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Virtual Girlfriend

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the I'm-so-lonely dept.

Games 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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649 comments

Virtual girlfriend? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057681)

Been there, done that, and boy is my hand tired.

What about a hummer? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057682)

Will she suck your cock? I mean, seriously... what good is she then?

No Thanks! (5, Funny)

CommanderData (782739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057683)

I'd rather go to a bar and meet chicks to spend money on.

Just don't tell my wife ;)

Re:No Thanks! (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057790)

'd rather go to a bar and meet chicks to spend money on.

Funny how many people think this isn't the epitomy of real adventure. Meet a real human being, find out what she likes, turn her off, learn from it, try again with another until it clicks, that sort of thing.

The Virtual Girlfriend is allegedly for those who don't have the time for a relationship. To those who don't, I think you don't give actual human beings enough credit, as many friends have parttime relationships, you just have to find someone who's cool with that.

Seems people keep trying to invent Better Than Life. [jupitermining.com]

is it just me... (4, Insightful)

kippy (416183) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057684)

or is this the most pathetic thing ever?

Re:is it just me... (4, Funny)

justkarl (775856) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057730)

is this the most pathetic thing ever?

No, it really is.
All virtual girls will look the same - but each girl will behave differently - depending on how much money is spent on her.

Wow, it's realistic, too!!

Re:is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057778)

It's certainly on the right site then...

Re:is it just me... (5, Insightful)

rrhal (88665) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057818)

Well just don't spend any money on her. She can't dump you - all she can do is get bitchy. Then You'll feel better about not having a real girlfriend.

But people are stupid enough to fall for it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057831)

And these fellows will be exploiting them all the way to the bank.

I seem to remember... (4, Funny)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057685)

Somthing similar to this where guys would buy virtual presents for real women, sometimes spending upwards of $30-$200. Anyone care to shed light on what that one was, and whether it is still in business?

*sigh* nothing quite like the exploitation of desperate single guys...fortunately I'm married and am above such exploitation...now off to Proflowers.com to get her a few :-p

Re:I seem to remember... (1)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057793)

IIRC, it's called a "strip club". Yeah, my wife won't let me go there anymore either. For some reason she doesn't like me spending money on women other than her - go figure! I suspect she wouldn't be too happy about me spending money on virtual girlfriends either...

Re:I seem to remember... (5, Funny)

rmarll (161697) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057814)

" Somthing similar to this where guys would buy virtual presents for real women, sometimes spending upwards of $30-$200. Anyone care to shed light on what that one was, and whether it is still in business? "

I think the developer was De Beers, the gifts were 3-20k. If memory serves, the game was called Failed Relationship.

You've got to be kidding me?! (5, Funny)

jeffs72 (711141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057688)

All the cost and none of the sex? Whats the friggin point?!?!?!

Re:You've got to be kidding me?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057737)

Sounds like courting to me.

Re:You've got to be kidding me?! (5, Funny)

turgid (580780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057852)

All the cost and none of the sex? Whats the friggin point?!?!?!

Perhaps it's targetted at Young Republicans and the Abstainers etc.?

Heard this on the Beeb Yesterday (5, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057696)

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'.

Re:Heard this on the Beeb Yesterday (3, Insightful)

Cyclotron_Boy (708254) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057775)

How is this any different from "Dating Sims" like this one [umich.edu] or this one [mikesfreegifs.com] ? Am I missing something, or is the innovation here just that it is on a mobile phone? -F

Re:Heard this on the Beeb Yesterday (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057888)

Am I missing something, or is the innovation here just that it is on a mobile phone? -F

I think because you can access VG from phone or desktop or possibly even regular voice (probably some rudimentary voice recognition)

Remember those Vitual Pets kids had years ago, on like keychains? You had to play games with the pets and feed them and stuff or they'd die or go dormant or join the moonies or something. Maybe they've done some homework on socialology and psychology and worked some of it into the personality, ye gods, I didn't even think about that until now, but there's got to be more than one personality, right?

