Simulation Dating, what is it? We’ve come a long way from Dream Phone and furtive sessions of Leisure Suit Larry on Tandy demo computers at the local Radio Shack. Several popular videogames right now are dating simulators — or dating sims — that aim to boost players’ confidence and social skills. Simulation Dating games help players build healthy romantic relationships through immersive, choice-driven storytelling, and sometimes not so healthy relations.
Therapist Nicki plays various simulation dating games on the Harmony Geek Therapy Twitch channel to teach individuals about dating, socials skills, and building relationships. She points out when answers are manipulative and co-dependent. Showing possible red flags for future relationships and pointing out dark psychology points.
It is fun to play out a real life romance and look for potential pitfalls and missteps in relationships. Dating sims come with a variety of themes from Monster Prom to I Love You, Colonel Sanders. Dating simulation games like Monster Prom most often take the form of visual novels, interactive text adventures with images and animations accompanying the branching story. You won’t be selecting every dialogue choice during your character’s involvement with the game’s world. You will be occasionally prompted to guide your character along different paths, and depending on your prior actions these could result in good or bad.
Simulation dating games demand extensive experimentation, trial and error. They are built to anticipate and encourage that style of play. Many Western players new to the genre miss out on that fundamental aspect of the experience. As a result writing dating sims off as shallow and basic after dipping their toes in the shallows. As a result dating simulators are not exactly like dating in real life. However, they can provide some basic tips for social skills, as mentioned above. Join Therapist Nicki as she researches and plays several dating simulation games on twitch during the Simulation Dating stream typically on Wednesdays and Fridays.