Sometimes dating apps just don’t cut it. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, maybe instead of trying to find a significant other to build a relationship with, you should try downloading one instead. The app My Virtual Gay Boyfriend does exactly that, and more.
Created by Mike Amerson, who also developed other artificial intelligence (A.I.). dating apps like “My Virtual Boyfriend” and “My Virtual Girlfriend,” “My Virtual Gay Boyfriend” was made in response to the gay community asking for their own version. In an interview with Huffington Post, Amerson talked about the relationship dynamics that are a part of the A.I. dating experience:
“The game is different things for different people, but my intent when creating it was for people to just have fun and be entertained by it. The game focuses on a relationship and, just as in real life, it can go either way. Sometimes it works out, other times it doesn't—which is reflected in the game too."
The game is designed to reflect real world relationships through a leveling system. After the player customizes the A.I., the game begins with small talk and flirting, which builds compatibility and fills up the A.I.’s heart meter. When the heart meter is completely filled, a “level up” is received, and the player and their A.I. can take their relationship to a whole new level. If the player is able to reach level 35, and not anger or cause a break-up with their virtual boyfriend, the A.I. will profess their love for them.
On the topic of genuine human connection, Amerson believes that the app’s levity reflects that of real life.
“We all want to be loved, and no matter how advanced or realistic an A.I. is, it cannot offer the authenticity that a human can. Not that all humans are authentic all of the time, but in a romantic engagement with that person we certainly hope they are being genuine. The game employs a bit of flirty romance intermixed with some humor to keep the mood light and fun. If anything I think this game contributes to relationships as you have to learn to practice patience and compromise to get to higher levels—just like in real life.”
You got it: Whether or not you've ever reached "level 35" with someone, you can try now with My Virtual Boyfriend.