Odd Use of AR has Dating Gamers Flocking to Japanese City

August 30, 2010 -

Fans of LovePlus, the Konami-developed dating simulator that was released only in Japan, now have a vacation destination where they can integrate virtual girlfriends into their daily activities.

Using augmented reality (AR), Konami and the resort town of Atami, Japan have teamed up to offer 13 “romantic locations” throughout the town, where love struck gamers can pose, thanks to augmented reality, with images of their favorite LovePlus characters, like Rinko, Manaka or Nene.

It was reported by AFP that the girls “have all swapped their usual sailor-style school uniforms for casual summer wear.”

A local hotel offers additional entertainment for LovePlus fans:

The local Ohnoya hotel even offers traditional rooms to the unusual couples, which feature two sets of futon beds and another barcode panel that allows the men to visualise their girlfriends in a flattering summer kimono.

It was claimed that 200 LovePlus fans have already stayed at the hotel, while “well over 2,000” have visited Atami for the promotion, which ends when this month does.

Shu Watanabe, 23, after “posing” for a picture with Rinko, said, “Look, it's like I'm in a snapshot with her.”


Comments

Re: Odd Use of AR has Dating Gamers Flocking to Japanese ...

Uh.. huh.  I think this pushes a genre that is already borderline creepy (most of the games depict the women... I mean, underage girls... in kind of a sexist "I'm only interested in getting a boyfriend and pleasing him,  and nothing else about me matters" kind of way... and the majority of Dating Sim players are over the age of 22), into the realm of just plain pathetic.  I mean, really?  Guys paying to have an imaginary romantic vacation with cartoon girls?  Have these people even tried talking to a real woman before?

Don't get me wrong, I think Dating aspects are interesting when applied to some games.  The Sims series, for example.  Or the Persona series, in which the dating is just a part of the overall social interaction.  (also, Harvest Moon, Mass Effect, etc.)  And while I don't think there's anything wrong with the Dating Sim genre itself, I think it attracts a rather sad group of individuals.

Re: Odd Use of AR has Dating Gamers Flocking to Japanese ...

I will simply respond to this by stating the fact that birth rates are at record lows in Japan.

Re: Odd Use of AR has Dating Gamers Flocking to Japanese ...

Japan has serious social issues when it comes to gender interaction.. in both directions.

When looking in the larger context... games like this make news but barely register as a blip on the larger issues.

(one of the reasons games like this flurish.. a lot of Japanese men do not WANT Japanese women, evenwhen they can have them.)

Re: Odd Use of AR has Dating Gamers Flocking to Japanese ...

Never understood why those dating "simulators" are so popular. I tried once, and all i've seen was a boring quizz game with pretty pictures.

Re: Odd Use of AR has Dating Gamers Flocking to Japanese ...

This is somehwere between kinda cool.. and kinda creepy.... probably more on the creepy end.

I guess if nothing else, props to the varoius buisnesses to trying something unusual.

 
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