Re:Heard this on the Beeb Yesterday (1)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057870)

pretty damn silly. Japanese sex games have done this for years. And at least with them you're eventually rewarded with some anime/CG nudity and sexual situations.

Seems stupid to have this when you can't even get some good stroke material out the other end.

Shall we say .. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057884)

.. POKEWOMON ?!

Dear Slashdot (1)

Letter (634816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057703)

Dear Slashdot,

I'll be your virtual girlfriend. Just send me mail!

smooch smooch

Love,
Letter

So mucn pr0n... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057704)

...so little time.

Virtual Boyfriend? (1)

SilentUrbanFox (689585) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057707)

Do they have a virtual boyfriend model too?

Re:Virtual Boyfriend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057842)

The problem is that the main purpose of a virutal boyfriend would be to give out presents and money, which is not a great economic model for the company.

Virtual girlfriend? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057708)

To go along with my virtual life?

I thought tamagotchi's died years ago, well at least mine did.

This just isn't fair... (5, Funny)

switcha (551514) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057709)

Posting this to Slashdot's front page is like driving a doughnut cart past a fat camp.

"tsk, tsk...they never had a chance..."

Re:This just isn't fair... (1)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057827)

LOLOL - I think that's the funniest thing I've read on Slashdot in years, and that includes all the SCO crap.
-N

virtual life (1)

Tassach (137772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057722)

I virtually married my virtual girlfriend, but then she ran off with my virtual best friend and took my virtual house and virtual dog too.

Re:virtual life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057821)

> I virtually married my virtual girlfriend, but then she ran
> off with my virtual best friend and took my virtual house
> and virtual dog too.

Add a virtual pickup truck, and you're the Merle Haggard of the new milennium.

Re:virtual life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057832)

Well you gots yourself a virtual country song.

Don't need to spend lots on flowers and such... (2, Interesting)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057724)

just spend it intelligently. Sure, you're wife/girlfriend will appreciate getting flowers, but haveing them delivered to her place of work is even better. I've done this on a few occasions, and trust me, its worth the $20 or so delivery charge as opposed to her just coming home and finding them on the table or such.

Gives a new meaning to the term phone sex (1)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057725)

And also,will she leave me for a guy with a more expensive phone?

How about virtual fuck buddy? (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057726)

Seems like a better idea to me.

Oh wait, Katie Couric already has the market cornered....

Is that possible? (5, Funny)

Trimbo2 (661670) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057727)

"she will require more flowers and gifts than many real women"

Is that even possible?

Conversation only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057729)

For those of you already drooling: I heard the guy from Artificial Life mention explicitly that the game contains no sex.

WOW!! (1)

pixieluv (806247) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057731)

This is so pathetic! I mean why waste the money on a fake girlfriend when you can get better computer parts or modify your car :P Im just curious what we would have to buy the guys when they are out....

One of the saddest things I'v ever read. (5, Funny)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057734)

From TFA:
... a Japanese company that recently created a Boyfriend Arm Pillow - for women who miss being hugged by a man at night.

Thanks to that sentence and the topic of virtual girlfriends in general, I almost want to sit down and cry.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057848)

... they're trying to separate the sexes in an attempt to profit? Replace a boyfriend for women, replace a girlfriend for men, and sell some stuff.

at least... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10057735)

she is std-free... ... for now...

More Importantly... (1)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057895)

Will she always be virus free?

Let's see, you're buying virtual flowers and such and probably using your phyiscal credit card number.

If the site or you (via the site) catches something you're gonna wonder how your virtual girlfriend had a Hawaiian vacation!

myke

New Phone sex-cessories (2, Funny)

artlu (265391) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057742)

Looks like the porno world can have a new market for selling artificial sex devices now... put that bluetooth connection to good use ;)

gShares.net [gshares.net]

Cheapskates of the world Unite (1)

Darthmalt (775250) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057743)

I'm cheap enough when it comes to real women.

