Among Japan’s bigger pop cultural head scratchers is the dating simulation. Whereas people around the globe can agree on the entertainment potential of video games that let you drive high performance cars (Gran Turismo), shoot people (Call of Duty) or some combination of the two (Grand Theft Auto), having a digital dating partner remains primarily a feature of the Japanese gaming landscape.

And while it’s tempting to write the genre off as appealing to only the sweatiest and smelliest of nerdy males, dating simulators have a whole sub-genre known as otome (maiden) games that let female players pick from among a stable of hunky love interests.

The creative team at Cybird, developers of the popular Ikemen series of dating simulators, recently shared the five characteristics of an ideal virtual beau.

1. Fundamentally mean spirited

In direct contrast to the quietly supportive yet inactive “herbivore men” who have been growing in numbers over the past decade in Japan, Cybird says the ideal leading man for a dating simulator is aggressive in both action and speech. Calling the heroine by the rough pronoun omae is a given, as is casually dishing out commands during everyday conversation. The developers say it’s all part of the package of being a man of action who can seize both initiative and the hearts of female gamers.

2. Deep down, a gentle personality

But there’s more to a good dating game boyfriend than a never ending stream of “Make me some ramen, omae!” Beneath the boisterous exterior, the perfect virtual man needs a well of compassion. For example, Cybird says that an ordinarily gruff guy who frets over his girlfriend catching a cold is just the right mix.

3. A strong work ethic

Dating sim boyfriends also have to be ambitious and driven, like the above choices of furniture designer, pastry chef, and medical researcher. But just being hard-working isn’t enough. No matter how heavy the workload, they must toil away without complaint, giving the player a chance to secretly stumble across their hidden efforts in a touching scene.

4. A hidden side only their lover gets to see

While professional or educational ambitions are a must, the ideal video game boyfriend also has to have a clumsily affectionate side once his workday ends and he can put his guard down. Cybird claims a sheepish way of showing affection, such as silently resting his head on the shoulder of the player’s avatar, makes the gesture all the more intimate.

5. A jealous streak

Finally, a proper otome game guy has to feel threatened enough to get jealous over the player. Not enough to be controlling, Cybird says, but enough that they sulk a little if the player doesn’t validate their relationship.

So there you have it, Cybird’s five steps to being the ideal virtual boyfriend. But before you start browbeating your girlfriend and asking your boss for overtime in order to check boxes one and three above, remember to take the developer’s advice with a grain of salt. Being a dude who’s abrasive, begrudgingly kind, work-obsessed, and jealous may be the fast track to romance in video games, but not everything from that world translates so well to real life.

”Uh-oh dude, your girlfriend looks pissed! Better load a save state and try again.”

Source: Jin