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Games Entertainment

Virtual Girlfriend 649

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 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'.

  • Sad. (Score:1, Informative)

    by shufler ( 262955 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:43PM (#10057713) Homepage
    This is the saddest Tamagotchi rip off ever.
  • 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! []
  • cnn article (Score:3, Informative)

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

    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:02PM (#10058021)
    Speaking of De Beers and failed relationships, you should mention this [] when talking about diamonds and the diamond invention.
  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @01:15PM (#10058176) Homepage Journal
    " IIRC, it's called a "strip club". Yeah, my wife won't let me go there anymore either."

    LET you go?? Man, I just don't understand what happens to so many man. When you get married is there a secret clause in the wedding contract requiring a 'spine-ectomy'? Why would any man have to get his wife/girlfriend to "LET" them do something. I tell my women I'm with, I'm doing this or that...I'll be back whenever I'm done. I cannot fathom having to ask permission to do anything, I'm a grown adult. I don't expect them to ask me permission either...its a two way street. But, why so many men let their women become the 'boss' of the family is beyond me. I'm pretty lassie fair about things...but, when it comes down to it..."I" make the final and binding decisions. If they don't like it, well, my motto is the "Golden Rule". He who makes the most gold, makes the rules. If they don't like it, they can hit the road, there are plenty of others out there ripe for the pickings.

  • 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 pyros ( 61399 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @03:42PM (#10060020) Journal
    Why would any man have to get his wife/girlfriend to "LET" them do something

    most conventional western marriages include each partner vowing to forsake all others. If your wedding vows include such a statement, then you really should make sure your partner is ok with you paying other people to rub their genitals (clothed or not) on you.

  • Re:Holy Cow! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shadow99_1 ( 86250 ) <.theshadow99. .at.> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:21PM (#10060482)
    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 to attract and converse with women the way you want category and no therapist or matching service is any good at all with helping in that area... Let alone the huge problems understanding what to do in a relationship when you've had very little experience with them...

    Unfortunately I need to go, so I'll have to leave it at that...
  • Re:Holy Cow! (Score:3, Informative)

    by orac2 ( 88688 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:43PM (#10060761)
    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 difference in degree is large enough to suggest that something quite different is going on underneath. A 25 year-old who wants to date but hasn't in their life is in a significant amount of pain and the underlying cause (and probably a non-trivial amount of subsequent trauma) needs to be addressed before worrying about how to make connections. I'm not trying to minimise your situation either, just point out your problem seems to center around inter-personal issues, while the parent probably needs to focus on personal issues, at least for now.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:45PM (#10061291)
    Doona = bed covers, as in the big sheet of material you sleep under. The article is referring to the common conception of men stealing the doona and rolling up in it themselves while they sleep, leaving the woman cold.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @09:55PM (#10063421)
    A few years ago, some of my friends spent quite a bit of time in a Japanese PC game known as "Beauty teenage girls". The game is turn-based, which you need to issue command to the virtual little girl (6yo) until she becomes an adult (18yo). The commands are like sending her to do housework will increase her obedience but decrease her beauty etc... The goal is to create the perfect girl by the 18yo round...

    The game is not intended to sell as porn. It may show a manga that features a naked girl when you choose the "swimming" option.. But, the concept behind the game is a bit pervert. First, although we didn't feel much at that time as we were teen ourselves, it would be a different story for an older man... It sounds a bit paedophile to me... Second, to score high marks, my friends told me that one must send the underage girl to brothel for a short while in order to increase the "attractiveness". It was just so lame and friggin retarded...
  • Re:Holy Cow! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shadow99_1 ( 86250 ) <.theshadow99. .at.> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @10:43PM (#10063800)
    Hehe Yeah longtime shlashdot reader... Though I'd have a 6xxxx if I'd registered when I first started visiting...

    Well til college my problem was identical to his... I can tell in that kindred soul kinda way... And even then mine are... brief... & normally get extremely confused/confusing... Heck as is it's now been 3 years since anyting I'd even attempt to call a relationship in the vaguest sense...

    To start the biggest most complex issue to dating involves attracting the attention of the opposite sex... For someone with no or limited relationship experience this is a giant hurdle... My problem started because I'm naturally extremely shy... I've sorted solved that first hurdle, though I still get tongue tied and find it hard to talk to women I don't know... If you can't talk to a woman it's just about impossible to get a date with her... & even if you can talk to her you have to 'hit it off' to even have a chance of getting a date...

    This is where the internet comes in handy... except their are far fewer women than men and I suck at starting conversations & therefor attracting attention from women... This means the internet makes it a bit easier, but mostly in finding women, not in actually getting attention from them... I also have the problem that I refuse to date women who I either work with or meet through work (that are customers, clients, or vendors)... At 25 I'd hope to heck that your not still in school so if your like me you've just nixed your easiest way to meet women... Women who may know you well enough to like you... In my opinion though women you meet through work are to dangerous to date. If it's a coworker that can cause all sorts of hell... If it's a client, customer, or vendor it can almsot be worse than a coworker... Especially when you have little experience and the wrong move can be really really bad...

    Figuring you have now ocercome these first hurdles you come up against the next barrier... Knowing what the heck to do. Most people learn how relationships work when they are teens, very few people don't know how that works by the time they are in college or beyond. Why is this a problem? People expect you to know the basics, in fact those same basics are what most divorcies have to relearn... But relearning is far far easier than learning for the first time... I'm so bad at these (hence the rarely longer than a week thing) that I'm not even going to try to explain what they are... In fact I'd sound insane to someone used to dating... In know I've tried to explain it before...

    So first we start with having them hard to meet, then we add on hard to know what to do once we do have a date... This leads to such a slow growth curve in understanding how to date that it's just silly... I know I've given up for the time being... I wouldn't be suprised at all if I'm not alone in giving up after a certain point... If not for the internet and knowing some crazy people in college I'd probably still be stuck on step one myself and have to claim I'd never had a date before....
  • Re:Asian Guys (Score:3, Informative)

    by critter_hunter ( 568942 ) <> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:01PM (#10063925)

    Except peasants will usually get rid of the girl, because peasants can't afford to pay the tax for having a second children, and they don't want a girl as their only child since a girl won't be able to provide for them, and will even require a dowry when she gets married. There's approximately 20% more men than women of a marriageable age in mainland China currently - it's so problematic that the Chinese government has recently announced they would change the system, so that people will get some rewards for raising a girl, and penalties for having a second child will be reduced or removed if the first child is of the female persuasion.

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments