'Love Plus' Resort Caters To Men With Virtual Girlfriends

Atami, a seaside resort town in Japan, is aiming to give tourism a boost by catering to male enthusiasts of Love Plus, a dating simulation game, according to Discovery News.

The town, formerly a popular destination for couples in love, has partnered with gaming company Konami Digital Entertainment, the creators of Love Plus, to establish a resort that brings together the virtual girlfriend and her real-world paramour in a beach-side setting.

Love Plus is described by Konami spokesman Kunio Ishihara as an extended scenario in which the real-life "beau" plays a high school boy character in a relationship with a virtual girl. "The goal," Kunio Ishihara told Discovery News, "is to see how good you can be to her [the virtual girlfriend] and to build a relationship." And what better way to reach a digital woman's heart than by whisking her away for a romantic weekend by the sea?

Mashable describes the Love Plus-themed resort, which is a feature of the game's latest version:

In 13 locations around the town, players can find 2D barcodes to scan and call up images of the young women in the game. The girls wear different clothing from their typical in-game looks. One hotel has gone as far as putting a barcode in its rooms, allowing players to see their "girlfriends" in a more private setting wearing summer kimonos.

The young men can take pictures in which their virtual girlfriend appears, as if she were really standing there.

So far, Discovery News reports, "More than 200 Love Plus fans have stayed at the Ohnoya hotel alone, while well over 2,000 have visited the resort town for the campaign, which kicked off on July 10 and runs until the end of August."

To view a map of locations where Love Plus players have taken snapshots, click here.

Love Plus also made headlines in 2009 when a player married his digital girlfriend.