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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Real Wife ... Meet Virtual Wife?

Via the always sexy, always excellent Sexy Videogameland, we find this WSJ article:

He's never met the woman outside of the computer world of Second Life, a well-chronicled digital fantasyland with more than eight million registered "residents" who get jobs, attend concerts and date other users. He's never so much as spoken to her on the telephone. But their relationship has taken on curiously real dimensions. They own two dogs, pay a mortgage together and spend hours shopping at the mall and taking long motorcycle rides. This May, when Mr. Hoogestraat, 53, needed real-life surgery, the redhead cheered him up with a private island that cost her $120,000 in the virtual world's currency, or about $480 in real-world dollars. Their bond is so strong that three months ago, Mr. Hoogestraat asked Janet Spielman, the 38-year-old Canadian woman who controls the redhead, to become his virtual wife.

The woman he's legally wed to is not amused. "It's really devastating," says Sue Hoogestraat, 58, an export agent for a shipping company, who has been married to Mr. Hoogestraat for seven months. "You try to talk to someone or bring them a drink, and they'll be having sex with a cartoon."

Mr. Hoogestraat plays down his online relationship, assuring his wife that it's only a game.
-- Read Full Article, Is This Man Cheating on His Wife?

Dude is definately pushing it. Even pre-nuptials I had to watch how much attention Grand Theft Auto would get ... much less making the beast with two backs with someone on the other side of the net. From the article is sounds like they're within the inner suburbs of Splitsville and it doesn't take a big brained alien to figure out why.

Surely not every couple can game together - but if it's enough of a hobby that it consumes a significant number of hours out of the week ... surely it has be a conversation point. Hiding virtual matrimony? Bad sign. Really bad.


SVGL said...

Awwww, how sweet of you :P The funniest thing is that this guy isn't even hiding it. The wife knows what he's up to and she doesn't seem to raise protest beyond grumbling in the next room. She still brings him sandwiches!

Josh said...

Yeah, that really is kinda the oddest part. His oblivious-ness and her willingness clearly feed the situation.

I'd be wearing those sandwiches in such a case.

I don't see where the level of detachment hits that makes that kind of denial plausible. If he was communicating over IM? It seems the virtual world itself is what makes it OK in his eyes.

Which puts an odd character on his virtual wife ... as if she's no different than a character in a book. Which is not only dishonest but somewhat silly.