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Virtual Girlfriend 649

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the I'm-so-lonely dept.
Sven-Erik writes " BBC News reports about a Hong Kong based company called Artificial Life that has developed a solution for men without a partner, in the form of a virtual girlfriend that appear as an animated figure on the video screen of a mobile phone. But there is a downside to the virtual girlfriend - she will require more flowers and gifts than many real women. All virtual girls will look the same - but each girl will behave differently - depending on how much money is spent on her. In return, she will introduce them to different aspects of her life, like letting them meet her female friends - also electronic images. Artificial Life is hoping to launch the new game later this year, on the latest 3-G mobile phones.
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Virtual Girlfriend

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:41PM (#10057681)
    Been there, done that, and boy is my hand tired.
    • The match made for geeks and nerds. 99% of geeks find a successful match.
    • by Ooblek (544753) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:08PM (#10058098)
      But, hey, think about it.....now you can be bitched at over your cell phone without having to spend air time minutes!
    • by TheGeneration (228855) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:29PM (#10060595) Journal
      How much do you think it costs to not meet her friends?

    • by cryptochrome (303529) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:50PM (#10060814) Journal
      The Japanese have been pumping out dating sims for years now. Very few of them have moved outside of Japan though, and the few that have are usually hentai.

      When I pondered the nature of this phenomena I could draw only one conclusion - they're much like flight sims in the sense that you could theoretically apply the skills you've built there to real life. Remember key facts about her. Give gifts. Manage your time so you can work to earn money to buy said gifts while still maintaining a relationship. Say the right things. Do everything right on a date. Climb the relationship ladder so she'll put out.

      Of course the details vary by game and all of them have a distinctly Japanese sense of relationships, which is why you see so few outside of Japan. And it doesn't have anything like the nuance of real relationships - it practically trains you not to do or expect anything unique either. And when it comes to the hentai, the "lessons learned" are frequently worthless and often morally repugnant, but nevertheless fit into some twisted perception of dating.

      So, this expensive mobile realtime version of a dating sim is just an evolution of the concept. Albeit a rather expensive one. Frankly, it doesn't seem like it needs to be online. And the fact that all "girlfriends" look alike reeks of encouraging either mental or programming laziness. It must have some other special realtime hooks, like an advanced voice synthesis and interpretation engine, or an extensive and up-to-date library of keywords and responses.
      • by gujo-odori (473191) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @01:46AM (#10065058)
        I lived in Japan for eight years, and you're quite right, there's nothing especially unique about this; it's basically just a Tamagotchi for people who are old enough to jerk off.

        So, how to make it unique?

        Just a little glue. The pieces are already all in Japan.

        One of the many things that Japan is (in)famous for, and perhaps wishes it wasnt, is imekura (image clubs) and telephone clubs. An imekura is where you go for koosu-purei (course play) - sexual fantasy vignettes. For everyone salaryman who has ever wanted to be a train groper but had either too much decency or too little nerve, they have an answer: a train car mockup complete with an OL (or a young woman in a high school uniform, if that's your thing). They also have OL fantasies, nurses, the usual suspects. SM at some of them.

        Then there are the telephone clubs. The girls are often high school girls, the customers are not high school boys. Go to the telephone club, use the phone, maybe get to make a date to meet up with a girl. If you meet up, money and bodily fluids will be exchanged.

        In other words, Japan has no shortage of young women, high school girls (and even some jr. high school girls) willing to put out for money, either in a direct cash transaction or in exchange for expensive designer bags and such.

        Enter (no pun intended) the virtual girlfriend.

        You play the game. You buy her presents, do and say all the right things, etc. If you've been very good, a real, live meatspace girl (who has been getting her cut from all these virtual presents for the virtual GF) shows up.

