Who is KARI?
Aside from Kari Bryron, the girl made famous by the MythBusters series or Kari Ann Peniche the former beauty queen from Oregon who was stripped of her title for posing nude in Playboy – just who or what is Kari?
KARI, the acronym, actually stands for Knowledge Acquiring and Response Intelligence and it is the virtual girlfriend to many men in Japan these days.
There is a resort called the Ohnoya hotel in Atami, Japan that is offering up virtual girlfriends. Konami Digital Entertainment has created Love Plus that provides a dating sim or simulation game that is played on handheld Nintendo DS consoles. It is also an available App for iPhones.
The Ohnoy hotel website here boasts a Love Plus Atami phenomenon (Festival). Imagine this: A bunch of love-struck Japanese men running around with their iPhones talking to themselves! Actually, it is a bit complicated as the software allows the virtual girl to get “moody” when neglected by her real-time boyfriend.
Do not underestimate the amount of interest in virtual girlfriends. More than a few thousand have visited the resort town since the introduction of the new Love Plus campaign began and more than several hundred have stayed at the Ohnoya Hotel with their girlfriends – even checking in at the registration desk as a couple and pay the extra dollars to do so, with some rooms ranging $500 per night.
Why do they do it?
It is amazing that men would even consider this an option but then again, it shows that Men are from Mars! You will not be finding any women paying for virtual boyfriends and there are no plans for the company to market the virtual girlfriends to men in the West.
For instance, a 19-year-old, Tatsuya Fukazawa, who was visiting Atami for the first time to spend a weekend with his virtual girlfriend said this, “There isn’t a lot of romance in my life and this helps me to cope with some of the loneliness.”
The end of 2009, a man actually married his virtual girlfriend and you can view the video here. It is said to be the first-ever marriage of man and video girl.
The couple apparently have no plans to have children.