You know how the internet is full of porn? However open and liberal you are with your particular interests, you have to admit there’s a lot of creepy stuff out there. Take, for instance, a VR game in which you stare at half-naked women in the uncanny valley.
Enter Girlfriend VR, currently seeking over $5,500 on Kickstarter. Developer Expertzz Game Studios promises “your perfect looking girlfriend, in a beautiful 360° location.”
The concept isn’t the most offensive thing in the world. It probably would have been better if Expertzz called it porn, so you’d be free to ogle the plastic character models to your heart’s content. By calling them “girlfriends,” that conjures all kinds of connotations. Why am I spying on my girlfriend in a bikini? Why is she okay with me standing over her, breathing molten hot air in her face? Why is my girlfriend a doll come to life?
Actually, these are legitimate questions regardless.
The Kickstarter page is just as dead and vacant as the girlfriends. There’s only a brief mention of what the “gameplay” will be like.
“You can talk to your girl, change clothes or just hang out in beautiful 360° environments. To your favourite music and relax as long as you want. Just the way a relationship has to be.”
Not only is this whole affair creepy, but its little more than a screensaver with a dress up game tacked on. That’s a hard sell at over $5,000, especially when the rest of the page is so poorly laid out. Its written in broken English, the pitch video is a slideshow of the screenshots already on the page, and there’s little explanation of what this is outside that quote.
To be fair, softcore porn rarely needs an explanation.
“How do we know this isn’t vaporware?” asks the FAQ section. “You should be concerned. Kickstarter projects often don’t get finished,” answers Expertzz. Credit where credit’s due, they’ve got their pulse on what the community wants to know. It’s a shame the rest of the answer isn’t as concise.
In a rambling explanation, the developer states there’s a playable build of the game already being tested. Expertzz also directs you to their website where you can find their previous work, so you know they’re experienced developers. Experienced in making crappy flash games with clip art, but experienced.
The opening pitch also says you can “just relax, chat and care about her.” Are they implying you can converse with the characters, as in with a microphone or maybe dialog options? You’ll more than likely be talking to a blank wall, but hey, at least you care about her.
There’s no way of knowing whether Girlfriend VR will be any good or not. You can take an educated guess (or one hell of a gamble, if you’re so inclined), but that’s up to you. There are clear warning signs but not enough to get this Kickstarter suspended. If that’s the case, the only notable thing about this particular campaign is that it’s another example of how not to run a Kickstarter.