Can you Have an Internet Girlfriend?

Reasons why I love the Japanese:

1) Most of my subscribers to Date With a Fetish Coach are Japanese. Sweet.

2) The best horror movies!

3) Better comics… if you think about it.

4) Their culture raises the bar in sexuality and relationships.

This particular story proves my point, a tale about a happily married couple in Japan… and the internet girlfriend.

Love Plus, a new dating Sim released for Nintendo DS, gives a gamer the opportunity to create a cyber-relationship with his ideal woman.

Such was the case for Koh, an engineer who was immediately smitten with Rinko, a badass high schooler… who doesn’t exist. Well, not in the real world, but in Love Plus, she’s as real as she can be.

With some embarrassment, Koh describes the many ways he had to show Rinko his love. For example, he had to say “I love you” a hundred times in his microphone. Then, of course, he had to kiss her (By pressing the stylus against the touchscreen). But, he was far too modest to go into such details.

So, is this considered cyber-cheating? It’s not an actual person. And, while plenty of men can blur (or obliterate) the line between fantasy and reality, it seems that Koh’s wife, Yurie, doesn’t have that problem with Koh:

“If he’s just enjoying the game, then that’s fine with me. I don’t care that he has a girlfriend inside the game at all. I’m just like, oh okay. So that’s what you’re into right now. If we were to get into a fight over this, it would be less about the content of the game and more about how much time he spends playing it.” — Yurie

Koh doesn’t worry about the time he spends on Love Plus because he has a wife who understands, but he does admit that talking about what he does with Rinko in front of Yurie is, well, creepy. I don’t blame him. Although Rinko and Koh haven’t had sex (He never explained if and how that happened), he does share very intimate moments with Rinko, moments (even like calling each by their first names) that are considered very special in Japanese culture.

What I like about this story is that Koh is the exception to the misconception that many men can invest too much of their time into a video game or idealized fantasy of a woman and “sex” (whether it’s through a game or pornography). Here, we see Koh enjoying not only as a lover, but as a gamer. And both identities can sometimes yield similar behavior.

Speaking of which, Yurie has recently gotten addicted to the video game Rya Ga Gotoku 3, one in which her objective is to be the most successful cabaret dancer in the club. Why they have yet to make a female version to Love Plus still baffles me.

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