If you’ve used an instant messaging client, you’ve probably run across chatbots who can talk about almost anything with a weird combination of factoids and social failure. One app for iOS presents a twitter-searching chatbot as your boyfriend, resulting in weird and hilarious conversations. Mattie Brice at the Border House elucidates the attraction of having a conversation in a game:
In Boyfriend Maker, there is no ‘correct.’ The object of the game is to just talk, and you gain money and points by keeping the conversation alive. The only way to do better is to pay for more points, and that just opens up aesthetic customization options. The absence of the optimal path is a rare occurance for video games, and my hunch is because that sort of play is mostly found games like house. It distills a certain aspect of The Sims many of us have grown to love, the same aspect that often has it cast as ‘non-game.’ Boyfriend Maker is broaching a need maybe we didn’t think we had: an actual, intimate connection with a game.