Surely you wont be spending "real" money on these things

Nothing new here (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057745)

Sounds just like any other kind of online dating, except this way you know for sure the picture is a fake, and that no matter how much money you spend on her she's never going to meet you in person.

*sigh* (1)

Docrates (148350) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057750)

The chances of something like this becoming a successfull in the western world are lower than the chances of a world war 3 breaking out before friday.

I don't know why and I need a fellow slashdotter with better understanding of human nature to explain it better, but for some reason I can see why this would work in Japan and some other Asian cultures and NEVER in, say, Canada, Latin America, the US or Europe.

This just in (2, Funny)

Swamii (594522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057755)

95% of all Slashdotters have reserved a copy of Virtual Girlfriend. The other 5% are holding out for the porn expansion pack coming 2005.

Real money for virtual goods = nothing new (1)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057762)

MMORPG players have been paying it for years [terrania.us] . I gather there are even MMORPGs out there, such as Second Life, where the whole point of the game is to pay real money for virtual goods. This is just stripping that down to a single-person world is all.

Too bad for women (2, Interesting)

meganthom (259885) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057763)

I saw this article yesterday and have since wondered when women came to be portrayed so badly. I don't really understand why you would throw money away so that a VR girl, who seemingly won't ever do much other than reveal things about herself, will talk to you. Not only is it a waste of money, but it doesn't teach men skills they actually need to hold onto a girlfriend. I'm sure there are a number of women who would prefer a money tree to a human being, but most of us can't be made happy simply through materialistic things. I'm frustrated the company would choose to reinforce this unfair stereotype about women. What's next? A virtual boyfriend who will only talk to you if you encourage him to spend all his time watching the game and going to strip clubs with his friends?

Re:Too bad for women (1)

triffidsting (594096) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057871)

"What's next? A virtual boyfriend who will only talk to you if you encourage him to spend all his time watching the game and going to strip clubs with his friends?"

Quick - go apply for a patent!

Kinda reminds me of... (1)

stealth.c (724419) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057767)

...those "dating sims" at Newgrounds [newgrounds.com] .

Just sad. Why not bundle the phone with an eHarmony service if your phone user is that lonely?

Reason to stay away (1)

I_am_Rambi (536614) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057770)

I've said that girls take time and money. Well I guess this virtual girl thing will take time and virtual money. I still don't have either. One more reason to get a normal cell phone and not a camera/phone/pda/whatever else they have phone.

No jokes... (5, Insightful)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057783)

I swear, I've been sitting here for 5 minutes trying to come up with a joke for this topic. But as soon as I think of an idea for a joke, I have this overwhelming sense of pity for some poor lonely guy out there who would have to get a Virtual Girlfriend because he cannot hold a real relationship. All this guy wants is a bit of love and respect, but he just can't get it. Then I get disgusted at the greedy, money-grubbing company trying to capitalize on these poor souls, feeding their thirst for money off of their victim's need for love and acceptance...

Then I get pissed I didn't think of it first.

Why is this considered new? (1)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057795)


"Virtual Girlfriend" has been a flash-based game for a (relatively) long time.

So... what... the draw is that it is on a cell-phone? I want my "it only makes calls" phone back!

Just the thing (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057808)

for all those Men who were born by way of the One Child Policy because of female infanticide. Years ago they'd dump female babies in the trash because they thought "Having a Boy is Better". Now the families of Girls are reaping a Huge Dowry payment for their daughter, while the poor boy gets a "Virtual Girlfriend".

Stupid idiots.

Erogenous zomes I live you,
Without you what would a poor boy do?
Without you mankind handkinds through the blues...

-from "Counting Out Time" by Genesis, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, 1974.

RS

cnn article (2, Informative)

squarefish (561836) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057809)

here [cnn.com]

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.

Pathetic (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057819)

It is one thing not to have a girl because you just don't have time or unwilling to make the effort or spend the money, but another to waste time and money on something that isn't real.