        She doesn't know your real name. You don't know hers. But she does know your history with the virtual GF and takes over the persona for a little while in meatspace. Maybe she'll go to some function with you. Maybe have dinner or go to a movie, have a meatspace date with the virtual girlfriend. Or maybe you just head straight to the love hotel, which is what she really showed up for: real-life sex with the virtual girlfriend. Whether this would require some additional presents (most likely the foldable kind that go in your wallet) or not would have to be worked out. If, or how much,she needed would probably depend on what kind of cut she was getting from those virtual presents.

        Is this a troll or something? Heck no. Anyone who has lived in Japan for a while (and BTW, I love the place; none of this is trash-talking Japan, I'm just describing some things that are there. No, I don't go to those places; I'm married) knows that combining the virtual GF game with a meatspace temporary GF who just shows up for a no-strings-attached turn at a love hotel would be a huge hit. Not with the whole population, and maybe not long term, but for a year or two (maybe more), they'd make a killing.

        Steps will have to be taken to ensure that neither the virtual BF (hereafter referred to as "the john") nor the virtual GF (hereafter referred to as "the ho") can find out the other's identity (nothing could stop the john and the ho from sharing this info if they wanted to; the important point is just to prevent the other person from knowing who your are without your consent), but the plan itself is fully workable.

        And I won't even try to patent it ;-) However, if anyone else does, you saw the prior art here :-)
  • No Thanks! (Score:5, Funny)

    by CommanderData (782739) * <kevinhi@nOSpam.yahoo.com> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:42PM (#10057683)
    I'd rather go to a bar and meet chicks to spend money on.

    Just don't tell my wife ;)

    • by Peter Cooper (660482) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:48PM (#10057802) Homepage Journal
      The first rule of being a player, and the one who gets all the chicks, is not to buy her drinks! [fastseduction.com]
      • by maxpublic (450413) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:11PM (#10058137) Homepage
        Ah, fastseduction.com! Completely forgot about those dorks. I figured they abandoned their tripe and got into the 'penis enlargement' game, where the REAL money is made.

        Hey, any socially-inept twit can do the mental convolutions to make himself think he's actually a stud, but your dick - well, no matter what you do with the ruler, if your 'raging manhood' is only four inches long then you've got very little to rage away with. And there fastseduction.com isn't going to be any help at all, especially when your date starts to snigger over the abnormally small size of your equipment.

        The last thing any guy wants to hear is "is it in yet?"

        Max
      • The second rule of being a player is that you cannot become a player by reading a How-To on a website. Trust me, been there, tried that.

  • is it just me... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kippy (416183) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:42PM (#10057684)
    or is this the most pathetic thing ever?
    • by justkarl (775856) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:44PM (#10057730) Homepage
      is this the most pathetic thing ever?

      No, it really is.
      All virtual girls will look the same - but each girl will behave differently - depending on how much money is spent on her.

      Wow, it's realistic, too!!
    • by rrhal (88665) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:49PM (#10057818)
      Well just don't spend any money on her. She can't dump you - all she can do is get bitchy. Then You'll feel better about not having a real girlfriend.

      • by servognome (738846) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:01PM (#10058001)
        That could get scary, just imagine your virtual girlfriend ringing your cell phone in the middle of the night, calling for pizzas you never wanted, or calling all the people in your address book and bitching to them about how bad a boyfriend you are.
        I could just imagine the lens of your camera phone being like HAL, staring at you, tracking you. When it discovers you plan on taking out the cellphone battery to stop it, it calls the mental institution to whisk you away.
        Hell hath no fury like a cell phone scorned
        • I could just imagine the lens of your camera phone being like HAL, staring at you, tracking you. When it discovers you plan on taking out the cellphone battery to stop it, it calls the mental institution to whisk you away.

          No big deal, that's a solved problem--just go into a soundproof room when you discuss your plans to get rid of her. The first version can't read lips, remember?
      • by Aerog (324274) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:11PM (#10058136) Homepage
        I feel good about not having a real girlfriend all the time. All it takes is one run through the meat-grinder that is a whiny, lying, needy, depressive, self-centered, cheating wench. Now I have more time and money than I've had in a long time and none of the trying to please someone who doesn't deserve it. So I bought a new 19" NEC LCD, named it Nicole, and declared that it can now be my new girlfriend. Strangely enough (to answer ACs right up front), the sex got better.

