In yet another strange development in the world of gaming, none other than Nintendo has devised a game where real men date fake women but pay real money for the privilege. Okay so lots of men are thinking – so what. They have experienced all kinds of fake women on expensive dates. Except that these women are real fakes. Well, they are virtual, existing only inside the Nintendo game. But the men are real, unless they are fake men – and this could go on and on. In any case, the Nintendo game, Love+ is quite popular in Japan where men who play it are required to seduce a virtual girlfriend and maintain a relationship with her. And if they are less than arduous, the girls reportedly let them know by being cold and distant – and possibly quarrelsome.
One version of the game features Atami, a city in Japan where the men can take romantic trips with their virtual girlfriends. They check in to a hotel and can pay the extra person fee even though the only extra “person,” is their Nintendo DS. This helps keep the fantasy more real – go figure. They can go to restaurants alone while pretending to be there with the virtual girlfriends – who are accessible via the game. Men can speak to their “girlfriends” via the device’s microphone. In the town of Atami restaurants and tourist attractions are up with the digital times. They all play along with the fantasy, indulging the men who pay for “vacation” dining and outings with their virtual girlfriends. Who would have guessed? No word on plans for a female version of this game but some gentlewomen may actually prefer virtual dates.
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