I had to laugh when I read this!
The virtual girlfriend is here. - http://www.theage.com.au/articles/20...?oneclick=true
Hong Kong citizens famously told a survey last year they were too busy with work for relationships; now a new technology will enable them to go dating using their famous passion for mobile phones.
Artificial Life, a Hong Kong-based phone technology firm, has created the Virtual Girlfriend, a cellphone-based game that allows players to dial in and date a life-like lady.
Just like real-life women she will work, play, go to the gym and go out with the girls. But she will also have the occasional mood change, cheer up at the sight of flowers and need lots of pampering.
"She will do all the things that a real woman will do," said Eberhard Shoneberg, chief executive of Artificial Life.
"She will also let you meet her friends, but it will not be about sex - there will be teasing and the like, but no promise of cyber-sex," added the 46-year-old German-born former mathematics professor.
The 10-year-old Artificial Life moved here from the US two years ago to take advantage of the Asian boom in mobile phone use, in particular Hong Kong's almost 100-percent penetration of cellphones, the most concentrated in the world.
As a subscriber-played WAP-accessed game, players' Virtual Girlfriends will all look the same. But each girl will have a different behaviour profile depending on how well she is treated.
"The more gifts you give, the more you will be able to do with the game."
Like real-life relationships that with Virtual Girlfriend will not come for free: Shoneberg says the service will be priced at around 50 Hong Kong dollars ($US6.50) a month and subscribers will be charged a fee to "buy" gifts like flowers and meals.
"There will be different charges for different gifts, depending on what you buy," said Shoneberg, adding that it is important not to see such payments as purchases of intangible cyber goods.
"They are keys that allow you to enter a different stage of the game -- to broaden what you can do within it and make it more enjoyable. For instance, in return for gifts she will introduce you to different aspects of her life, different people and so on."
Like Japan's Tamagotchi electronic "pets" of the 1990s, in which players had to feed and care for their computerised toy, Shoneberg expects Asian markets to lap up the service when it goes live on November 15.
He is in talks with 3G phone-service providers to put it onto their networks and is already planning a Virtual Boyfriend for female phone users.
"We think people will like it because it is basically a sitcom in which you are able to play a role," said Shoneberg.