        But I guess if some people haven't had to deal with (in)significant-other hell, then maybe this is just what the doctor ordered. Then they can "dump" their virtual girlfriend and save a fat sack of cash. Might I suggest a nice new monitor and a DSL connection?
    • by pikine (771084) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:50PM (#10057838) Journal
      ... or does the girl really look like the bride of chucky?
    • Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Morphix84 (797143) <xanthor AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:55PM (#10057914) Homepage
      Why would anyone in their right mind want to pay for virtual gifts for a virtual woman. This is the ultimate version of hell. Appearantly she nags at you if you don't spend money on her. It's like all the punishment and none of the reward. Morphix Game Rate: -5 (Would rather run tongue across a rasp than play this game)
    • It is indeed one of the most pathetic things on earth, but tell you what, I think most of the "boyfriend/husband skills" you learn with "Female Simulators" like this pay off in real life.

      I'll give you a real-life example.. The other week I forgot our anniversary. This is one of the dumbest mistakes that you can make as a man and regardless of the experience you may have it may happen to you. I came home, and T. didn't even want to speak to me. She just looked away. Thank God, I remembered just in time and
      • by jlseagull (106472) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @03:16PM (#10059719) Homepage
        You, my friend, are whipped. Verbatim quote from the girl I've been dating for years, after I mentioned the fact "hey, we met X years ago today."

        "You know, don't bother remembering stupid things like that. Even though my girlfriends think I'm an idiot for saying this, I'm sticking by it. Make every day special for us, and I'll be yours forever. I will never ever get mad at you for not remembering these things."

        Of course, it helps that she's Eastern European and doesn't grant importance to the Hallmark Holidays(tm). American women have bought into that bullshit wholesale, I'm done with them.
    • For those of us who remember Ultima VII [sourceforge.net] (one of the best RPGs of all time!)...

      There was an optional mini-quest involving a lonely, melancholy woman who spent all day near the town shrine, wondering whether her father was still alive. You could offer to help find out what happened to him.

      As a 13 year old boy with very little female experience, I was really enraptured by this quest, and made it my top priority! And even though the game engine's reward was (no kidding) a text message of "She moans deeply

  • by tekiegreg (674773) * <tekieg1-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:42PM (#10057685) Homepage Journal
    Somthing similar to this where guys would buy virtual presents for real women, sometimes spending upwards of $30-$200. Anyone care to shed light on what that one was, and whether it is still in business?

    *sigh* nothing quite like the exploitation of desperate single guys...fortunately I'm married and am above such exploitation...now off to Proflowers.com to get her a few :-p
    • by rmarll (161697) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:49PM (#10057814) Journal
      " Somthing similar to this where guys would buy virtual presents for real women, sometimes spending upwards of $30-$200. Anyone care to shed light on what that one was, and whether it is still in business? "

      I think the developer was De Beers, the gifts were 3-20k. If memory serves, the game was called Failed Relationship.
    • by Destoo (530123) <destoo@gmail.cCOMMAom minus punct> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:06PM (#10058075) Homepage Journal
      Yes. FunHi [funhi.com]
      here's an opinion. (I'm still too speechless from seeing the site the first time to form an opinion about it. I'm still at the "banging head on monitor repeatedly" stage)

      There is a gift store, which allows people to buy gifts for people they like. Which mostly means that guys will try to attract the attention of the girls who've uploaded the most enjoyable bikini pictures. The gifts are simply a small GIF file with a picture of something. Like flowers or a private jet. The gifts start at 1 cent. And there's nothing wrong with the gifts that cost 1 or 5 cents. But, somehow, the social dynamic of showing a list of who gave what gifts to what person, and them being listed in reverse price order, means that some people will be very motivated to buy the expensive gifts. Like the $14.99 jet plane or the $30 credit card. Remember, they're just GIF pictures. You don't even download them. And, remember, you pay for them with a real credit card.
      -Flemming Funch, ming.tv

