Well, we guess it was inevitable -- a new video game specifically designed for gay men is on the market that allows you to virtually date and fall in love with an A.I.
"My Virtual Gay Boyfriend" creator Mike Amerson developed the game in response to the queer community asking him for their own version of Amerson's other games "My Virtual Boyfriend" and "My Virtual Girlfriend," which catered to a straight audience.
The video game functions in levels, with the trajectory of the game operating around the mechanics of how real life relationships work after a player customizes their A.I. The early stages of the game involve a lot of small talk and flirting with your A.I., where the player determines the interests of the character and tries to develop a sense of compatibility. As the game progresses, the player does things for their A.I. that makes their heart meter fill -- with a full heart meter meaning a "level up."
Alternatively, the player can actually negatively impact their relationship with the A.I., which can lead to a break-up.
"The game is different things for different people, but my intent when creating it was for people to just have fun and be entertained by it," Amerson told The Huffington Post. "The game focuses on a relationship and, just as in real life, it can go either way. Sometimes it works out, other times it doesn't -- which is reflected in the game too."
The A.I. will eventually declares its love for the player at level 35 -- that's only if the player makes it this far and the relationship doesn't result in break-up. After reaching level 35, the game either ends or can keep going with the A.I. continuing to level up -- though there is little new content for the player after reaching this point.
As for the critics that would claim the game is actually negatively impacting the ability of queer men to develop meaningful, healthy relationships, Amerson says he sees it quite differently.
"We all want to be loved, and no matter how advanced or realistic an A.I. is, it cannot offer the authenticity that a human can," Amerson continues. "Not that all humans are authentic all of the time, but in a romantic engagement with that person we certainly hope they are being genuine. The game employs a bit of flirty romance intermixed with some humor to keep the mood light and fun. If anything I think this game contributes to relationships as you have to learn to practice patience and compromise to get to higher levels -- just like in real life."
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