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It seems we here in the U.S. are sliding down the slippery slope toward the kind of infatuation with virtual and stuffed girlfriends that are so popular in Japan.

That's right, if you're the kind of lonely guy (or gal for that matter) who finds dating real women a bit too taxing, there's an app for that. Launched just in time for Valentines Day, it's called "My Virtual Girlfriend" - an iPhone and iPad app that is part game, part entertainment novelty and all kinds of creepy.

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The 99-cent app, which seems to have somehow fallen outside of Apple's notoriously prudish censorship rules, is brought to us by the folks at WET Productions (yes, of course that's what they call themselves). It lets players select a virtual girlfriend based on attributes such as naughtiness, sense of humor, intelligence and, yes, even responsibility.

You tell the app what characteristics are most important to you, then select the physical attributes that you prefer and the app will give you some virtual lady loves to choose from. Will it be Francine, whose likes are country music and parenting and dislikes are hussies and thongs? Or will it be Justine who likes minimalism and fruit but dislikes meat and hunting?

Decisions, decisions.

Once you select your new totally fake girlfriend, you'll be given a variety of things to do with her: you can give her a flower, take her to a romantic movie, go skating or hiking or play video games. Pick the activity suited to her personality and you'll level up. Pick the wrong activity and you'll lose points and get a verbal lashing.

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So what's the point? Well, if you play your cards right, it seems your newfound love will dress in some lingerie (total nudity is not an option here) and you'll even get to "touch" her. And by that, I mean you'll get to touch the picture of a crudely animated woman on your iPhone (totally hot!)

But whoa there, handsy dude, before you start pawing all over your phone or iPad, you should know these ladies don't give it up easily (well, not that easily.)

Take Heleena for example. She likes hip hop and "bling" but dislikes haters and the police. And though she may say something to you like, "You should remember my name, you'll be screaming it later!" if you touch her too soon, she's going to be totally pissed at you.

That's right, try to manhandle your iWoman without the proper wooing (and leveling) and she'll shove you off and perhaps end the relationship all together. And that means Game Over, man.

Oh dear ... it seems dating virtual girls can be difficult, too!

All in all, "My Virtual Girlfriend" is just the latest in a growing line-up of dating/girlfriend applications for the iPhone.

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For the man who wants to shop around for a pretend lady, there's "iGirl," which promises you can "blow her, shake her touch her and more!" And there's "Sexy Girlfriend" for anyone who has "ever wanted a girlfriend to care to your every whim." And then there's "Michelle" who is more than happy to be "your virtual handheld babe."

Personally, if you're really in need of some faux companionship, I recommend you give "My Virtual Cat" a try. After all, if a real woman finds that app on your phone, she might think it means you're loving and attentive ... rather than totally creepy.

Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things right here on Twitter.

Republished with permission.