Monday, August 30, 2010

The Love of a Real Girl

Please see this article on

The technology-crazed youth in Japan have found a way to live a fulfilling romantic relationship online through a specialized website, which not only allows them to find an animated online girlfriend, but also allows them to vacation with her at an upscale beach resort. The beach resort has apparently suffered a serious lack of business, probably due to the fact that real couples aren't interested in taking romantic beach-side vacations anymore, and has instead turned to real men and their digitally simulated girlfriends.

The specialized resort includes digital imaging in the hotel rooms, in the beds, and near the landmarks, so that the real men can enjoy simulated images of their online girlfriends in the form of snapshots together as a couple outside and a virtual kimono-clad version in their bed at night.

There are several things that are really disturbing about this article, but let's just stick to the basics and the most hilarious:

The article states that the busloads of men with their virtual girlfriends on iphones arrived to a beach resort that was already full of bikini-clad women. Real women. Instead of paying them any attention, though, these technocrats decided to have meaningful time with their animated girlfriends, who are all variations of Japanese anime schoolgirls in sailor suits. If that's not upsetting enough, many of them are dating the same image, a character named Rinko and her other school girl friends. So not only is a group of adult young males ignoring real life women in bikinis, they're doing so in favour of staying loyal to a digital image that hundreds of other young men also think they're dating. And nobody sees a problem with this?

The article further states that the simulated girlfriends can carry over attributes of a real life girlfriend, meaning that they get moody when ignored and demand attention when they're sick. The real men apparently love to accumulate points by being good to their girlfriends, gaining points for expressions of love and sympathy. In a real-life relationship, men would also get these points, but they wouldn't be online, hence, they don't count for anything. Only online points count, of course, where everyone else can bear witness to your general boyfriend awesomeness.

All of that would be really sweet if only the girls were real. Many people have online relationships in the digital world, but most of them are with real people. It appears that this market niche has hit that strange, elusive group of basement nerds who, with a little work and polish, would make excellent boyfriends. They sound attentive, considerate, kind and gentlemanly. But they also seem to be the type that are so afraid of real human contact, that only the digital poke and prod will do. There are no words to express how sad that is.

There is no replacing the love of a real girl. This is taking the Pinocchio complex way too far. As much as you might love the six foot tall anorexic Sailor Moon anime character with her sailor suit and 8 feet long pigtails who closes her eyes when she laughs, you can't love her. You can't touch her. And you shouldn't want to. For God's sake, man, this is a cartoon image penned and replicated by thousands of labourers in South Korea. You shouldn't even want to be with that. Not when there are real women around who have human dimensions, skin, hair, faces and complex personalities.

A last and final hilarious point. The article lists romantic trip items that the virtual-real couples can purchase when they're on the beach. This list includes steamed buns. Because nothing says romance like a long walk down the beach with steamed buns.

Way to romance, Japan.

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