Create virtual boyfriend girlfriend sims and dating games
“[These apps] give me a chance to hide away from my real life, in which I don’t have a boyfriend,” Mook says.“And by playing these games, it hurts nobody.”Yuna, a programmer who lives in the suburbs of Tokyo (we’ve changed her name here), has been playing virtual romance games since a friend introduced her to Nameless—The One Thing You Must Recall, an app made by Cheritz, a South Korean gaming company.Many of them say the appeal of virtual dating games comes down to control: Dating in the real world may be a bittersweet experience at best, but in a virtual universe, the player is master.“[Women] dream of a guy who is handsome, controlling, and unreasonably in love with [them],” says Marcos Daniel Arroyo, a software engineer at Cheritz who has built a career on understanding what women want from virtual relationships.The games allow women to date the kind of men they are attracted to, but without any of the hassle or heartbreak.Fortunately for Scorpio, Mook, a 24-year-old living in Bangkok, likes “fierce, tough-looking” men, and she is struck by a softness in Scorpio that only she gets to see. Scorpio, meanwhile, is a god and a former assassin—and a character in Star-Crossed Myth, a romance simulation app.He comes courtesy of Voltage, a Japanese gaming company that specializes in romance games for women and that generated roughly million in revenue in 2015.
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.
“It’s like I understand them.” last year found that nearly 40 percent of single Japanese millennials were not interested in romantic relationships, describing them as “bothersome.” And in the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2014 that there were now more single people in the country than married ones.
For millennial women, in other words, the status quo is undergoing a seismic shift, one that engineers at gaming companies are busy mapping.
Mike Amerson, the American developer behind My Virtual Boyfriend, says he sometimes finds himself in the unlikely position of offering romantic advice.
He often receives emails, he says, from female users complaining that their sims have mistreated them.“They usually pick the alpha malefirst, which is more of a bad-boytype,” Amerson says.