Through software called “Princess Maker,” Japanese men can adopt a computer- created 10-year-old girl, choose her clothes (including lingerie) or have her sunbathe naked. The game, now in its third version in Japan claims it allows Japanese men to fantasize about having control in the home, the one place they have no say. As the girl matures, she is rated in categories which include sexiness and smarts, and her virtual “father” continues to choose her classes and jobs. However, a low-scoring player might end up with a daughter who becomes a bar hostess wearing revealing clothes.
Etsuko Yamashita, a women’s studies professor at Japan’s Women’s University in Tokyo denounces the game as proof that young men do not have a better sense of gender equality than their parents. Most players of “Princess Maker” and its spin-offs are young men in college or high school.