowed at weddings. This put a dampner on Kshatriyan and Ramaswamy’s plans, who presumably had invited many more for their reception — a common occurrence for Indian weddings.
Organising a Hogwarts-theme metaverse wedding
A project associate at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, Kshatriyan decided to collaborate with homegrown blockchain firm Polygon and mixed reality company Tardiverse to build his own little virtual world themed on the
He tweeted the invitation, which invited guests to appear virtually in the
School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the school for witches and wizards in the books and movies.
I feel so proud and blessed that I have seen and taken advantage of many great opportunities in this world before m… https://t.co/yPkjf3WWON
— Dinesh Kshatriyan (@kshatriyan2811) 1641870873000
The guests won’t have to put on virtual reality (VR) headsets, and can join in on the festivities through a simple web browser – they just need the right login credentials as well, Kshatriyan explained in an interview with The Hindu. The wedding is scheduled to take place on February 6.
Not the ‘first’ Indian metaverse wedding
The wedding has since been covered widely as the first Indian
. While Kshatriyan may very well be the first Indian to think of the idea, he’s definitely not the first ever. On December 10 last year, the New York Times (NYT) reported about Traci and Dave Gagnon, who didn’t just host a reception but also walked the aisle in the metaverse.
Does this mean metaverse weddings are going to be the next big thing? As NYT pointed out in its article — “How the immersive virtual world known as the metaverse, which few of us understand, will change the traditional wedding is, at the moment, anyone’s guess. But the possibilities of having an event unfettered by the bounds of reality are interesting enough to consider.”
The ‘metaverse’ is still a work-in-progress
Titans of technology, like Mark Zuckerberg and Satya Nadella are more than excited about the metaverse to the point where Zuckerberg has renamed Facebook to Meta. Meanwhile, Nadella has spent $68.7 billion to buy the third largest gaming firm in the world, Activision, to ramp up metaverse activities. But there are more than enough people who don’t really believe in the concept just yet.
Perhaps the most important criticism of metaverse products today is that the term doesn’t refer to fragmented virtual worlds that do not interact with each other. Instead, the metaverse is supposed to be one continuous virtual space which allows everyone in the world to interact within the space, buy property, explore economies and even get jobs — as depicted in science fiction movie Ready Player One.
There’s one problem with all that though. We just don’t have the computing power required for such a world, let alone a chip that’s powerful enough and have it fit inside something as portable as a wearable set of goggles or headsets.
“We need several orders of magnitude more powerful computing capability, accessible at much lower latencies across a multitude of device form factors. To enable these capabilities at scale, the entire plumbing of the internet will need major upgrades,” Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group at Intel, said in a blog post on December 14.