Man marries videogame girlfriend

It doesn’t get any stranger than this (unless of course you count those who do it with animals).

We’ve all heard of stories of gamers meeting online, falling in love and eventually tying the knot, but before this, all of them involved real people (or again real animals).
And while I was busy ogling goth girl from work and meticulously finalizing my pickup lines, a Japanese dude decided to marry his virtual girlfriend instead (rumors had it that his dog left home a few days earlier).

The virtual Casanova who calls himself “Sal9000” officially wed Nene Anegasaki, one of the three available virtual girlfriends from the Nintendo DS dating sim Love Plus. Sal9000 apparently liked his virtual lady so much that he decided to marry her for real in what must have been the weirdest ceremony in the history of ceremonies. Yes, there was even a ceremony. The otaku brought his DS and a copy of the game to a chapel in Guam where he took Nene’s hand in marriage. The couple then held a small “reception” in for friends and family and have invited the media to attend and view slides from their wedding and courtship.
The unique nuptials first broadcasted on the Japanese video sharing site, Nico Nico Douga, a place where many other strange things occur for, no doubt, extremely sound psychological reasons.

Released a couple of months ago in Japan, Love Plus is a game for the Nintendo DS, and if you’ve ever played Nintendogs, any other pet sim, or tamagotchi, you get the idea, except this time you are going to be taking care of a virtual girlfriend. The first part of the game is standard fare: Players court three girls, trying to get them to fall in love, and while that is where most dating sims end, in Love Plus it is just the beginning.

Now that you have a girlfriend, what do you want to do? The game then turns into a love simulation game that makes use of the DS’s real time clock. There will be over 5,000 scripts, 150 CG events and 25,000 voices. Using the touch pad, you can stroke her forehead, cheeks, shoulders, arms and some other things that can make you sweat.

Players can set how they want their girlfriend to address them, and over time, she modifies to match the players’ likes and dislikes. She will even try to change her personality, feelings to suit your likes and dislikes; even calling you by your name. Well, that’s is if you have a popular Japanese name. The game even takes care of the seasons, so during the summer, the characters would wear their short sleeves and in the winter, they would put on their coats. Communication between the girl and the player is extremely important. You can communicate with the girl using mail or through the phone, and if she’s happy at the time she might reply instantly or if she’s really busy at the time she might not reply at all, simulating how she has her own life and emotions to handle too. The built-in DS microphone will have voice recognition, allowing players to actually talk to the girl. As an example, you can ask her what she likes and she would reply. There are countless of communication patterns that makes it impossible to play through all the events of the three girls. Although Sal9000 would have plenty of time now that he’s married to one.

The couple’s honeymoon plans have been sketchy, and their relationship might run mostly on batteries, but at least he can just press a button when his wife starts to nag.

Rumors have it that a female version is in the works to give women a chance to have virtual boyfriends, although developers say a vibrating feature would be highly unlikely.


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