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Technology

A Romantic Getaway for Japanese Men & Their Virtual Girlfriends

DiscoblogBy Joseph CalamiaSeptember 1, 2010 8:12 PM

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Don't be fooled by the men taking solo vacation pictures and eating alone at the Japanese resort town of Atami. These guys may look lonely as they sit and poke at their video game devices, but love is in the air. In a promotion that ended yesterday, Atami teamed up with Konami, the manufacturer of the dating video game LovePlus+, to offer a place for players and their virtual girlfriends to get away. The game, available on Nintendo's handheld DS, allows players to win their girlfriend's virtual heart by completing homework, working out, texting, kissing (using a stylus to touch the girl's face), and calling (via the system's built-in microphone). It made headlines last year when one player, SAL9000, decided to marry his virtual girl Nene Anegasaki (see video above, via Boing Boing). Play the dating game just right and you win a virtual getaway to Atami. The recent promotion allowed players to visit the sites they'd seen in the game in real life, though with a little plus--their girlfriends' faces plastered on everything from banners to fish cakes. Atsurou Ohno, managing director of Atami's Hotel Ohnoya, told the The Wall Street Journal in a video interview that Atami tried to create a real experience for the some 1,500 "couples" who flocked to the town.

"We place two of everything in the rooms, even if there is only one person."

Some of the guests paid up to $500 for a night in Atami hotel rooms--which, we also note from the WSJ video, had two separate beds. Related content: Discoblog: Lust & Love Apps: Playboy Tames Down, Imaginary Girlfriend Steps Up Discoblog: Augmented Reality Phone App Can Identify Strangers on the Street Discoblog: Is Apple Taking Sexy Back? Raunchy Apps Vanish From the App Store

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