The girls can kiss, “hold” a player’s hand, exchange flirtatious text messages and even snap out in anger if the player leaves a conversation.It’s one of Japan’s biggest gaming phenomenons called Love Plus - available on the Nintendo portable consoles and the i Phone.“There is no friction in these relationships, obviously,” says Loulou d’Aki, a Swedish photographer who documented a number of Japanese players earlier this year.Some Japanese men are wooing girlfriends who don’t exist.While they can only interact with their partner through a pre-written script, these virtual beauties — Rinko, Manaka or Nene — offer a kind of instant emotional connection at the tap of a stylus.Not only are there statistically fewer men, but the dynamic of human engagement, and style of personal connection, has changed dramatically since we were dating in our 20’s.Also, a lifetime of love and loss has made many women distrustful and unwilling to get back into the dating game.“When you Google ‘Japan’ and ‘love’, you find all these articles about lonely people who never get married,” she says. I wanted to show the human aspect, the individual stories behind those who use these applications.”Her images reveal the secret lives of thirty-somethings who have accepted living alone instead of looking for love.They share a common yearning for connection and found it on a touch screen.
He says that older women have the power to make a connection that turns into a dating opportunity.For example, three simple ideas for creating dating opportunities include smiling genuinely, approaching men first and learning the art of flirting.His assessment requires a fundamental shift in thinking – women must not be afraid to make the first move!They wanted someone who accepted them as they were.”For others like Masano, who has been dating the character called Rinko since 2009, the ease and surety of a virtual girlfriend qualms the fear of failure in the real dating sphere.
“He said something that struck me as a little bit sad,” d’Aki says.
“He said, ‘Well, you know all I want is someone to say good morning to in the morning and someone to say goodnight to at night.’”These feelings are not limited to Japanese men – game developers have also released romance simulations that cater to women .