Digital Connections: Pandemic Affinities of Single Filipino Women Formed Through the Ikemen Series Games


The Philippines was the worst place to be during the peak of COVID-19 (Bloomberg News in Business Mirror, 2021): the pandemic surfaced several inadequacies, including meeting basic physiological requirements. As social connection is a fundamental need (Gadais, 2021), individuals suddenly locked up resorted to different means to keep themselves together. At its height, engaging in otome games was not only an effective way to be entertained, it also helped relieve the mental strain for some single Filipino women. Originated in Japan, otome games are story-based dating simulation role-playing games that are targeted towards women (Huan, 2022). Yet apart from the parasocial attachments that the ladies developed for their chosen male leads, they also found themselves bonding together. This endeavor to explore how digital connections are formed among single Filipinas is anchored on the tenets of digital culture and attachment theory. The linkages between these two concepts helped develop an understanding on how online affinities are established and maintained. This descriptive qualitative research is inspired by the thoughts and experiences of the participants who started playing games from the Ikemen Series during the pandemic, and are continually playing today. Findings from the focus group discussions reveal that engaging in otome games helped the ladies keep their sanity, motivated them to be better versions of themselves, connected them with a niche friendship group, and leveled up their standards for future real-life partners.

Author Information
Jessa Ericka C. Bien-Munsayac, University of the Philippines Diliman, Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2023
Stream: Social Media and Communication Technology

This paper is part of the MediAsia2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Bien-Munsayac J. (2023) Digital Connections: Pandemic Affinities of Single Filipino Women Formed Through the Ikemen Series Games ISSN: 2186-5906 – The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon