Love in the Time of Algorithms

Hammer Smash! What Happens When You Bring Your Virtual Girlfriend to Your Wedding

Some advice for all you digital two-timers.
 Hammer Smash! What Happens When You Bring Your Virtual Girlfriend to Your Wedding

(Photo: The Escapist)

Love comes in all shapes, sizes and pixels. With emotionally intelligent robots on the way and virtual reality characters capable of catering to your every whim and desire, it’s not difficult to see how the more introverted among us might find themselves in love with a 2D heroin. In Japan, there’s an entire culture surrounding the dudes-in-love-with-inanimate-objects meme: remember that New York Times pillow story?

Still, when you finally resign yourself to marrying a meatbag, you should probably surrender your virtual girlfriend before any jealousy can fester. After all, what human could ever hope to live up to the perfection of an anime character?

It’s inadvisable, however, to invite your virtual girlfriend to your wedding, which is exactly what an Otaku groom in Japan did. In love with a dating sim from the site Love Plus, the man–who works at Comiket, natch–even reserved a place setting for his virtual girlfriend; he placed the handheld Nintendo DS displaying his digital lover onto the table among the china and fancy silverware so that she could enjoy the nuptials with the rest of the real life guests.

According to The Escapist, the man’s wife–who initially seemed okay with the weird virtual threesome–soon decided that in order to live happily ever after, she had to destroy the virtual girlfriend. Thus, she took a hammer and smashed the shit out of the Nintendo DS, taking the life of the poor Love Plus sim. The groom, perhaps resigned to his fate of living the rest of his life with an actual human being, joined in, reportedly with “tears in his eyes.”

Ah, Japan. You continue to be the best.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com