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They say VR is a powerful tool, but is it enough to make our grizzled reporter swoon like a blushing bride?
It is said that for many women a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime day in which she becomes the star and sole focal point of her world. And of course, if the husband-to-be was a strapping, handsome partner, then all the better.
That just about summed up Mr. Sato’s knowledge of marriage. Preoccupied by his giant burgers and pole dancing, our reporter has had little time to settle down with anyone. But this was all about to change at Tokyo Game Show 2017.
At a booth promoting the romance simulator game Chikai no Kiss wa Totsuzen ni (A Vow’s Kiss Suddenly) visitors can experience first-hand what it would be like to marry one of the game’s protagonists, Yamato Kogami (Voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa).
Far off from our 43-year-old writer’s life, the chance to become a young bride was somewhat compelling, and yet he was pretty sure it would be so foreign that he could never properly get into the experience.
Looking at the posters, Mr. Sato thought that Mr. Kogami seemed handsome enough, and he could see why women might become a little weak-kneed when in his presence at the altar. Mr. Sato was a battle-hardened crusty old man at this point though, so surely Mr. Kogami’s charms would fall flat.
Still, there was only one way to find out!
Mr. Sato easily slapped on the headset, popped on the headphones, and grabbed onto a controller with each hand. It was time to walk down the aisle…
Suddenly, Mr. Sato awoke in a small virtual chapel. It was completely empty until Mr. Sato’s Mr. Right entered. He looked just like he did in the poster, but much taller than our reporter expected, almost imposingly so.
Mr. Kogami’s voice was nice and relaxing, but was affecting Mr. Sato strangely. Rather than this VR experience simply bouncing off his masculinity, he began feeling very uncomfortable and anxious.
Looking down, Mr. Sato noticed that he was wearing a veil and a white dress was draped along his delicate, slender frame. The only thing keeping him grounded in his reality was the faint waft of old man smell that he carried with him.
Then, just as he looked back up, Mr. Kogami leaned in…close. He was only whispering into Mr. Sato’s ear, but his words were deafening, like a wet hairdryer slurping and buzzing ever closer to his ear as it said:
“You look amazingly beautiful…”
Meanwhile, in the VR room, the real Mr. Sato recoiled and shouted “eh, gross!” Then another breathy moist-lipped utterance came.
“I want to see your face properly…”
“I love you.”
Then Mr. Kogami leaned in and kissed the bride. Mr. Sato cried “Noooo!” and the simulation faded to black.
Mr. Sato can’t quite explain the experience but it certainly left its mark on his psyche. He felt violated in a way…kind of like he had just lost something very valuable. He thought, “Is this what it’s like to be a woman getting married?”
In spite of his own conflicted feelings, Mr. Sato noticed that the VR marriage booth was very popular with women. It you’d like to try it out then be prepare for a wait of up to 100 minutes. And if you’re an old dude who would like to try it out, we can’t guarantee you’ll come out unaffected in some way.