Though we’ve not yet quite seen nanomachines building islands out in Tokyo Bay, William Gibson, author of “Idoru,” must have be feeling pretty smug last month when the news hit the Internet that a young Japanese man had married his virtual girlfriend.
But the prophecy of “Idoru,” which envisions a love affair between a rock star and a virtual celebrity, has not yet quite been fulfilled. The important difference being that the virtual character of Nene, created for the dating game Love Plus, is circumscribed by the bounds of her programming while the Idoru of Gibson’s novel enjoys free will.
That being said, Konami’s DS dating game Love Plus contained characters that were so life-like some women complained their husband’s were neglecting them in favor of spending time with their virtual partners. Indeed, Sal 9000, the groom in the recent cyber wedding, felt compelled to broadcast his relationship to the Web. Though many have suggested that the marriage was simply a playful form of theatre rather than a serious gesture, it seemed that Western media were more tempted to ascribe deeper meaning to the event.