We get it. Dating is hard. And perhaps more so in Japan perhaps where the population is shrinking, young people are blamed for not having sex and men are getting married to videogame characters.
Yes, you read correctly. The nation that brought us wasabi, anime, sumo wrestlers, blurry porn and men dressed as schoolgirls, is raising eyebrows again with the release of Niizuma Lovely x Cation, a video game that has the hallmarks of Japanese weirdness written all over it.
Niizuma Lovely x Cation is an adventure game/dating sim that challenges the player to put a ring on the finger of one of the three female characters, with the goal of eventually getting married – and they really mean it. The company behind the game provides wedding ceremonies where the players can marry with their in-game anime counterparts.
You take the role of Hibiki, our male protagonist, who has moved towns and caught the eye of three female characters. The creators said they made the game to help young men get more confident with relationships and the concept of marriage. Assuming you’re competent enough to attract one of the in-game females, you may soon find yourself preparing for an actual wedding.
There’s already one lucky man who’s taken the plunge. In an online video doing the rounds, a Niizuma Lovely x Cation player is filmed marrying one of its anime characters. Dressed as a groom, he steps onto the podium where he is met by assistants who rig him up with a VR headset and bulky headphones. Once connected, an image of his virtual wife is projected onto the chapel wall. The virtual bride looks at him blankly with soulless digital eyes, they say “I do”, then an assistant scurries onto the stage and presents a fake set of lips on a stick for the groom to kiss. We’re not sure what happens after the ceremony, but the last we heard the groom was working on consummating his marriage.
More Dating Game Weirdness
“Congratulations! You’ve been accepted as the only human student at the prestigious St. PigeoNation’s Institute, a school for talented birds! Roam the halls and find love in between classes as a sophomore student at the world’s greatest pigeon high school.” In this game, you can fulfill your high-flying dreams of dating pigeons and shitting on people’s heads. What more do you want, really? Go on, fly away.
Brother Falls in Love!
Who hasn’t wanted to date an affordable, reliable printer? They’ll never leave you for a better job in a better city with more printers that are a safer bet to start a family with – sorry, this got way too personal.
Anyway, in Brother Falls in Love! your only goal is to date the new guy in school, a printer whose favourite colour ink is magenta. Also, this printer really loves to play soccer, so get ready to wrap your head around watching a printer jumping in the sun during an afternoon at the park.
Spend hours with virtual crushes in the dating simulation game LovePlus. Spend real money buying your virtual dates flowers, taking them for dinners and making future plans. One man was so enamoured with his virtual crush he decided to marry her at a technology festival in Tokyo, becoming the first person to officially pledge his love to a video game character.