The Most Important Night of Our Lives
"In Japan, a dating sim isn't just a dating game, it's a dating simulation. Functioning in Japanese society relies largely on understanding and acting appropriately to one's social status. While this can be said of most cultures, in Japan the rules are more complex, and the consequences of breaking them are severe."
Charles Wheeler spends a night on the town with Brooktown High.
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Unlimited social mobility certainly didn't describe MY high school!
Ha ha, that 'simulation' doesn't sound very accurate. This is a bit extreme of a comparison, but would you want your pilot training simulation to not have a well balanced physics engine?
I tried a Japanese dating sim once while I was in high school, and it left a bad taste in the mouth that still lingers occasionally like bad bile. Even if it is part "social training", it mostly seems like it's fulfillment of a fantasy. I cannot stand games being a fulfillment of one's social fantasy, and one of the reasons is because THAT is when games can become more of what someone wants reality to be instead of facing it. It's troublesome.
There's also the gameplay aspect. Harvest Moon is the only game with dating sim elements I enjoy simply because there's actual gameplay surrounding it. Most of these dating sims don't have any real gameplay at all.