Thursday, January 14, 2010

Man and Video Game Character Wed (Plus, Sex with Robots)

Apparently, this is not a joke. The man in the video, Sal9000, sets up a real wedding to marry Nene Anegasaki, a character in a game called Love Plus.

As a textuist, this odd event raises a host of questions. What, for example, would we say about a person marrying the figure of the Mona Lisa? What of a person who marries Ophelia from Hamlet? What of a person who falls in love with Otter from the movie Animal House?

On the surface it all seems a little ridiculous, yet this wedding seems to mark a (temporary? representative?) of the (imaginary?) boundary between fantasy and reality, between the fictional world and the real world, between the text and life. As my parenthetical questions indicate, while we may conventionally distinguish between our real world and that world of the game/painting/movie/text, sometimes that distinction gets violated and we're left to wonder whether the convention is inaccurate, whether the distinction is unstable, or whether the distinction is porous by nature.

Speaking of the integration of fantasy and reality, a recent story suggests that by 2011, people will be able to have sex with robots. Great sex.

All of this also casts an interesting light over recent social wrangles with the definition of "marriage." Consider also the potential ramifications in areas of insurance, health care, death benefits, and so on.

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