A new craze among young girls in Japan started with the launch of a virtual boyfriend social networking site called Webkare, which is Japanese for Web Boyfriend.
The website allows members to flirt with a series of male anime characters, with the selection increasing further into the game. The object is to win the affections of one of them with help from other site members. The social interaction with friends made on Webkare is what sets it apart from other dating simulations. Collaboration is an essential feature.
Webkare was released on September 10, 2008 and proved so popular that over 10,000 members signed up in the first 5 days alone with 3.5 million page views. Over 50% are reportedly Japanese women in their twenties.