Virtual girlfriends and boyfriends already abound in Japan, where dating simulator games have enjoyed popularity among females as well as males.
One young Japanese man even held a real-world, live-cast commitment ceremony with his virtual girlfriend from a dating sim called "Love Plus," which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies on the Nintendo DS handheld game console since 2009.
James Sampson Doran wore court-issued earphones and sat on a walking frame, silently shaking his head as allegations were made against him in Sydney District Court.
He faces 37 child sex-related charges stemming from claims he had homosexual intercourse and committed other forms of abuse with students under his care during the 1980s.
The teenager went missing on May 2016, from her home near Charlotte in North Carolina.
Her parents said on the night she went missing that they woke to find the front door unlocked and believe Hailey had walked out and been picked up a little more than a kilometre from her home.
In the game, players create their own pride parade in a city of their choosing, allowing them to customise their flotillas in order to keep the city happy.
Video games and online programs also offer virtual girlfriend (or boyfriend) experiences on smartphones and handheld video game consoles.Her mother said Hailey had lost between seven and 10 kilograms and was exhausted when she was finally discovered.Her alleged captor, 31-year-old Michael Ren Wysolovksi, has been charged with aggravated sodomy, cruelty to children, deprivation in the first degree, interference with custody and false imprisonment and remains in custody.Most of the neighbours of the property where Hailey was found said they'd never met Wysolovksi.Some assumed they were just a quiet couple who kept to themselves.