Dating and sim college romance

11 May

The game offered a satisfyingly methodical path to romance: Get your Sims to talk, tell some jokes, flirt, and then go in for the kill.

It was foolproof, and while perhaps not totally realistic, still pretty entertaining.

You play a 20-something single guy in a new city where you don't know very many people and you are looking to meet some new people, especially female people. This is my attempt to Americanize the dating sim visual novel.

Instead of many dates over a span of time, these all take place on the same Saturday night.

A Bx G romantic comedy visual novel done with 3D graphics.

Something's In The Air is a dating sim visual novel with about 25 endings and many twists and surprises.

Yesterday Adrianne Jeffries of the Verge took a closer look at the apps, which are essentially choose-your-own-adventure e-romance novels.

For all of the genre's seeming emphasis on romance, dating sims often contain a reductively transactional notion of love and sex, relying on a mechanic that independent game developer Arden once described as “kindness coins”: Put enough compliments or gifts into the object of your affection and receive sex in return.

So when I heard about Japanese romance-simulator apps, I was intrigued.

Men have been onboard with dating simulation apps for a while (as evidenced by marriages to virtual girlfriends), but romance sims — marketed primarily to women — are newer.

Spend a little more time with them, however, and these facades dissolve, revealing complicated men whose passions, secrets and struggles cannot be neatly contained in cookie-cutter character types.

Yes, the Goth Dad enjoys cloaks and long walks in graveyards, and the Jock Dad loves getting in his reps at the gym—but they both struggle to cope with rebellious children, shattered marriages, and the parts of their lives that they are ashamed to share with the world.