We live in an era where major technological breakthroughs occur on an almost daily basis. Sometimes these can be a little unsettling. In Japan, it is now possible to get married to a virtual reality bride. We are not talking about marrying another human in a VR setting, but actually marrying a virtual reality avatar. We explore this strange phenomena in this article.
Marrying a VR Avatar is now Possible
Contrary to what some people might think when reading the article introduction, this new trend is not something nerds are doing in their parents’ basement. Instead, grooms attend an actual wedding ceremony while wearing a VR headset. Tying the knot with a VR bride sounds incredibly strange, but it looks even more unusual. See the gif below to get an idea of what a typical VR ceremony looks like.
These types of ceremonies are not illegal in Japan. It is possible to partake in a VR marriage in Tokyo without too many issues. The groom in the image below married his VR girlfriend, despite the fact she does not exist in the real world.
Wedding vows are exchanged and the couple has their official first kiss. The latter part is tricky to perform. How do you kiss something virtual? The groom kisses a puppet to seal the deal, which raises even more questions about the ceremony. Then again, it is something originating from Japan. Strange types of marriage are a lot more common there than elsewhere in the world.
This new concept is a direct result of the Niitsuma Lovely x Cation anime video game. The objective of this game is for players to develop and foster relationships with virtual girlfriends. It is doubtful these VR marriages will cause any real harm. It is unclear if this ceremony makes the “agreement” legally binding. No rings are exchanged nor are any papers signed by either party. Lack of paperwork suggests that this is more ceremonial than legal.
We will likely see more of these VR weddings on a global scale in the future. Many societies expect adults to get married. This social pressure might push some people toward marrying a VR avatar. This might be the first sign of how virtual reality will affect social behavior negatively.
Japan is a country where some very strange trends emerge. Marrying a virtual reality avatar is odd to most people in the Western world, but apparently it is not all that uncommon in Japan. Few people in Japan will be bothered these VR marriages. Cultural differences are what makes our world so interesting, this is just one example of that.