Annoying Dating Stereotypes? There’s an app for that.

by | August 15, 2010
filed under Feminism, Pop Culture

Screenshot from My Virtual GirlfriendAre you a guy who wants to date a girl who’s insecure, whiny, manipulative, and demanding, but you’re having trouble making that happen in real life? Are you willing to lie to her and do things you don’t enjoy doing to make her happy? Then the new iPhone app My Virtual Girlfriend may be for you.

In My Virtual Girlfriend, guys rank themselves on a number of traits, then suggest what they’re looking for in a girlfriend (i.e. sexiness, responsibility, sensitivity). The game then suggests 3 potential matches and once you pick one, you’re ready to go.

The goal of this game: keep your girlfriend around by making her happy. You can do this through agreeing with everything she says, doing activities she likes, buying her expensive things, and touching her (seriously), but not too much too soon.

Once you get to the end of level 20, your virtual gf falls in love with you and you can decide to stay or leave her because “you’re just too much man for one woman to handle.”

Nelson at Pixelated Geek interviewed the app’s producer, Angelina Amerson, who argues that the game isn’t just for fun or entertainment, but also to educate guys on “something that happens every day”.

Nelson questioned Ms. Amerson on different parts of the game, such as how  a guy can make his virtual girlfriend happy by cleaning her house, and why the virtual gfs get angry when the guy wants them to play video games with him. Ms. Amerson argues this is just like real life, saying she polled her girl friends and acquaintances and none of them like video games.

xeroxeroxero at MidLife Gamer says: “To say that My Virtual Girlfriend becomes a question of mathematical human conditioning is an understatement, the actions you’ll take over the hour and a half it takes to hit the maximum love level border on the sociopathic.” From what I saw, it certainly seems like it’s implying girls have some secret formula such as:

x(times you buy her shoes) = x(times she’ll let you touch her breasts)

The whole game is so full of ridiculous stereotypes about what women want and how they’re expected to behave, but that’s not the end of it. Ms. Amerson has a sequel planned about virtual boyfriends, whose types will include “The Corporate Male” who only cares about work, and “The Alpha Male”, who wants to control everything.

So basically the developers seem to think that dating is all about making the other person happy by doing activities you don’t really want to do, relying on outdated gender stereotypes in order to determine what those activities are.

Thankfully it doesn’t have to be like that in real life.


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