Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Sisters are doin it for themselves

Webkare (Web Boyfriend in Japanese), a mix between a social network and dating simulation site. Geared exclusively towards girls, the site attracted over 10,000 members just 5 days after its release on September 10, racking up 3.5 million page views in the same time frame.
The site is a huge hit over here. Girls sign up and become members of a social network but also users of a dating simulation in cartoon style. They have to try to hook up with one of four male Anime characters (who are the "stars" of the site) through "conversations" and must collaborate with other Webkare members in order to move on in the game. Eventually they conquer the heart of the chosen cartoon boy.
It's pretty weird but clever. Dating simulations have been popular in Japan for quite a while now, but Webkare marks the first time the concept has been brought online and combined with social networking functionality.
Girls choose between one of four different male cartoon characters they want to hook up with upon registration. They can then "communicate" with their digital crush in cartoon-like sequences to try to win over his heart over the course of the game. It?s also possible to meet other boys later in the story, which uses a virtual high school as the main setting.

Finally they are teaching girls how to make the first move? THAT's NOT fair, I had to work damn hard to woo my first date... well basically I had to get drunk enough to pluck up the courage. Flowers, nights out and expensive gifts left me penniless in less than 6 months, and now they are training girls to do all that in a virtual world. Pfft.... I bet virtual guy doesn't have to stand out in the rain for a whole hour because virtual girl spent too long in the bathroom getting ready for the first date. (BTW I think I looked a bit like vitual boy Rvuuii in my youth)

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