ATAMI, Japan—Since the marriage rate among Japan’s shrinking population is falling and with many of the country’s remaining lovebirds heading for Hawaii or Australia’s Gold Coast, Atami had to do something. It is trying to attract single men—and their handheld devices. In the first month of the city’s promotional campaign launched July 10, more than 1,500 male fans of the Japanese dating-simulation game LovePlus+ have flocked to Atami for a romantic date with their videogame character girlfriends. Love Plus+ re-creates the experience of an adolescent romance. The goal isn’t just to get the girl but to maintain a relationship with her. After choosing one of three female characters—goodie-goodie Manaka, sassy Rinko or big-sister type Nene—to be a steady girlfriend, the player taps a stylus on the DS touch-screen in order to walk hand-in-hand to school, exchange flirtatious text messages and even meet in the school courtyard for a little afternoon kiss. Using the device’s built-in microphone, the player can carry on sweet, albeit mundane, conversations. If the real-life Romeo earns enough “boyfriend power” points—by completing game tasks like homework or exercise to become smarter and more buff—the reward is a virtual trip to Atami. 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. In Atami, the Love Plus+ fans—mostly men in their twenties and thirties—stand out. Unlike the deeply tanned beach crowd wearing very little, they are often pasty and overdressed for the heat in heavy jeans and button-down shirts.
Christ almighty these squinty Japs make me look like Casafuckinnova! Buncha dorks running around in heavy jeans and button down shirts in the middle of summer trying to fuck their Nintendo DS. I’ll tell you what if you’re ever feeling down in the dumps and low on self esteem, book a trip to Atami and you’ll feel like the captain of the goddamn football team. Can you believe these clowns actually pay double to make it feel like you’re actually on a trip with your girlfriend? I wonder if they also let their Nintendo DS dress them and complain to them and not give them blowjobs so that the girlfriend experience feels real, too.
All I know is that I’d be the best virtual boyfriend the nerd world has ever seen. It doesn’t even matter who I’d be dating either – goodie goodie Manaka, sassy Rinko, or big sister type Nene could all get it. Actually fuck Nene. Nobody is trying to deal with a big sister virtual headache. She probably wouldn’t even put out until you virtual date her for a virtual month. But Manaka and Rinko – those electronic minxes wouldn’t even know what hit them. You want Boyfriend Power? KFC has Boyfriend Power coming out of his fucking ears. Although theres not a fucking chance I’m gonna exercise with you or do your homework. Fuckin gold digging virtual tramps trying to use me to do their school work? For Sure NOT.