Presenting the most exciting intersection of new tech and old-school media since Second Life press conferences were still a thing, Tech Crunch is reporting that next Monday’s presidential debate will be broadcast in virtual reality. NBC is partnering with VR chat room company AltspaceVR to provide early adopters with a chance to watch nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump battle it out in a virtual “Democracy Plaza.” That comes after a similar VR streaming event that’s being held tonight, with a virtual Al Roker on hand to provide commentary and jokes for the Launch Party for the virtual Rockefeller Center.
Sadly, it doesn’t sound like NBC’s tech is up to providing users with a fully interactive VR version of the debate—you won’t be able to walk up onto the stage and affectionately ruffle Trump’s hair, for instance, or outfit Hilary with a pair of boxing gloves to beat her opponent down. Instead, users will watch a screen projected inside the virtual plaza, allowing users to finally know the high-tech joy of watching a presidential debate on TV.
Altspace has hosted a number of events like this, offering up coverage of e-gaming events, film screenings, and concerts. The company’s biggest offering to date was a Reggie Watts performance back in May, which ended up serving 1,200 virtual patrons. The debate tonight will presumably serve as a stress test for the company’s broadcast tech.
NBC is planning a series of these virtual shindigs throughout the rest of the electoral season, culminating in “Election Night On The Plaza” on November 8. (You can see the full schedule below.) VR isn’t the only option for people who want to watch the debate online, though; Facebook is also streaming the event for the low-tech plebes, even if they’ll have to live without the majesty of Virtual Al’s high-tech zings and burns.
Note: A previous version of this story conflated tonight’s launch party event with the actual presidential debate, which isn’t being held until Monday, September 26. We apologize for the mistake.