CNET published an article on how Japanese men are treating virtual girlfriends to beach vacations and more. Apparently, Konami's Love Plus Plus dating sim has enthralled a number of Japanese men to the point where they spend the money on these virtual girlfriends. The players even take these virtual gals to the Atami hot spring and resort to spend some quality time with them. Some even take pictures with them.
At first glance I laughed and felt pretty embarrassed, but after giving it some additional considerations I didn't find it to be that embarrassing after all. Some of you might be vehemently against it cringing at the sight of another stereotype in the making. However, there could be some good that comes out of this. There's a stereotype out there that Asian, especially Japanese men, aren't all that affectionate towards their girlfriends, or that Asian men are workaholics and study bugs which impedes the way of spending quality time with women. Whatever it is, a 21-year-old man was quoted with saying how this could serve as a good practice for when he gets a real girlfriend. He has a valid point.
Simulation is an excellent way to learn. For example, let's take a look at pilots and soldiers. They spend countless hours behind sophisticated simulators before being unleashed into the real world performing the same acts. It offers them a fantastic means of practicing and sharpening their skills. If the artificial intelligence behind these programs is advanced enough, it could certainly serve as an aid for men who are clueless with women.
The guy who pokes fun at these men is like husband who comes home and makes fun of his wife after he see's her watching cooking. "Why do you keep watching those cooking shows and pretending? You still don't know how to cook." She responds, "Why do you keep watching porn and pretending? You still don't know how to fuck!"