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Gone are the days of simply approaching someone you find attractive (or waiting for them to approach you! They don’t give us the possibility of meeting our soulmate, but that’s neither here nor there.
Games let us play the role of both the dater (or “datee”?
However, Tokimeki Memorial (1994) truly popularized dating sims in Japan, in which the player, a high school student, has the ability to date a dozen different girls.
In a typical dating sim, the player controls a male avatar surrounded by female characters.
Series such as Sakura Wars combine tactical RPG gameplay with dating sim gameplay.
The first game that set the standard for the dating sim genre was Dōkyūsei (1992), which relied more on timed events than dialogue choices.
Coming Out on Top places you in the role of college senior, Mark Matthews.
It can also be nerve-wracking, terrifying, and a downright disaster.
In this modern, digital age we live in, dating today generally means logging on to a dating site rather than visiting your local dance hall. That means trawling endless profiles of strangers on Match, the horror of stumbling across a co-worker on Plenty of Fish, and giving yourself finger strain by swiping left or right on Tinder. Thankfully, video games let us live the highs and lows of dating without any of the stress.
Games where the player character is female and potential objects of affection are male are known as Gx B or otome games.
Homosexual relationships are also possible, as there are games with no specific gender lines ("all pairings").