Love in 2-D: Japanese man marries his video game girlfriend
- December 2, 2009 12:41 PM |
- By Arts Online
Illustration by Jillian Tamaki
Recently, a young man in Japan wed his girlfriend in a ceremony witnessed by thousands around the world. Their marriage attracted a lot of attention -- and not just because few can resist the adorable spectacle of two crazy kids in love. This story has a twist: the groom, who goes by the handle SAL9000, was joined in holy-ish matrimony with one Nene Anegasaki, an imaginary character from the video game Love Plus, a virtual dating program for the Nintendo DS.
You can get the full report on the strange and marvelous tale in the clip below.
Reporter Lisa Katayama, a contributor to the blog Boing Boing (who brought this piece to our attention -- thanks!) has also covered the fascinating world of Japanese otaku culture for the New York Times Magazine. (Otaku, for those readers who aren't familiar with the term, refers to "the obsessive fandom that has surrounded anime, manga and video games in Japan in the last decade.") Thanks to her immersion in this world, Katayama brings some astute analysis to her report on this curious occurrence.
While it's tempting for those who don't have a strong relationship with virtual culture to dismiss SAL9000 as a game-obsessed freak, Katayama notes that this virtual union was more nuanced than some might think. "Obviously, nobody was taking this too seriously," she explains. "It's a sort of performance art: kooky multimedia entertainment orchestrated by a man who isn't ashamed to admit that he's hooked on this game, and that he's really into the character that lives inside of it."
What do you think -- is marrying an imaginary character a sign that video game culture has gone too far?
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