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Atami City Attracts Tourism with LovePlus+ Virtual Dates

posted on by Gia Manry
Game fans flock to designated spots for photos with virtual girlfriends

The city of Atami, Japan joined forces with the game maker Konami, creator of the popular dating simulation game LovePlus+, to attract fans of the game to the city from July 10 to August 31. 13 "romantic" spots were set up with special augmented reality (AR) barcodes that appeared as one of the game's three female characters, in special summer attire, when photographed using special applications on an Apple iPhone. Fans posed in the photos alongside their virtual girlfriends. Other shops in the town joined in, selling LovePlus+-themed merchandise.

According to the Associated Press report, Konami representative Kunio Ishihara stressed that the game has no adult content and that the company has no intentions of selling a game with pornographic elements, adding that "I think LovePlus fans would get offended if somebody tried to disrespect his girlfriend like that."

The original LovePlus game was released in Japan on September 3, 2009. The object of the game is to court and win one of three female characters. Completing one girl's route causes the game to open up into a real-time girlfriend simulator, requiring the player to pay attention to the game on a regular basis in order to maintain the relationship.

In December of 2009, a LovePlus fan arranged a mock wedding to his simulated girlfriend. The following month, LovePlus received a Japan Otaku Award, and Zoids manga creator Michiro Ueyama spoofed the phenomenon in a Doraemon/LovePlus crossover manga. Kodansha announced five manga adaptations of the game in March. On June 24, Konami released the LovePlus+ follow-up game with new content. During last month's World Cosplay Summit 2010 event in Nagoya, Japan, a cosplayer demonstrated what a LovePlus girlfriend would look like in real life.

Sources: Game Watch, CNN

Image © 2010 Konami Digital Entertainment

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