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 Hi honey, I'm virtually home alone.
UKScifi Logo By Jennifer Dudley

(Found on) http://news.com.au/

FEELING lonesome? Mobile telephone no longer ringing? Why not SMS your Virtual Girlfriend?

Australian mobile telephone users may be able to buy and woo virtual dates this year after the release of a Virtual Girlfriend game for 3G mobile telephones.

But lonely or curious men should not expect an easy time of it - this 3D beauty uses artificial intelligence technology to replicate human behaviour and responses.

In short, she expects attention and regular gifts and will ignore you if she doesn't get her way.

Virtual Girlfriend was developed by Hong-Kong-based company Artificial Life and will allow subscribers to interact with a slight, three-dimensional brunette.

Each girlfriend will follow a daily and weekly schedule, which evolves over time, and sees her visit her virtual home, workplace or bar, and go shopping with virtual friends.

Real-life boyfriends can also send their virtual partners SMS or MMS messages or chat to them.

But to keep their companions happy, subscribers will have to send their girlfriends virtual gifts that cost a lot of money and allow them to progress further in the game and unlock new levels.

"The Virtual Girlfriend is a lot of fun to play and the game sets new and high standards for future 3G mobile games," Artificial Life CEO Eberhard Schoeneburg said.

A spokeswoman for Australia's only 3G mobile telephone carrier, Hutchison Telecoms, said the company would evaluate whether to offer the game after its December 1 release.
A Virtual Boyfriend is scheduled for release in February 2005.

But IDC Australia mobile and wireless senior analyst Warren Chaisatien said the game was similar to the virtual pet trend of the 1990s and may attract only a niche audience.

"It could be part of a larger 3G gaming portfolio that Hutchison or future 3G providers might be interested in but I don't think it will attract a mass market," he said.
Posted by Z Tuesday, March 31, 2009 (20:54:10)
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