Friday, December 02, 2005

Virtual Girlfriend!

Girls not knocking down your door to go out with you? Tired of dealing with those complex issues such as feelings? How about getting a "virtual girlfriend" instead? Hong Kong based company Artificial Life have developed an interactive virtual girlfriend that appears as an animated girl for new mobile phones with video capability.

According to a company spokesperson, users of the latest 3-G mobile phones who subscribe to the service will be able to send messages to the virtual girlfriend, who will respond by voice. Each girlfriend will follow an evolving daily and weekly schedule which includes visiting her virtual home, work or bar, and shopping with her virtual girlfriends.

Although all the virtual girls look pretty similar, they behave in a different way depending on how well the user treats her.

Buying her flowers and diamonds will get her attention and advance the relationship to higher levels. In return, she will unlock new levels and aspects of her life, such as introducing her female friends - who also happen to be electronic images.

However, it's not as easy as it sounds, because the virtual girlfriend will get angry and ignore the user if she does not get what she wants. And since the users will be charged real money to pay for all those virtual flowers, in addition to the subscription charge, she might turn out to be not just virtual high maintenance, but real high maintenance! Although for now, it has not been determined how much the gifts will cost.

Classified as a game by its makers, it does not contain any elements of a sexual nature, and is "suitable for all ages", the spokesperson said.

Artificial Life hopes to launch the new game later this year, with a "virtual boyfriend" equivalent scheduled for early next year.

The Virtual Girlfriend is based on intelligent animated 3-D characters (avatars) that live in a virtual mobile world. The virtual girls can be contacted and seen using a 3G phone at any time. However, the characters will be involved in different activities during the day, for example, the girlfriend may be in her virtual home or at her virtual workplace or in a virtual bar or restaurant or just shopping with another virtual friend in a virtual shopping mall.

The user can watch the characters during these activities and interact with them via the mobile phone. The characters and the game follow a certain daily and weekly schedule which will continuously change and progress over time.

Note from Technophile: If you visit their site, you can talk to an avatar by the name of Luci.

Source: [Artificial Life, Inc.]

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