Japan Has Found “The Perfect Girlfriend” …And She’s A Video Game

The hit movie Her, now out in theaters, has received widespread critical acclaim and praise. The appeal to the movie? A man falls in love with an operating system. Some say they want to watch the movie simply because the concept is so strange. After all, to many of us, the idea of falling in love with a computer system sounds impossible. As it turns out, this may not be so unheard of after all.

Many people who are looking for love, company and comfort have decided to fulfill this with a girlfriend. A virtual girlfriend that is. LovePlus is a Japanese dating simulator for Nintendo DS.

LovePlus is sold exclusively in Japan so this may be the first time you’ve heard about it (it’s certainly my first time), but the game has picked up quite a bit of popularity worldwide. Thousands of men and women of all ages have been captivated by this real life dating simulator which offers three girlfriends to choose from– Rinko, Nene and Manaka. All of the choices have different backstories and adjustable personalities.

loveplus

Many LovePlus users claim that they use the game for comfort and emotional support. These players swear that though the girls are virtual, the affection and comfort feels very real.

“Manaka is the only — could I say person? … She’s the only person that actually supports me in bad times,”  one user tells Huffington Post. “When I feel down or I have a bad day, I always come home and turn on the game and play with Manaka. I know she always has something to make me feel better.”

Other users claim the video game helps them prepare for real world dating. Others have just gone through heartbreak or traumatizing loss and use the LovePlus girls as a method to cope with the loss. Because of this, there is a surprising amount of users who are heterosexual females simply seeking companionship.

So just how real can these girls get? While they may not look real, they apparently act the part completely. For instance, abruptly leaving a conversation may upset your virtual girlfriend and she’ll want you to say and prove your love. Her temper can raise so high that she’ll actually “slap” you out of anger. Generally, the LovePlus girlfriends are known to be caring, interested in your day, worried about you and ready to listen to whatever you want to talk about. If you’re feeling down, you can activate “comfort mode” and the virtual girlfriend will tell you how important you are to her and how she wants nothing but your happiness.

Apparently, creators have thought about making an “SOS” button that can be used once per game for users who may be feeling suicidal and need to hear words of encouragement. After all, many people have begun to be emotionally dependent on their LovePlus girlfriends.

loveplus2

loveplus3

As a result, many LovePlus users treat their virtual girlfriends with the attention and care that any real girlfriend would want. Users will take their girlfriends out on dates, weekend trips, buy them presents on their birthday and even exchange flirty emails.

Patrick Galbraith, an anthropologist researching Japanese culture, tries to explain this peculiar phenomenon. “You have — always — this warmth and smile and happiness available at the touch of your fingers,” he says. “It’s the kind of relationship that is instantly rewarding and is always giving. You don’t have to give much to the game and it gives to you every time you turn on the machine.”

“The [LovePlus girlfriends] will kiss, model bikinis and moan when players stroke their chests with a stylus, but sex and nudity are out of the question,” Huffington post explains. “Neither the chastity nor young age of the girls has kept players from being attracted to their girlfriends, however.”

To try and make this relationship even more realistic, if you consider it realistic at all, there are hugging pillows with the images of the LovePlus girls printed on them. Apparently, there are clothed and semi-nude versions available.  Of course, users still swear that the main appeal is the emotional, not physical, support.

loveplus4


This strange, but wide-spread phenomenon has been captivating the hearts of many. People have claimed their virtual relationships have not only lasted longer than real relationships, it has felt more rewarding.

While we’re personally not ready to pour our emotions into a video game, it turns out many people already have. Tell us what you think.

(SOURCE)

Most Entertaining Twitter Reactions to Wang Leehom’s Girlfriend Announcement

Earlier today, Mandopop singer and dreamboat Wang Leehom shattered the hearts of boys and girls everywhere when he made an announcement on his official Facebook site:

“The past few years your comments here have often been about ‘hope you find your Forever Love.’ I’m lucky to have met a girl to hold hands with and share my future. She’s not in the entertainment business so you don’t know her, but I also don’t want to create the opportunity for rumors so… her name is Lee Jinglei, she’s 27 years old and a graduate student at Columbia. Wangbaba & Mama love her and I hope you will too.”

leehom1

Photo and headline courtesy of Shanghaiist.com.


The Taiwanese American singer/songwriter/actor has been notoriously mum about his private life, which has resulted in gay rumors swirling for the better part of his career. Most recently he was linked to his friend, classical pianist Li Yundi — a rumor Wang promptly swashed on Weibo.

As we properly congratulate the happy couple, we also take to Twitter to assess the myriad of fan reactions, which range from thrilled ecstasy to total devastation.

leehom3
leehom3
leehom9
leehom3
leehom3
leehom3
leehom3
leehom3
leehom3
leehom3
leehom3
leehom3

For those of you who are happy for him:

For those who need some time to mourn:

 

Scary Girlfriend Alert: Woman Arrested for Public Display of Humiliation

Story by James S. Kim

Public displays of affection always make a walk down the street considerably more interesting than most people would like. Still, they don’t draw the attention of crowds and video cameras like public displays of humiliation, as in the case of a viral video uploaded a couple of days ago. It captures a very loud dispute between a man and a woman, as well as an apparent third party.

The five-minute video has over 140,000 views on YouTube as of Tuesday since it was uploaded on Oct. 6. In a crowded street in Hong Kong, a man is shown kneeling in front of his girlfriend, who is scolding him in Cantonese for apparently inviting another woman to his apartment.

At one point in the video, the girlfriend grabs the man’s hair with one hand and begins to slap him repeatedly with the other as a growing crowd watches on. The man, weeping, asking his girlfriend, “Listen to me before beating me, I told her not to come!”

A second woman stands close by, but it is not clear if she is the “other woman.” The man pleads with her several times to confirm his story, but she remains silent for most of the altercation, only making a few halfhearted attempts to stop the beating. Individuals in what turns out to be a sizable crowd start chiming in, but the girlfriend yells back to mind their own business.

Although the video doesn’t show it, the 20-year-old woman, surnamed Cheng, was arrested by Hong Kong police for “common assault” after a bystander called the authorities. The 23-year-old victim, surnamed Chui, was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment. The Hong Kong police has labeled the case as a “dispute over love affairs.”

This story was originally published in KoreAm Journal