Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Objektophilie, Otaku, & Biophilia
Funny how life works. Only a couple days after I posted ad nauseam about Objektophilie, I learn that a Japanese fellow, known as SAL9000, married an avatar.
The Telegrapher tells the tale of how the gamer came to marry his sweetheart.
Googling this story led me to a tale in the New York Times about Nisan, another Japanese fellow, who married a pillow case. The story noted that:
"Nisan is part of a thriving subculture of men and women in Japan who indulge in real relationships with imaginary characters. These 2-D lovers, as they are called, are a subset of otaku culture— the obsessive fandom that has surrounded anime, manga and video games in Japan in the last decade. It’s impossible to say exactly what portion of otaku are 2-D lovers, because the distinction between the two can be blurry."
Let me be clear: I think that Nisan and SAL9000 are engaging in activities that are fundamentally different from objectophilia. But they are blurring some lines, and the "fundamental" bit of the difference between objectophilia and biophilia is, I think, becoming fuzzy.
If Japan is the future, it's clear where we're headed. Once robots look, act, and f^ck like people, will there still be words for objectophilism and otaku?