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Old 2008-09-21, 00:25   Link #1
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 56
Webkare: Japanese online date-sim social network for girls

This one is designed for girls to date virtual guys....

News article (swept up by my google portal):
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...092000908.html

Website itself: http://web-kare.jp/

In japanese, of course - but an interesting way to combine date-sim gameplay with social networking directed at girls.

Quote:
In Japan, girls are crazy over virtual boyfriends. Webkare (Web Boyfriend in Japanese), a mix between a social network and dating simulation site, is Nippon?s newest web sensation. Geared exclusively towards girls, the site attracted over 10,000 members just 5 days after its release on September 10, racking up 3.5 million page views in the same time frame.

...

Currently usage is free, with display ads and affiliate links as main sources of revenue. Webkare?s future monetizing strategy could include turning the concept into a video game or novel, merchandising, product placement, selling virtual items, expanding the concept to cell phones, developing a version for male users or offering premium memberships.
Another obvious option is internationalization, but here the question is if such an idiosyncratic way of curing loneliness 2.0 could succeed in the US or Europe as well. Reportedly, 52% of members are Japanese females in their twenties, with thirty-somethings accounting for 18% of the user base.
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Old 2008-09-21, 12:34   Link #2
2H-Dragon
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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The chances of this getting big in the western market is close to none. :O Still interesting that something like dating sims can attract girls.
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Old 2008-09-21, 22:14   Link #3
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 56
The interesting thing is that their current audience has a large percentage of 20-somethings and a fair group of 30-somethings.

Apparently, working in social groups improves your chances of "winning" - whoever designed this seems to have thought about how women tend to network socially.

I suspect this might appeal to the Sims crowd looking for something a bit different but whatever --- its good to keep an eye on trends.
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Old 2008-09-22, 16:13   Link #4
2H-Dragon
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I thought all the women are playing on their Wii's. >_>
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Old 2008-09-22, 21:00   Link #5
Asamidori
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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I...I can't be the only one that head straight to the character section and check the characters' seiyuu. >_> (But dang, they do have famous seiyuu for this. The only one I don't really recognize is Ryuuji's.)
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