Create virtual boyfriend girlfriend sims and dating games
The scenarios may be “unrealistic,” she adds, but they hold sway nonetheless. Virtual companionship, once a niche Japanese subculture, has mushroomed into a lucrative global industry.The first wildly popular virtual romance game created specifically with women in mind, called Angelique, was released in 1994 by a team of female developers at the Japanese gaming company Koei. Voltage, the leading company in the Japanese market, currently offers 84 different romance apps.“These games might help solve issues in your love life, as they make you see and understand new perspectives about love,” says Mook.“If a female can ask for less by playing a game—like, I don’t need a handsome husband because I get that from a virtual boyfriend,” says Yuna, “it could create a better relationship.”Tempestt Storm, a producer in Chicago, says she uses My Virtual Boyfriend as a stopgap until she finds the real deal.
He often receives emails, he says, from female users complaining that their sims have mistreated them.
Whatever the plot, the aim is the same: to create an emotional connection.
“When I read their stories, I feel like they are real,” Mook says of her digital suitors.
The virtual romance gamer is attracted to drama-driven story lines, says Kentaro Kitajima, vice president of Voltage.
“[They enjoy] our content like they would reading comics or watching TV,” Kitajima explains.