Manaka Takane Welcome to another "Games are evil" piece featuring — back by popular demand — our regular guest, Love Plus!

 

*applause*

 

This week, we’re trying something a little different. Different being positive. Positive being a healthy, married relationship that looked Love Plus in the eye without blinking and came away unscathed.

 

The couple in question is that of Koh and Yurie, two happily married, perfectly normal Japanese people that reside in San Francisco. During a business trip back to Tokyo, Koh found that the Internet buzz surrounding Love Plus had piqued his curiosity, and so he decided to pick it up. Soon, he found the game having the same effects on him it has had on so many other men — blurring the line between fantasy and reality.

 

Fortunately, this lasted for all but a week. Things went right back to normal as soon as Koh got back to San Francisco, and both he and his wife had a good laugh over the game. Boing Boing has an interview with the couple:

 

Q: Koh, what do you and Rinko do together?

 

Koh: OK, this is pretty embarrassing. The DS has a mic and a touchscreen, so… one time, she asked me to say "I love you" a hundred times into the mic. I was on the airplane when she asked me that, so I was like, no way. There was also this part where you have to hold her hand on the touchscreen. If you touch her hand with the stylus, you get to hold her hand. And then there’s the part where you have to kiss her.

 

Q: Did you do it?

 

Koh: No, no! The girl’s face shows up on the screen, and you have to touch her lips to give her a kiss. That’s pretty weird…. this is embarrassing. I’m sweating right now just talking about it.

 

Q: What do you think, Yurie?

 

Yurie: Until now, I wasn’t aware of the specifics of the game. Hearing it now, I’m like, barf. That’s just gross.

 

Koh: I know. It’s pretty gross. I really wouldn’t want my wife to see me playing this, me desperately trying to hold hands with a touchscreen.

 

This sounds odd but I have to admit reading this kind of warms my heart. As fascinating as I think Love Plus is, the scary reality is that it’s also not having the most positive effect on an already troubled Japanese society. Coming across a reassuring story like this one every now and then is good for the old braincells. Give the rest of the interview a read; it’s quite interesting. I’ll leave you with this hilarious bit:

 

Q: So what is your Love Plus girlfriend doing now?

 

Koh: I’m too scared to find out. I’m probably going to get in big trouble if I open it after leaving her alone for several weeks. Maybe she’s dead now. That would be scary.

 

Yurie: Does that happen?

 

Koh: I don’t think so . But remember Tamagochi? They used to die if you didn’t feed them.

 

Yurie: Oh yeah. That would be kind of bittersweet.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and a contributing writer at GamesIndustry.biz. He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.

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