  • by jeffs72 (711141) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:42PM (#10057688) Journal
    All the cost and none of the sex? Whats the friggin point?!?!?!
  • Holy Cow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:42PM (#10057690)
    I might actually be able to get a date!
    • Re:Holy Cow! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xugumad (39311) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:45PM (#10058540)
      I have to say, I'm catastrophically single (25, never dated, - things could only be worse if I lived in my parents basement), and I think this is a bad idea. This should tell you something.
      • Re:Holy Cow! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by orac2 (88688) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @03:04PM (#10059577)
        Dude, ouch! You're obviously not thrilled about the situation, but it can be changed -- but it takes a lot of groundwork. If it's a psychological problem like chronic shyness, social phobia or generalised anxiety disorder, get thee to psychotherapist (preferably one that's into Cognitive Therapy instead of Freudian analysis). If you've got Generalized Nerd Syndrome (bad clothes, overweight, etc), get thee to a gym, book a starter session with a personal trainer and work out a realistic routine. Then find a department store that offers a 'personal shopper' service (it's like your very own 'Queer Eye for The Straight Guy') Ask for help with clothes and toiletries. It won't be cheap, but if you haven't been dating you should have some disposable income and you'll end up smelling nice with well fitting clothes that suit you, which makes a huge difference. If you're actually disfigured due to injury or disease get thee to a support group and start exploring options with them. Once you've laid the groundwork, consider something like eHarmony, Match.com or Nerve (meeting someone through a dating service has finally lost it stigma, at least on the coasts if not everywhere). Take it easy: you haven't had the opportunity to practise dating skills in the sandbox of adolesence, so resign yourself now to making screw-ups. Don't sweat about them, just learn from them. But the point is you actually have to start doing the spadework: self-awareness is great but only if you use it to chart a course to somewhere else. Set short-term concrete goals: i.e. "By the end of the week I will have made an appointment with a doctor/personal trainer..." not "I'll try get fit by Christmas," because Christmas will be here in the blink of a eye and you still won't be in shape. Remember, Do or Do Not, a Jedi does not try.
        • Re:Holy Cow! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          You forgot to mention a bit of advice which has saved countless people from being intimidated... If you go on a date, DO NOT think of it as a date. Just think of it as going out with a friend to hang out.

          If the chemistry is right between you, things will happen. One of you will just know the right time to make a move.

          Thinking of a date as a date can set unrealistic expectations.
        • Re:Holy Cow! (Score:3, Informative)

          by Shadow99_1 (86250)
          While I don't have time for the reply I'd like (I just got called in to work... just after getting home)... I will say I'm not all that different from the poster you are replying to... My 'best' relationships have lasted maybe a week unless they've been long-distance internet matchups, which have sometimes lasted months though rarely ever meeting... If we ever did meet that is... And even counting those I only have a handful of experiences...

          The problem more than anything is more in the understanding who t
          • Re:Holy Cow! (Score:3, Informative)

            by orac2 (88688)
            First off, wierd, your Slashdot id is the closest to mine I've seen in a long time. 8xxxx rules!

            Second, you at least have been able to breach the dating barrier (although, honestly, I'm not sure I'd refer to a liason which lasted only a week as a 'relationship.' Not that brief encounters can't be sincere, touching, and meaningful, just that there isn't enough time for them to develop into full-blown relationships) You may have issues (who doesn't?), but although the symptoms are similiar in nature, the dif
        • Re:Holy Cow! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by InfiniteWisdom (530090) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:18PM (#10061100) Homepage
          I'll attest to that. I was in almost the same situation... 23 years old and never been on a date

          At some point I decided to take the plunge into online dating and bought memberships at a website or two. Its not like things changed dramatically overnight, but I went from never having dated to having a date or two every month. Even though things didn't work out even a little bit with anyone for a long time, I felt like a lot less of a loser. Especially given that even if I got brushed off after a date, there were others I'd met mroe recently who "were in the pipeline"

          I met several very nice (often also very attractive) women, chatted a while, decided to meet. It took me a while to even get a second date though, so take what the parent said about screw-ups and learning from them seriously. Most of the girls probably went from thinking of me as a "nice, fun guy" from chatting online to "nice but horribly socially inept" guy withing the first hour. After about a year of stumbling around I learnt to read signs, be just a little less awkward etc.

