Japanese Gamer Weds Nintendo Character

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Love Plus

I'm all for self-aware computers with equal rights and the possibility of human/machine interaction, you know, a couple decades down the line when such things might actually be possible. But falling in love with and marrying a video game character in 2009?

According to news site NTDTV, a 27-year-old college student nicknamed SAL9000 did just that, slipping into a white tux and marrying Nene Anegasaki, a character from Nintendo's Japanese DS handheld dating game Love Plus. The ceremony took place with 40 attendees...and an internet audience of thousands.

Import site Play Asia describes Love Plus as a "misc" genre DS game that lets you date various girls in an attempt to get them to confess their affection for you. Once they do, you can research dating hot spots and "fantasize" about your "girlfriend" in "dreams" that generate "fantasy images" for your "private perusal."

The game actually runs on a real-time clock, meaning the girls start their days when you do, break for lunch and dinner, and even respond to seasonal shifts--from sporting short sleeves in the summer to donning coats in the winter.

"Choose a girl to be friendly with in the start of the game," teases the description, "and proceed toward a romantic relationship."

Anyone else a little weirded out after reading that?

Is SAL9000's "hope [that] one day people will be free to love whomever they want - real or virtual" a sign of things to come? Should criticizing someone for "falling in love with" a game character constitute lifestyle persecution?

Or should the legal definition of "a trifle nuts" be extended to include "falling in love with and committing to 'love and honor' a behaviorally shallow, intellectually vapid, fundamentally lifeless simulacrum"?

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