The Times

September 30 1999

Ideal mate virtually there for the taking

The Times

BROKEN-HEARTED teenage girls could be a thing of the past with the virtual reality boyfriend created by Roberto Garigliano.

Tired of computer games aimed at boys and filled with death and destruction, the professor in computer studies at Durham University created Girland, a cyber world where girls can try a selection of potential suitors, eventually finding a compliant dream mate.

Professor Garigliano said: "It's a fantasy world, but is enough like real life to be convincing. In some ways it's better than real life, just in the same way a good novel doesn't spend all its time talking about doing the housework or picking up the children from school. And of course to the relief of fathers, there's no emotional hang-overs to deal with."

In his game, the ideal mate satisfies the pickiest girl and her overbearing parents.

Copyright 1999, Times Newspapers Ltd.