          I think what the parents suggests about seeing a therapist might be a little too extreme unless you figure out there really is a problem that warrants professional help. For me, just keeping my eyes open helped go a long way. I learnt to pay attention to other people... those who are a lot more socially talented that I. Learn how to make small talk, know what topics to avoid with someone you've met 5 minutes ago, take notes from other peoples' sense of style. Don't copy them, but just observe and learn. I also made it a point to put myself in social situations that I used to avoid, talk to new people in bars/parties etc. (whether male or female).

          I really do feel like a changed person over the past year that I decided to actively do something about it.

          Well, time for me to go pick up a movie and bottle of wine and head over to my girlfriend's place :)

  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:42PM (#10057696) Homepage Journal
    According to the creator of VG there's no sex, none of this voyeuristic stuff aside from trying to please a program. Seems like a video RPG, as you can communicate with 'her' over your phone or computer, talk, buy her songs and probably virtual roses and Hello Kitty accessories.

    Target audience seemed to drift during the interview from 16-30 to 15-35, either way, seems to paint a bullseye on Comic Book Guy and the like. He was also evasive on how much the player pays for gifts for the girlfriend, which suggests the hook. Next it'll probably be people selling Virtual Pink Corvettes on eBay so you can meet 'her' special friend 'Skipper'.

    • How is this any different from "Dating Sims" like this one [umich.edu] or this one [mikesfreegifs.com]? Am I missing something, or is the innovation here just that it is on a mobile phone? -F
      • Instead of clicking a button to give food to your pet, you can click a button to debit a micropayment on your cell phone account/credit card and give your electronic significant other some virtual gadget that will make her happy/feed her/spank her.

        So at the end of her "virtual" life, you'll see how much she cost you.

        And people are loving it.
        Scary.
  • by Digital Overlord (765414) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:42PM (#10057701)
    Will she put out or is this prudish software?
  • by switcha (551514) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:43PM (#10057709)
    Posting this to Slashdot's front page is like driving a doughnut cart past a fat camp.

    "tsk, tsk...they never had a chance..."

  • by spacecadetglow (790516) <spacecadetglow&gmail,com> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:43PM (#10057710)
    people will actually buy it.
  • Duh (Score:5, Funny)

    by sasquatch21 (184936) * on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:43PM (#10057718)
    "For men without a partner, help may be at hand..."

    Duh
  • by Trimbo2 (661670) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:44PM (#10057727)
    "she will require more flowers and gifts than many real women"

    Is that even possible?
  • by dhalgren99 (708333) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:44PM (#10057728) Homepage
    WTF!!!???
    Who would buy this service!?
  • by The Angry Mick (632931) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:45PM (#10057734) Homepage
    From TFA:
    ... a Japanese company that recently created a Boyfriend Arm Pillow - for women who miss being hugged by a man at night.

    Thanks to that sentence and the topic of virtual girlfriends in general, I almost want to sit down and cry.

  • Threesome? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Digital Overlord (765414) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:45PM (#10057736)
    Can you add a 2nd one for a threesome?
  • Ignore Mode? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grunt107 (739510) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:46PM (#10057760)
    If I ignore the VG, will she die like the Virtual Pets did?
  • by JamesP (688957) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:47PM (#10057781)
    your insensitive clod...
  • No jokes... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wind_Walker (83965) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:47PM (#10057783) Homepage Journal
    I swear, I've been sitting here for 5 minutes trying to come up with a joke for this topic. But as soon as I think of an idea for a joke, I have this overwhelming sense of pity for some poor lonely guy out there who would have to get a Virtual Girlfriend because he cannot hold a real relationship. All this guy wants is a bit of love and respect, but he just can't get it. Then I get disgusted at the greedy, money-grubbing company trying to capitalize on these poor souls, feeding their thirst for money off of their victim's need for love and acceptance...

