Love in the Time of Algorithms
No one’s turned up a Reddit account or Twitter handle for NSA leaker Edward Snowden. However, Reuters has managed to find what appears to be his long-abandoned profile for “a Japanese anime company run by friends,” written circa 2002. His aliases included “The True HOOHA” and “Phish.”
Because let’s face it, that’s pretty much what all of us were doing on the Internet in the early 2000s. (This reporter frequented a “Wheel of Time” fan site, for example!)
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?
Even on the sex-swathed Internet, there are still some things considered too taboo for mainstream consumption. While a search for “tentacle porn” on XXX sites would undoubtedly yield at least hundreds of results, crowdfunding platform Kickstarter is publicly grappling with its anime animus.
The Daily Dot reports that a tentacle rape porn-themed card game that had raised more than double its funding goal was canceled by Kickstarter, due to its graphic material. As Twitter user @VonRosceau tweeted, “Kickstarter didn’t want a game about raping teenage girls with tentacles funded under their name today. Manchildren angry, nobody surprised.”