I know that a guy who is bad with girls can use the simulation to practice, but really, just try a real girl. You don't have to date. Just hang. Also, this game is going to be used by guys with girls, but instead of talking and spending time with thier girlfriends, they are going to be wasting time on this. A girlfriend is more than just a convinent hole and someone to make you dinner.

A long time ago, when I was taking sex ed, the book, Boys and Sex, talked about masturbation. It pretty much said all things in moderation, and solo activity should allow, not take the place of forming real relationships that are neccesary for emotional development. It sounds like this is just anothe thing that is going stunt the growth of a generation of teenage boys.

Hmmmmm... (1)

SightlessMind (806966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057828)

If Girlfriend=>Cellphone and Cellphone=>tumor and tumor=>death

Then is it true that Girlfriend=>death?

I've always suspected as much...

mmm... so (1)

phreakv6 (760152) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057835)

...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.


Can we have an awesome orgy ?
sounds like a plan ;)

Girlfriend??? (2, Insightful)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057839)

..but each girl will behave differently - depending on how much money is spent on her.

Since you're not getting any sex, she's more like a therapist than a girlfriend.

Cash draining Tamagotchi? Bravo! (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057840)

This quote from the article:

each girl will behave differently - depending on how much money is spent on her.

So...is that real money, or virtual money? If it's real cash, then kudos to the inventor - a female Tamagotchi [mimitchi.com] that drains your cash. Wow. I'm still kicking myself for not thinking of it. Makes Everquest look like the March of Dimes.

I fear for the future of the Japanese (4, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057841)

But it may be encouraged by the success of a Japanese company that recently created a Boyfriend Arm Pillow - for women who miss being hugged by a man at night.

So, the men have virtual girlfriends on their phones, the women have arm pillows instead of boyfriends. Is it any wonder the birthrate in Japan is so low?

Could be good, if done right. (1)

abkaiser (744418) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057858)

You've got to realize who the target audience is. We're not talking 25-year-old married guys/girls. We're not talking college guys/girls with easy access to porn. We're talking about teens who are either too shy to talk to the opposite sex, or want an adult-version of the tomagotchi. Hopefully the pricing will reflect the audience (like PENNIES for a boquet of flowers), otherwise this is a terrible idea.

And there is something to be said for simplicity. I remember something from 15 years ago called "MEGAMAID", displayed on my Amiga. Just a scrolling picture with appropriate sound effects and music. Very simple... But hours of fun!

Realistic behavior (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057861)

So, you get to spend money and she doesn't put out? I once had a girlfriend like that.

I'd rather spend the money on videogames and hookers. The end result might be the same, except that you do "get some".

In related news, whenever I feel the need to get in touch with nature, I just fire up my GBA and play a couple of hours of Harvest Moon.

Wow just like marketing... (1)

Metex (302736) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057874)

to come up with a product that has almost all the negative aspects of a girl friend... ( MUST spend money on gifts or she wont talk to you) without any of the great benifits (long conversation about random topics, having someone close by as you drift into sleep, ... kinky sex in the park...). Then again this is probably going to be a cash cow.

Oh yeah... (1)

UncleRage (515550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057875)

A girlfriend that you can TURN OFF when you're ready to go out for brews and pool.

I should like to add that I proudly made that last statement confident in the fact that my wife will never read that comment.

On a side note... when you break up... will she erase your address book, make thousands of dollars in long distance phone calls and phone all of your friends to tell them how lame you really are?

Just wondering about how complete this sim girlfriend really is...

Oh the irony (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057882)

You get a virtual girlfriend but become a real-life loser.

I wonder if it comes with a nagging feature?

All that for postage-stamp pr0n? (1)

MooseByte (751829) | more than 9 years ago | (#10057887)


"In return, she will introduce them to different aspects of her life [ ... ] - also electronic images."

Sounds like the biggest hassle ever just to look at postage-stamp-sized pr0n....

Maybe someone should just teach them to google for "portman hot grits".

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