    Then I get pissed I didn't think of it first.

    • by GuyMannDude (574364) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:22PM (#10058280) Journal

      I have this overwhelming sense of pity for some poor lonely guy out there who would have to get a Virtual Girlfriend because he cannot hold a real relationship. All this guy wants is a bit of love and respect, but he just can't get it. Then I get disgusted at the greedy, money-grubbing company trying to capitalize on these poor souls, feeding their thirst for money off of their victim's need for love and acceptance...

      I'm not sure if all of this is meant to be a joke (as one respondant has already suggested) but since you are being modded as Insightful I'm going to reply as though you were serious. This company is providing a service. To think of them as exploiting someone is a real misunderstanding of commerce. Do grocery stores exploit me because I have a biological need to eat? There are numerous reasons why some guy may need to find love and finds this Virtual Girlfriend thing to be a less-risky outlet. Perhaps someone has recently been hurt very badly in a relationship (e.g., engaged and then his fiance ran off with someone else) and just isn't ready to date real people just yet. Rather than forcing him to interact with other (real) women when he's still thinking about his loss (which wouldn't be very much fun for the women he meets) or having him sit on his couch bawling to himself, this Virtual Girlfriend may actually serve a theraputic purpose. In this case, the company is not exploiting him but is helping provide a way for him to get over his loss. Yeah, it would be great if this company provided this free of charge out of the goodness of their hearts but that's not the world we live in. They developed the technology and need to recoup their investment as well as reward those who came up with the idea. This is legitimate commerce, not exploitation.

      GMD

  • wrong idea (Score:5, Funny)

    by ucsckevin (176383) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:48PM (#10057789) Homepage
    great, a Tamagoochi that wants gucchi.
  • cnn article (Score:3, Informative)

    by squarefish (561836) * on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:49PM (#10057809)
    here [cnn.com]

    Virtual girlfriend could end dating woes
    HONG KONG, China (AP) -- She needs to be coddled with sweet talk and pampered with gifts, but you'll never see her in the flesh, says a Hong Kong company that's developing a "virtual girlfriend" for new cell phones with video capability.

    Artificial Life, Inc.'s electronic love interest will appear as an animated figure on a telephone screen. But she'll require a lot of attention, involving virtual flowers and diamonds, company spokeswoman Ada Fong said on Monday.

    The gifts will keep the relationship going from one level to the next -- and even though it's all made up of cold, hard data, suitors will have to pay cold, hard cash for the gifts.

    The amounts have yet to be determined, Fong said.

    Users of so-called third-generation, or 3G, cell phones who subscribe to the game can send text messages to the virtual woman, who'll respond by voice, Fong said.

    If she's neglected, "she'll be unhappy and she won't talk to you," she added.

    The game doesn't allow interactions of a sexual nature, Fong said, calling it "suitable for all ages."

    The company hopes to develop a virtual boyfriend for women by early next year.

    The virtual girlfriend is similar to the popular Tamagotchi "pet" concept developed by Japan's Bandai Co., Fong said.

    Artificial Life hopes to launch the service in the English, Japanese and Korean languages in late November. No 3G operators have agreed to offer it yet, she said.
  • Girlfriend??? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tenebrious1 (530949) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:50PM (#10057839) Homepage
    ..but each girl will behave differently - depending on how much money is spent on her.

    Since you're not getting any sex, she's more like a therapist than a girlfriend.

  • But it may be encouraged by the success of a Japanese company that recently created a Boyfriend Arm Pillow - for women who miss being hugged by a man at night.

    So, the men have virtual girlfriends on their phones, the women have arm pillows instead of boyfriends. Is it any wonder the birthrate in Japan is so low?

