Virtual dating games with real people

Japanese professor Mafumi Usui agreed that these games, which allow players to control female avatars with no agency in order to, in some cases, have sex with them, don't promote a healthy view of heterosexual sex.

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You start your interaction and you’ll see a prompt from a character in the game, then you have various choices to respond.

Depending on how you respond, the conversation may end abruptly or you start a new conversation topic or you can get a phone number or a date with the character.

The emotional draw of virtual romance is real and healthy, but many experts agree video games should be used in moderation.

"Make sure it's not taking away from real relationships," he said, citing an issue that is already prevalent among Japanese fans.

"If [players] prefer the virtual girlfriend over real-life partners, that would be the time to reconsider ...

That’s the premise behind Truly Social’s innovative new dating apps, Flirt Planet Meet and Flirt Planet Play, as users looking for love can now use their i Phone or i Pad to practice their smooth moves on computer-controlled characters before actually interacting with other humans through the app. Inside Mobile Apps sat down with Sebastian Coman, Truly Social’s founder and creative director, to find out how it all goes down.

It's basically like having a Tamagotchi, but with women instead of pets.

These mobile apps have gained traction with enough American users that New York's Museum of Sex hosted a panel discussion about them in 2014, and have inspired a few recent virtual boyfriend equivalents aimed at female gamers.

Eventually, the goal is to build a relationship with the artificial intelligence characters in the game, going on dates and building a book of different characters you can date.

IMA: So how does this actually help you meet people in real life? You know how people get anxious while starting a conversation with a stranger?

We’ve taken social, flirting and dating interactions, and we’ve created a game for that.

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