Japanese resort town caters to men with virtual high school girlfriends

wedding last year with his cartoon girlfriend, Nene Anegasaki.

Some souvenir shops in Atami have even started selling Love Plus merchandise. The Ohnoya hotel offers rooms with two sets of futon beds and a barcode that allows the men to visualize their girlfriends in the room.

[image-1]Love Plus is the most popular dating game on the Japanese market partially because users aren't just challenged with meeting virtual girls; they must build long-term relationships. The goal is to see how good of a boyfriend users can be. Love Plus also offers voice recognition software and a clock that keeps real time on dates. The virtual girlfriends get angry when neglected and they demand attention when sick.  If users want to take a trip with her, they must plan this in advance.

Although the virtual girls can kiss you, nothing more explicit can occur on the game. Even though this sounds like users are going through all the difficult parts of a relationships with none of the real benefits, it's perhaps the closest some of these men will come to real relationships.

Read more at mnn.com

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According to mnn.com, the fading Japanese resort town of Atami has found a new target market: men with virtual high school girlfriends. Thirteen romantic spots around the town, like a statue of a couple from a famous love story, have been rigged with barcodes that allow these men to take pictures with their virtual girlfriends from the dating simulation game, Love Plus.  In this latest edition of Love Plus, available on the hand-held Nintendo DS and iPhone applications, these men appear in pictures with the superimposed anime characters Rinko, Manaka, or Nenefrom in vacation wear.

This is a subsect of manga and anime, known as "otaku," which allows users to court virtual girlfriends.  One user even staged a

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