  • by s4m7 (519684) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:59PM (#10057971) Homepage

    Slashdot is my virtual girlfriend, you Insensitive Clod!

    Seriously though, when I had a girlfriend, the most annoying thing about her was that she was always on my mobile phone!

  • by Exmet Paff Daxx (535601) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:02PM (#10058018) Homepage Journal
    Ten years after Demi Moore went for a million bucks, we've found a way to bring the objectification of women to a new level. The computer is apparently Larry Flynt's new meat grinder.

    It's sad to see the rate at which our runaway technological advances outstrip the advancement of society. In one hundred years we've developed flight, space travel, nuclear physics, gene therapy, and global digital communications networks, but we still can't get past treating women like property instead of people.

    Articles like this are why I'm so excited about the possibilities of genetic engineering. I feel like the only way to get this bug out of the system is to change the source code. Imagine a world of humans without gender or race - imagine what we could accomplish!

    For now we're stuck with a world where we hang female children for mouthing off [coxandforkum.com], create computer programs to be interchangeable currency for female slaves, pretend that gender warfare is actually a natural state [washingtonpost.com], and where female developers can't post on Slashdot without seeing the first ten replies read "show us your tits".

    Humynity sure has a long way to go.
    • by mblase (200735) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:31PM (#10058390)
      In one hundred years we've developed flight, space travel, nuclear physics, gene therapy, and global digital communications networks, but we still can't get past treating women like property instead of people.

      There are some things that are simply built into the genes. Human men are compelled to have sex without commitment; women are compelled to form commitments. It's a broad generalization, but all of anthropology, sociology and natural biology boil down to this simple axiom.

      You can try to deny it, argue it, or change it, but human nature will always defeat you in the end. The successful social institutions are the ones that use this nature to achieve good ends, the way democracy uses selfishness to achieve good government. Marriage, in essence, is a way of getting men to commit to a woman and her children by promising him an available sexual partner at all times.

      Pornography in all its myriad forms, including "virtual girlfriends", is a way to give men (limited) sexual gratification without bothering with a relationship. Romance novels and movies do the same by giving women a relationship fantasy they can enjoy without an actual partner. Both businesses have been spectacularly successful over the decades because those principles are true.
      • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @02:06PM (#10058790) Homepage Journal
        There are some things that are simply built into the genes. Human men are compelled to have sex without commitment; women are compelled to form commitments.

        This belief is one of the most successful memes of all time, for obvious reasons; it allows both sexes to justify things they want to justify in the first place. (Men get to say, "I can't help it, it's in my blood." Women get to say, "See, men are pigs! We're so much more virtuous.")

        There's only one problem: it's not true. The fact is that both sexes are equally promiscuous -- perhaps for different reasons, perhaps not, but everyone pretty much screws around equally.
    • by ambrosine10 (747895) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:39PM (#10058474)
      SHOW US YOUR TITS!!

      Ok, just kidding.

      But you know, you're going way overboard. While sexism is most definitely a problem in today's societies, this little gadget is not a representation of that at all. How is this in any way sexist? It's fun and harmless. I could just as easily see a "virtual boyfriend" game. There's no sex involved here and it no more "objectifies" women than any other form of media.

      A society without gender or race? You would do well to read up on some evolutionary biology/psychology. Biodiversity and two sexes are crucial components to ensure our long-term survival. We need to get rid of societal prejudice, not our biological markers. You're attacking the wrong problem.

      Gender warfare may not be a "good" or "moral" state, but it IS a natural state. Hmm. Read some Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. The two genders evolved to perform different functions and the conflicts between them can be attributed to their differing needs and goals. This doesn't justify sexism, but that doesn't mean we can pretend there are no differences between the sexes, because there are.
  • by CSG_SurferDude (96615) <wedaa@w[ ]a.com ['eda' in gap]> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:03PM (#10058046) Homepage Journal
    I thought I'd seen this before on EBAY! [ebay.com]
    (Not necessarily a work safe link)

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:13PM (#10058147)
    This gadget requires that you jump through hoops and buy it stuff and the like (much as many girls do) but does NOT give you sex, human companionship, a shoulder to cry on or any of that? Well I have just one question then: WHY?????

