If your relationship with a Tamagochi-style virtual girlfriend is leaving you unfulfilled, then Green Tomato and mobile operator CSL believe they have the answer. The pair are offering a real-life dinner date with one of three dream girls. Other 3G mobile games, such as the virtual girls developed by Hong Kong-based Artificial Life, are based on bits and bytes: beautifully animated women entice you to spend $8 on 'diamond rings' to keep them happy. The goal, for mobile operators at least, is to boost 3G data usage. But i-Date U Vgirl from CSL and Green Tomato goes one better by basing its game on video clips of ?actual models and offering a tantalising prize to top players. Users who convince their virtual girls to marry them have a shot at dinner with the real-life model. 'It is like a race,' said Arthur Chang Che-hang, founder and chief executive of Green Tomato, which developed the game. 'The faster they tie the knot, the better chance they have of meeting the real person.' CSL started the game last week, targeting young users of its recently launched 3G platform. Gamers can choose from three girls as their dating target. Players must then build a relationship with the girl through courting customs such as sending gifts or by demonstrating affection, such as holding hands. The game is played out in more than 500 video clips. Renowned film director Lee Lik-chee shot the clips, which consist of 'realistic' scenes such as of the girls sleeping in bed or posing in a bikini for a picture shoot. 'We are targeting users between the ages of 15 and 30,' Mr Chang said, adding that Green Tomato spent six months and more than $1 million to develop the game. Players are charged $20 a month for unlimited access or $3 per game plus $1 per video clip. The i-Date U Vgirl is CSL's second virtual mobile dating game, following the release of the original i-Date U in 2001. The text-message service attracted more than 50,000 users in less than three months, and CSL took the popular game to Taiwan, Singapore and the mainland. 'We believe that the new and exclusive video dating game will create a lot of excitement and appeal to the youth market segment,' said Ritchie Ma, general manager of marketing at CSL. 'The [I-Date U] game has not only raised brand equity and boosted mobile data usage but created a new trend in mobile entertainment in Hong Kong's mobile market.' Industry watchers saw i-Date U Vgirl as a creative blend of technology and marketing. 'It is an attractive game especially to CSL's cumulated user base as it integrates the dating game with animation,' said Anthony Tang, business and operations director of the Hong Kong Wireless Development Centre. 'A final award of a real dinner with those girls will act as the incentive to play the game more frequently.' This should help boost CSL's data revenue, which Mr Ma estimated at 20 per cent of total revenue. 'As we continue to introduce more innovative 3G mobile services ... we expect that these new multimedia service offerings can address the needs of the youth segment and drive the uptake of data usage further,' he said. For Green Tomato, the opportunity is in potentially lucrative licensing fees. 'We expect new revenue streams in the future, including the cross-selling of mobile download products, mobile marketing, sponsorship and mobile coupons,' Mr Chang said. 'We can also work with advertisers to have product placement in mobile dramas.' Mr Tang, however, said these plans would rest on the longevity of the i-Date U Vgirl life cycle. 'It is hard to maintain the interest of mobile game players,' he said. 'The gamer population in Hong Kong is small compared with other markets ... [It would be better if the game] could integrate with other game media such as computers, television or internet games.'