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Virtual Boyfriend
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Video Corner: Interested in a Boyfriend Who Lives on Your Phone?

Relationships that begin online are like all others – they begin, they develop, and sometimes they end. But what if you could find the perfect partner online?

Many Japanese women have found their perfect matches through ‘romance games’ in which they build relationships with virtual boyfriends. Seen as a socially acceptable alternative to having an affair, the games are particularly popular with married women seeking the emotional intimacy that is missing from their day-to-day lives.

Women primarily interact with their boyfriends through their smartphones, with a large majority of users playing the game right before bed. The popularity of these simulated relationships has been criticised by some as the reason Japanese youth are less interested in finding romantic partners offline.

But, as one Facebook commenter writes, “There’s a bunch of good reasons to consider it. They’re always happy to see you, they won’t cheat, and they are specifically designed to be the perfect boyfriend. Now granted there is a physical aspect missing, but for someone who just needs someone emotionally, it’s not a bad pick.”

Cover Image: by Christopher DeLorenzo


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TARSHI supports and enables people's control and agency over their sexual and reproductive health and well-being through information dissemination, knowledge and perspective building within a human rights framework.