    Sounds like all parts of relationships that guys DON'T usually like with none of the parts they do. Spending money on someone (or worse yet something) seems, well, really stupid.
  • Awe crap (Score:3, Funny)

    by digitalgimpus (468277) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:14PM (#10058174) Homepage
    I'm still going to be lonely.

    How much you want to bet, she'll either blow a capacitor or overheat after 10 minutes with me.

    Then she's gunna dump me.

    And cheat on me with my Mac.
  • by lcsjk (143581) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:16PM (#10058205)
    My Virtual Girlfriend ran off with her Virtual Boyfriend, so here I sit reading slashdot again.
  • by King_TJ (85913) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:40PM (#10058487) Journal
    They'd get further creating a Virtual Boyfriend on cellphones for the women. At least that way, the cellphone itself can double as a self-pleasuring device.....

    The whole thing is stupid. Sounds like someone just rehashed the whole Tamagotchi thing, with a human face instead of some other creature to take care of.
  • by Zarf (5735) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:47PM (#10058565) Journal
    (Future Onion Headline)

    Bill Jones broke up with his real Girlfriend Cathy Smith today because in his words, "At least the Virtual Girlfriend puts out." When questioned about the break-up Cathy was perturbed, "Like I wanted to put out for that Lo-oo-zer! He was like always giving me these virtual things... never anything real... I mean... I'm like flesh and blood here I want real stuff. My other boyfriends bring me actual gifts."

    It is this reporter's opinion that Bill is indeed better off with his HK Virtual Girlfriend because his real one was a total brat.
  • by flacco (324089) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @02:00PM (#10058709)
    then we can use the cell-phone itself to sterilize any idiot who actually buys things for someone who doesn't exist!
  • by PsiPsiStar (95676) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @02:03PM (#10058762)
    ... but she's no Laura Croft.

    What are those? "A" cups?
  • Let me see if I get this straight.

    You pay money for the Virtual Girlfriend program. There is no sex involved, no nudity, no dirty talk, no physical contact, not even a kiss.

    Ok, now, in order to have her talk to you, she requires virtual gifts. Lucky you, for the company that makes Virtual Girlfriend can sell them to you FOR REAL MONEY, yet she will keep requiring more and more from you, otherwise she won't speak to you.

    Apparently, as I understand it, not only does it waste your time, it also wastes your real money, and only rich people can afford to keep her talking to them. The amount you have to spend has not yet been determined, yet I got a funny feeling that they can change the setting on you to make her require more "gifts" that end up costing you more money. You might, oh, start by spending $20 a week on her, and then they send an instant message to your phone that turns on the golddigger routines to make you pay $200 a week. That is what I think will happen.

    If you want to waste your time and money, find a webcam whore [xmission.com], cell phones have amazing web browsers now and the Internet fees and webcam fees can potentionally be less than the Virtual Girlfriend. I used that link because Maddox explains how to be a Web Cam Whore so well, that you'll know what to expect. At least you might be able to see some female body parts for your money, and be able to get some bad poetry, which should be better than the Engrish responses the Virtual Girlfriend would give you. I think Virtual Girlfriend is targeted towards the guys who visit Web Cam Whores anyway, both the Web Cam Whores and Virtual Girlfriends seem to have the same intelligence anyway, and the same low intelligence audience that cannot get a date even if they were the last man in town, with $1 million USD in a suitcase, a 2004 BMW, and used phermones to attract women.

    The whole business idea of Virtual Girlfriend is to get the sad lonely loser hooked, until he is paying more money than a crack addict for a fix.

    I hope that someone like Maddox writes a sarcastic review on it, besides me. ;)

E = MC ** 2 +- 3db

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