Something fun for your Labor Day weekend.
Have you heard about the Nintendo DS game called Love Plus? Apparently, it is all the rage in Japan.
The point of the game is to interact and develop a relationship with the Sailor Moon look-a-likes. Yes, all the characters in the game are girls so, by extension, the bulk of the players are boys. The game has sold 430,000 copies since its release last year.
And while the game seems innocent enough – though a bit creepy – here’s the weird part.
The game’s creators – Konami Digital Entertainment – have teamed up with the coastal city of Atami to create a virtual/real world hybrid.
Stay with me because it is kind of hard to fathom.
There are several hotels and ‘romantic’ locations around the city where game players can use their smart phone cameras to have their picture taken with their Love Plus avatar. This picture is done through bar codes and augmented reality software. These are not pictures with actresses dressed up as avatars – they are the avatars , uh, themselves.
Think about it. These guys go on a vacation to meet their virtual girl friend – and come home with souvenirs!
“Here’s me and Nani standing by the pier…and here we are strolling down the boardwalk…and…this was that romantic sushi restaurant. She loved the bluefin”
All I can say is OMG.
But wait, there’s more.
It has actually been a mini-boom for the city. Over 2000 young men have made the trip to Atami to take part in this promotion. (oh, and 9 months ago some guy actually married his avatar. Seriously.)
I pointed out the story to my wife and her thought was that it was only a matter before some enterprising American did the same thing here.
Maybe. Heck it could be just the shot in the arm Atlantic City needs. I can see it now…Trump’s Love Plus…only the best avatars…our digital renderings are like no other…and their hair is perfect.
Have a great weekend.
Social Media Specialist