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Absurd dating show ‘Game of Clones’ lets contestants design their ideal partner

What happens when you take the latest in avatar-building technology, cross it with lusty singletons, and add a pinch of Vertigo for good measure?

Probably something like Game of Clones, an oddball, surprisingly techie new United Kingdom dating game show, which asks its participants to design their ideal partner, then tracks down enough of them to fill a room, and lets the would-be dater reel in horror at the discovery that hipster men with well-groomed facial hair, thick-rimmed glasses and the ability to play simple chords on acoustic guitar aren’t totally unique, once-in-a-lifetime individuals. (OK, we may be projecting here!)

“I pitched this as, ‘If Alfred Hitchcock had made a dating show, it would look like this,” David Flynn, co-founder of Youngest Media, the production company behind the show, told Digital Trends.

He said that the idea grew out of the lie that most dating shows try and sweep under the rug: that people don’t immediately gravitate toward their “type,” and then spend the rest of the show going through the motions before they can select the person they fancied from the beginning.

“This game is a different type of dating show,” he continued. “We start by giving people access to the latest avatar-building technology and letting them build their perfect partner in looks and style. They could, for example, choose to meet a glamorous blonde, or a mixed-race hipster, or an edgy boy band type. Whatever their type is, they can create it — and then we’ll go out and find those people through social media and billboard campaigns. The singleton then gets to live with them for a week. What the process actually does is take looks out of the equation, because everyone looks the same. The question becomes who has the right personality?”

If you’re in the U.K., you can check out the show Mondays at 7.30 p.m. local time on E4. If you live elsewhere you may have to wait to track it down, although Flynn said there has been interest from other countries about producing localized versions.

It may even turn out to be the impetus behind a future dating app, which could build on similar avatar and matching technology.

“People are constantly looking for new ways to date, which is why services like Tinder have become so big,” Flynn said. “I can absolutely imagine a dating service that works based on a person’s type. It’s something we’re considering as part of the show. We’re building a community that could definitely be interested in something like that in the future.”

For the record, our ideal type is Akzidenz-Grotesk. Or New Baskerville if we’re in a serif kind of mood.

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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