With my real-life love life proving to be as fruitful as a bowl of Crunch Berries (that is, no fruit), I decided to give simulated dating a go—partly out of curiosity, partly for fun, and partly for this story. After previewing a handful of the hundreds of otome available in the Apple Store and the gaming platform Steam, I finally discovered You are an editor at a women’s magazine covering the opening party of a casino in Roppongi, the nightlife district of Tokyo.
While I was exhausted from playing games with real dudes on Tinder, the notion of playing an The first step in my video game romance was choosing which otome to play—was I looking for a lover who would pamper me? There you meet a famous actor, bestselling novelist, charismatic plastic surgeon, and a top F1 racer.
First there was Yuzuki Kitaoji, the 24-year-old heartthrob actor.
While attractive, I could tell he thought he was better than me. I also turned down his mature and very polite 30-year-old brother, Satsuki Kitaoji, the “prince of the business world,” because, well, he seemed boring AF.
And because I find car racing about as fascinating as a game of Go Fish, I wasn’t especially titillated by 22-year-old Formula One star Noel Aijima.
That left Ryoichi, described as a 26-year-old sadistic novelist.
I also learned that he is 5’10” and blood type B—in case, you know, I needed a transfusion down the line.
Because I try to steer clear of assholes in my real dating life, I thought—why not go for an imaginary asshole, one I I could win over? And besides, each character comes with two possible endings based on the choices you make in the game—”good” and “happy”—so I was pretty sure I’d get a positive outcome.
was courting Ryoichi to write a special serial for the magazine—and I was in charge of “handling” him. (Until later 😜.)While new to me, romance sims are not new to the world—especially if you live in Japan.
There I was, sitting in a swanky hotel bar with my boyfriend of two years, feeling smug.
We had just moved from Japan to New York City for his career as a bestselling novelist, and that night, I had finally scored the engagement ring I knew I had coming.
Sure, I had to fish it out of some expensive champagne, but goddammit, I GOT THE RING. a dating simulator that allows players to reap many of the rewards of romance without having to make physical contact with another human being.
By the time I got my ring, I had been playing obsessively for a week.