Old Fart Who Loves Japanese Pop Culture 日本の大衆文化を愛する中年

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Japanese Girl Sensation: Virtual Boyfriends (Webkare)

Sent to you by kevn57 via Google Reader:

via www.techcrunch.com on 9/20/08
by Serkan Toto on September 20, 2008

In Japan, girls are crazy over virtual boyfriends. Webkare (Web Boyfriend in Japanese), a mix between a social network and dating simulation site, is Nippon's newest web sensation. 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.

Things you can do from here:

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Blogger Mint Chocolate said...

wow, i get mixed emotion reading this post! first i feel sad for the girls, i mean virtual boyfriend =.=" Come on, get out there and embraced life. I rather have someone i can enjoy a good food, movie or a walk in the park rather than having someone on the net whose conversation are programmed =.=". On the other hand, this might be good to the young girls to avoid them from unhealthy relationship =P

9/25/2008 01:11:00 PM  

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