A dating sim (or dating simulator) is a video game that lets players simulate the experience of dating. Usually, the goal is to develop a romantic relationship with one of several characters, culminating in a happy ending. Dating sims are usually designed to be played by people who are interested in pursuing a relationship.
The first dating sims appeared in the early 1980s, but they were not popular until the late 1990s, when they began to be marketed to women. One of the earliest dating sims to be released in English was Konami's Tokimeki Memorial in 1994. Tokimeki Memorial was a popular dating sim that featured digital pictures of real-life Japanese girls.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of dating sims that are aimed at a heterosexual female audience. This may be because men, who are traditionally considered to be the main audience for dating sims, find the games less interesting or appealing.
There are a number of different types of dating sims. Some sims focus exclusively on building romantic relationships, while others allow the player to engage in other activities, such as attending school, working, or participating in sports.
Some dating sims are designed for people who are already in a relationship and want to spice up their love life. These games often allow the player to control multiple characters, which can lead to some interesting story-telling opportunities.
Other dating sims are designed for single people who want to find a partner. These games often require the player to scroll through a large number of potential partners before finding one that they want to date.
Dating sims are often criticized for their lack of realism. However, many dating sims are based on Japanese dating culture, which is known for being quite conservative. In addition, many dating sims allow the player to create their own character, which often leads to more realistic results.
Despite their lack of realism, dating sims continue to be popular with gamers of all ages. In fact, many popular dating sims are being ported to mobile devices, which means that they can be played on the go.