Real life dating game

“Whether I create a catastrophic couple or the happiest couple is really up to me,” she explains.

Handsome and mysterious, with dark hair falling askew over one eye, Scorpio can be a bit abrasive, haunted as he is by a turbulent childhood that makes intimacy difficult.

Fortunately for Scorpio, Mook, a 24-year-old living in Bangkok, likes “fierce, tough-looking” men, and she is struck by a softness in Scorpio that only she gets to see. Scorpio, meanwhile, is a god and a former assassin—and a character in Star-Crossed Myth, a romance simulation app.

He comes courtesy of Voltage, a Japanese gaming company that specializes in romance games for women and that generated roughly $90 million in revenue in 2015.

In order for their relationship to progress, Mook must continually download Star-Crossed Myth and its sequels.

When she is not engaging with Scorpio, she is often flirting with another of her virtual boyfriends, all of whom are available, at all times, in the palm of her hand.

“[These apps] give me a chance to hide away from my real life, in which I don’t have a boyfriend,” Mook says.

“And by playing these games, it hurts nobody.” Yuna, a programmer who lives in the suburbs of Tokyo (we’ve changed her name here), has been playing virtual romance games since a friend introduced her to Nameless—The One Thing You Must Recall, an app made by Cheritz, a South Korean gaming company.

Nameless follows the story of Eri, a lonely girl who has obsessively collected ball-jointed dolls since the death of her grandfather.

One night, five of the dolls come alive as handsome men.

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