Sep 01 2010
I’m tempted to make fun of Japan as I usually do here, but really this is more sad than anything else. Japanese men are so scared of dating actual women, they are turning to a Nintendo DS dating game for romance, and not just the virtual kind.
There’s a game called Love Plus, where players court three different girls, and end up with one of them. In the game, the final reward is a hotel trip to Atami. But now, some players are shelling out big bucks to make the trip in REAL LIFE.
The men are real. The girls are cartoon characters on a screen. The trips are actual, can be expensive and aim to re-create the virtual weekend outing featured in the game, a product of Konami Corp. played on Nintendo Co.’s DS videogame system.
“Atami has always been a romantic place, but it is now a romantic place for a modern generation,” says Sakae Saito, Atami’s mayor.
Some devoted fans will go so far as to pay twice the rate—most hotels in Japan charge per guest not per room—to indulge the fantasy that they are not there alone. A night’s stay, at most, can cost $500 though many rooms are cheaper.
“There isn’t a lot of romance in my life and this helps me cope with some of the loneliness,” said Mr. Fukazawa with a chuckle.
Gahhh, so depressing. Since we usually get most of our tech trends from Japan, is this going to be our future here in America as well? Virtual dates with manga chicks? I’m sure some are doing it already, but if this becomes a phenomenon, I fear for the future of the human race.
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