Dating simulators, sometimes referred to as "visual novels," are almost solely a Japanese phenominon, allowing players to simulate encounters with beautiful women in the hopes that their chosen girl will fall for them. Though obviously these games won't be coming to your Xbox 360 anytime soon, there does exist a small segment of Western gamers who call themselves fans of this bizarre genre. Though it now seems that some take their dedication more seriously than others, with the development team Four Leaf Studios having now completed what may be the most ambitious Western-developed dating simulator ever seen. Although, it's subject matter may surprise you.
Katawa Shoujo (roughly translated to "Disabled Girl") follows the story of a young man, who after being diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, is transferred to a special school for disabled students. There he meets a variety of beautiful schoolgirls, all sporting their own unique disability, including blindness, facial scarring or missing limbs. Over the course of the game players get to know the history behind each girl's disability, while forming relationships and even having some adult encounters.
Obviously, it's very strange subject matter for a video game, though what's truly interesting is that the entire project was apparently inspired by a single page of sketches found at the back of a Japanese fan-comic. Members of the 4chan message board evolved the meme into a full-on game concept, the development group even promoting the game at Japanese conventions, inspiring an international fanbase.
If you're interested in trying your hand at love, the full game can be found for free on the official website. Personally, I think I'll stick to Call of Duty.