It was only a matter of time before someone came up with a way of linking maid cafes and hostess bars with digital idols and adult virtual reality.
Behold the VR hostess cafe.
Yumenographia is not a physical space, but exists purely in a digital realm: it’s waiting for your patronage whenever and wherever you put on a VR headset. It is staffed by hostesses/maids who are, of course, entirely “fake” — in the sense that they are digital avatars. But, and this is a big “but,” the hostesses are real in the sense that they are the avatars of genuine people, rather than characters. At some remote location, women also apparently wearing Oculus Rift headsets to control the avatars and interact with the customers in real time.
Given that a lot of “women” in dating sites and pay-to-use chat rooms in Japan were exposed as fake (that is, actually men), we wonder if these employees are actually female. The people behind this scheme will somehow need to ensure transparency without breaking the fantasy of the characters.
So in theory, Yumenographia means you are drinking or eating with a real woman — but who happens to look like a perfect anime idol.
There are no details available yet about a launch/open date or about pricing. After all, how do you put a price on a digital experience?
In the meantime, Ichikawa, the company behind Yumenographia, is set to hold some preview events in Tokyo on April 19th, April 20th, April 29th, and April 30th. They also offered a taste with a brief video clip posted on Twitter, which garnered a strong response.
What they show off to the public later this month may well constitute the future of maid cafes and hostess bars.