WHAT: A short film about a future in which people date in their dreams.
WHO: Director Lauren Cohan (not to be confused with Lauren Cohan who plays Maggie on The Walking Dead) and the apparel house, FreePeople.
WHY WE CARE: Back in the 1970s and '80s, science fiction took some wild flights of fancy in speculating about the technology of the future. They also got a few things right. In any case, shows like Black Mirror have recently have wrung a lot of dramatic tension (and sometimes outright horror) out of depicting near-future tech that seems scarily plausible. A lot of ideas that might have seemed possible at one point (enhanced supersoldiers; rating social interactions with all friends and strangers) now seem not so far away. Now, a new short film explores the next logical leap in online dating. Dream Girl reveals what it might look like if we could use Tinder while we dream.
The film opens up with friends discussing the new app over a dinner party, a scene that conveys just how such questionable technology might creep into normalization. One lonely dinner guest, Alex, goes on to try it out for himself afterward, during a dark-night-of-the-soul moment. The app is called Dream Reality (tagline: "your dream; your reality") and it involves placing a milky translucent bottle cap-size object on the user's temple. Once locked in, Alex learns he's still allowed to fudge the data on some of his mental and physical assets to enhance his attractiveness for potential matches. Yes, even in dreams people still can't quite represent themselves accurately. But maybe the digital version of ourselves we present to each other right now, in real life, are just dreams as well.