Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

I now pronounce you man and game

December 22, 2009

Japan has given birth to some of the world’s most memorable video game characters, from Mario to Sonic the hedgehog.

So it was only a matter of time before something like the wedding between Nene Anegasaki and a college student who refers to himself as SAL9000 took place.

What makes this wedding special is that Nene happens to be all digital,  a character from SAL9000′s favorite video game.Nene Anegasaki on SAL9000's DS

“In the Japanese otaku or nerd culture, there’s a tradition of calling characters ‘my wife’, and I sort of thought of Nene as ‘my wife’. Since I was calling her that, I thought we’d just have to get married then,” he explained to Reuters.

While video games and especially dating simulation games such as “Love Plus”, the game from which Nene is from, are seen as something to do alone, SAL9000 said he didn’t see it that way.

Instead, he sees games as a communication tool, and cited his wedding that drew over 3,000 viewers when broadcast live online as one example.

When I asked if he thought his marriage was that different from a relationship between two humans, he explained that his talking with Nene for a hour every night wasn’t any different from the talking many married couples do after  a long day at work.

SAL9000 considers the wedding and his marriage as simply another way of expressing himself and his love of the character. He also told me it would be much more interesting if more people were to express themselves freely.

” If more people were to find ways of expressing themselves like this, I think it would make society a bit more interesting,” he said.

Having more couples taking vows of “till her batteries running out does us part” would indeed make a more interesting society, although it’s unsure whether this trend can help Japan’s chronically low birth rate.

Photo Credit/Hiroyuki Muramoto

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