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Comfort Character Chats: How People Use AI for Healing Communication

Under the pressure of adulthood and toxic communication, the younger generation seeks a healing attitude and healthy relations – even imaginary ones. AI chats, where users speak to imaginary characters (and receive realistic responses!), are now a reality. In this material, you’ll explore how AI roleplay became a comfort zone for people tired of world negativity and burnout.

Almost Half of the World’s Population Lives Under Stress

According to recent studies, 41% of the world’s population lives under stress. Reasons are versatile, but all of them are connected with things we meet daily:

  • 66% of Americans say that current expenses and prices are their main source of stress;
  • 43% are afraid of future savings and their financial future;
  • For 75%, crimes and violence are the leading cause;
  • In the UK, meanwhile, about 74% experience so severe stress that it harms daily life and decision-making.

Since most stress sources come from daily life, no wonder people seek support through the Internet. It’s not a bad thing – any form of communication, including online format, can be a healing tool. Considered as a form of escapism by some experts, AI chats still help people to cope with daily troubles and relax. What else to ask for?

How AI Roleplay Chats Work?

Imagine speaking to your favorite functional character, a celebrity, or a K-pop idol. All this is possible with new technologies. Lifelike roleplay chats work like ChatGPT – but instead of general answers, AI roleplay chat behaves like a certain character:

  1. Chats use catchphrases of a character;
  2. With the pre-made settings, their copy character’s mindset and opinions;
  3. Graphic elements contribute to the atmosphere as well – customers chat with online users with their idol’s avatar.

This is an amazing type of entertainment for people of any age, gender, and sexuality. Such technologies allow people to speak to functional characters and discover them better, as well as share their thoughts anonymously. All chats are private.

Talk to Anyone You Want

Imagine discussing the new anime series with Gojo Satoru or dueling with a charming swords girl. The number of scenarios is huge:

  1. Engage in interactive love stories with Seto Kaiba;
  2. Immerse yourself into the fantasy world and learn charms with Hermione;
  3. Try yourself in a spicy story by calming down the hot mafia boss;
  4. Take part in the comforting walk with your imaginary friend Catie, etc.

Stories differ by genre and character types as well. While some customers prefer comforting scenes and support, others engage in spicy love stories and explore new emotions. The method doesn’t matter – virtual communication helps to calm down and relax outside the real world.

Therapeutic Effect of Comfort Characters: a Post-COVID Phenomenon

The term “comfort character” first appeared in 2020, when the world was hit by the 2020 COVID pandemic. Stress levels were rising all over the world, and people felt a sudden urge to comfort themselves in all possible ways. There were few ways, actually – locked in their houses, users could only search for healing online. The bright evidence is the sudden popularity of Animal Crossing by Nintendo. Comforting and colorful gameplay became a trend, replacing epic (and sometimes violent) game titles.

The same happened to fandoms and movie fans. Viewers preferred soft, amusing characters who created an atmosphere of calmness. Watching “comfort characters” in edits and series had a calming effect – just as if you were speaking to a real friend.

Pop-Culture Becomes a Part of Real Live

Such a phenomenon signals two things: first, people seek support so much they even find comfort in fictional characters. And secondly, media is gradually becoming a part of our daily lives. Washing out the borders between reality and media, we create strong relationships with our culture, influencing each other equally.

All this led to a logical solution. If people imagine their idols as real and communicate with them in their minds, why not bring them to life? That’s what AI chats did. They didn’t invent anything new. They just turned our dreams into a physical (or rather virtual) form.

How AI Communication Releases the Stress Level

Unlike real communication, an AI chat is not limited at all.

  1. Safe space for exploration. Roleplay helps to open your inner creator and find character traits you didn’t know before. Imaginary settings make you step outside the usual circumstances and behave differently. This is a way to explore your hidden emotions and fears as well.
  2. Nonjudgmental support. AI chats not only speak to you but also copy the character’s behavior. Assistants can be active listeners. Customers can entrust their fears, secrets, and other personal things. Moreover, chats will support you and help to sort things out. The program is developed to be supportive and non-abusive. With any character, customers feel comfortable and safe.
  3. Stress relief via relaxation. Finally, this is another way to forget about the real world for a few minutes. The number of imaginary situations and locations is huge. You can remain in the real world, go to Hogwarts, try your favorite anime settings, or forget about reality at all. Gaming is a powerful tool used by people from the mother’s knee. Children and adults can profit from it and experience real emotions through imaginary situations.
  4. Social skills practice. For some users, this is a way to overcome natural shyness and practice social skills. Once again, an AI companion is nonjudgmental. Customers can forget about socially awkward situations and pauses. For many customers, AI serves as a practice tool for engaging in real-life communication later.

AI companies work differently. Some offer subscriptions with unlimited opportunities. Others offer to pay for a certain number of messages, etc. Anyway, most services are subscription-based. Becoming a part of the community, you can confidentially speak to characters and save your chats to reread them later. An entertainment combined with emotional support, AI chats do everything to suit customers’ dreams, desires, and emotional needs.

Estelle Rowe is notable for her writing on the ‘Not in the Kitchen Anymore’ blog. It's all about moms and her unique perspective helps parents bridge the gap between traditional parenting and modern day struggles. Her content is refreshing and authentic, tackling topics that other bloggers avoid. She shares great advice on meal planning, creating connections with kids, and more. Not only that, but Rowe has also written several e-books that have gotten lots of praise. They cover momhood and work-life balance, making her an expert on the subject! Estelle Rowe is a must-read for moms who are "not in the kitchen anymore!" She'll keep you entertained with her witty and insightful posts.