My first reaction when I read of the Virtual Girlfriend and Boyfriend, Tamagotchi-like doodads that let you maintain a virtual relationship by treating your significant electronic other to gifts, dinner, and a little affection, was that we had finally entered the Apocalypse.

On further consideration, I realised that more than a few people - too many of whom I know - could use something like this to get some training in before embarking on real relationships. £20 isn't too high a price to pay for certain folks to get some sense, now, is it?