We wanted to know more, so we chatted up a Digital Development Executive called Jack Kibble-White.
Can you sum up the prototype for us?
Historical Hookups asks you some questions to get to know you. Based on that, it offers up a list characters that might most appeal to you. Those characters all come from the golden era of the Palace of Versailles.
You can click on each person to find out more about them, and - as you can on any dating app - pick one to ask out on a date. Once you send a date request to one of your matches you receive a specific response. We built the reply using what we've learned about your personality, plus our research into the historical characters. Some of them will want to hook up with you and some won't.
How did the idea come about?
The original idea came from John O'Rourke in BBC Arts, during a development session. We worked with him and existing BBC technology to pull together an app-like experience.
What were the challenges?
Coming up with a structure which we were happy with took some time. We wanted to create something meaningful. We felt that the character you choose to date has to have a way of reciprocating (or not) their interest in you. We used some standard personality matching rules and worked out how each character would respond to those different personality types - and therefore, to you.
What are you hoping to find out?
We're looking to test whether audiences become more interested in an historical period, when they interact with characters from that time via a dating-app style experience.