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This article introduces Japanese dating-simulation (dating-sim) games and examines their depictions of young men, women, and romantic relationships in "virtual Japan." Several intersecting realms of Japanese popular culture are examined--video games, anime [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], manga [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and hentai [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (pornography)--in order to classify dating-sim games. Dating-sim games are also placed in a social context in contemporary Japan by analyzing common attitudes toward otaku [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (geek) culture. Otaku are increasingly labeled as shojo [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (lit., young girls), essentially a feminization; but dating-sim games offer players a clear identity as non-shojo. This article also demonstrates how dating-sim games are strongly enmeshed within Japanese culture, one major factor that has hindered their popularity abroad. Why Study Dating-Simulation Games?