The Internet is a weird place. This isn't news, we all know it. If you're anything like me, you can't help but be drawn into the weird parts of YouTube, the listicles with the clickbait titles, and the "in case you missed it" articles about trending topics. I just can't help myself. We've all got our vices and mine is reaching item 24 on a list of 31 and wondering what the hell I'm doing with my life.
This is one of those things where admittedly as a reader, I would click out of curiosity and probably shake my head the entire time while a small part of me whispers, “You would totally do it given the chance.” So in preparation, let's all take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and remember that the world is a great place, there's wonderful people in it, and we should be accepting of all.
On that note, you know those waifu pillows? The body pillows with anime characters printed on them that people carry around with them at conventions? Or if you're in Japan, sometimes you'll just see one sitting on a chair next to someone at a maid cafe? Well, virtual reality is about to take that sort of thing a step further. There's a video game company, Hibiki Works, that's releasing a new game later this month called Niitzuma LovelyxCation. They're using a rather extreme tactic to market said game.
Niitzuma LovelyxCation (forever after in this article referred to as Niitzuma) is a visual novel game of a graphic nature. It starts with the player courting one of three possible brides, who they then marry and continue to thrive with in wedded bliss. That is, of course if your idea of wedded bliss is shagging your gorgeous animu wife amongst scenes of cutesy cliché husband and wife situations. And they say marriage ruins your sex life!
Before I continue, I'd like to sarcastically remind that this is a pseudo safe space. It's okay to voice any opinions you may have as long as you keep in mind the feelings of others. Do unto others and such and such.
Hibiki Works is marketing Niitzuma by holding virtual reality wedding ceremonies for lucky players who can afford to buy one. No, you didn't read that wrong. No, I didn't make it up. You can confirm with Rocket News, who reported on this story. Men will be able to put on a tuxedo, walk up the aisle to the alter, put on a VR headset, and say “I do” to one of the three potential brides in Niitzuma. The assumption is that they will then buy the game when it releases to continue their story.
I am all for immersion and realism in video games, especially when virtual reality is involved, but where do we draw the line? I think most of us would assume the line in the sand was pretty clear that we're going to enjoy video games, they're going to be great, but you shouldn't be marrying pixels, right?! The waifu pillows are starting to look tame in comparison am I right?
I'll be honest though, I can't be all snark and sarcasm. If there was an event like this that allowed women the same experience, especially with the continuation of a game afterward, and I had limitless spending money, I would totally do it. The novelty of being able to say, “Yeah, I married a video game character,” would pretty much never wear off for me. Need a conversation starter at a networking event, but aren't sure to break the ice? “So I married a video game character once,” is probably a good go-to. I can't say I'd ever forget someone who opened with that, for better or for worse.
Bad puns aside, this news story is admittedly still a little disturbing. While it's just one company doing it as a marketing ploy, we have to have some level of concern for those that might take this seriously. You can't actually marry a video game character, these weddings are not actually real, the girl of your dreams won't literally materialize in front of you randomly in life. Some people already “marry” sex dolls. Think of this like that and it becomes less of a joke, or a funny novelty, and more of a concern for mental health. I generally err on the side of, “Hey, it's not affecting me, so let people do whatever makes them happy.” But I'm sure there are plenty of you dear readers that disagree.
Let me know how all of this has made you feel in the comments. Do you have concern for people who would marry a virtual girl? Do you think it's funny, and don't care what other people do? Would you do it yourself for real? I'd love to hear all about it.