The Null Device

More details on Bandai's Love By Email "virtual girlfriend" service, which operates through Japan's "i-Mode" mobile phone system:

Progress is measured on a chart that shows how many of the woman's 52 secrets the man has been able to uncover and what percentage of her heart he has won. At the end of the relationship, which can last from one to three months, a successful lover will be given an everlasting commitment of love. An insufficiently attentive suitor is dismissed as a creep.

Bandai had a similar service for women, named My Prince Charming, but it was unsuccessful, attracting only 1,000 subscribers in its first three days. By comparison, Love By Email has more than 30,000 subscribers.

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