Webkare - Virtual Boyfriends
Virtual boyfriends are all the rage for Japanese schoolgirls. Webkare - web boyfriends in Japanese - has acquired 10,000 members in just five days of use.
(Two of webkare's virtual boyfriends)
It appears to be as much a social networking site as anything else; it's a dating simulator, set in a virtual high school.
Girls sign up and become members of a social network but also users of a dating simulation in cartoon style. They have to try to hook up with one of four male Anime characters (who are the “stars” of the site) through “conversations” and must collaborate with other Webkare members in order to move on in the game. Eventually they conquer the heart of the chosen cartoon boy.
Science fiction buffs are, as usual, way ahead on this one. He wrote about the interactions between real people and virtual friends and lovers in his 1996 novel Idoru; see the entry for idoru for more details.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/26/2008)
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