Tuesday, August 24, 2004

When Games Imitate Life

BBC - For men without a partner, help may be at hand - in the form of a virtual girlfriend. The Hong Kong company Artificial Life, which developed the new game, says the girl will appear as an animated figure on the video screen of a mobile phone... All virtual girls will look the same - but each girl will behave differently - depending on how much money is spent on her.

On top of a general subscription, men will be charged a fee to buy flowers and gifts for the virtual girlfriend. In return, she will introduce them to different aspects of her life, like letting them meet her female friends - also electronic images. If players neglect her, she will refuse to speak.

But unlike other computer games, it seems that cash, not skill, will enable players to climb the different levels in the game... The company has plans to introduce a virtual boyfriend for women, although it remains to be seen how it will persuade them to spend extra money on the game.

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