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Virtual Marriage: A game? A life?

The Cyberspace is a virtual reality plane that exists in the internet. It is a virtual world, a community, a society where everything is as possible as reality. It is populated by cyber people commonly called as netizens. Back in the late 90’s, an online game The9 City (http://city. the9. com), was launched in China to introduce the idea of a virtual community. The game was easily accepted by the people and because of it’s one of a kind qualities in a game, it spread out across the urban areas as fast as it was expected.

It had been quite a storm that hit China by year 2000 when The9 City’s registered residents exceeded 1 million. Now it has over 14 million registered users, most between the ages of 15 and 28. 1 As a netizen, you can get a virtual identity, get a virtual home, a job, a car, friends, partners, and even a family. For some it is a way to pass time, nothing serious. You get to have virtual relationships, virtual dates, and eventually can lead to virtual marriage.

Virtual marriage is a form of a marital 1 http://www. corp. the9. com/products/city. htm relationship within the cyber world by two consenting adults in the virtuous world, but it doesn’t necessarily mean consenting adults of the real world. To some this is just a game for fun. But being too much involved or attached to your ‘virtual family’ would somehow affect your daily connection with your real family. One would be spending more time on the computer talking to a virtual wife and family than taking some quality time with the real wife and kids.

A virtual dad whose age 30 in the virtual city can actually be a teenage boy age 15 in the real world, would already be working and taking care of a wife and kids of his own in his virtual home. Posing as the man of his house would expose him too early for his age to fatherhood and familial responsibility that could possibly harm his young mind. It can also cause some confusion to young teenagers. However, to some it is merely a game not to be taken by heart. “The on-line marriage is just a kind of game in the virtual world.

Actually, the course of on-line marriage is quite similar to the real one. Except for meeting each other, almost all things in real marriage can be done virtually. If the couple can’t stand each other anymore, they can divorce and marry others in the virtual community. Frankly speaking, it’s interesting and I like it. ” (Jing Hong, netizen) 2 2 Jing Hong, http://www. chinadaily. com. cn/english/doc/2005-06/07/content_449284. htm

“The virtual community of The9 is popular among my classmates. There you can have a home, a job and you can also get married? of course virtually. I often take part in my friends’ virtual weddings. However, I have never experienced the on-line marriage myself. I take marriage seriously and I don’t want to marry somebody casually on the Internet, even if it is not real. ” (Xia Yuan, a freshman from a university in Hubei Province)3. Fortunately, there are still people who can distinguish virtual to real world.

This is rather an important fact to be considered not only for youngsters but for people of all ages all over the globe. Real marriages can be destroyed if a person is hooked in the virtual community and is happier in there compared to his real life. Thus he lives deeper into the virtual family than of his real one. As stated by Kevin Robins in his book Into the Image, “What becomes clear with military simulation is that the relation to the wider universe (what we should still call the real world) remains fundamental. ”

We face the fact that often times most kids are left alone to discover new technologies by themselves since parents are busy with work and don’t have much time to spend teaching their children personally. This has been a problem, not only in China but around the world, waiting to be solved. 4 Robins, Kevin; Into the Image: Culture and Politics in the Field of Vision; p. 83 OUTLINE TOPICS Cyberspace: the virtual world existing in the internet.

Reality and Virtuality, The9 Game: The City. -living virtually; -living reality; Virtual Marriage: marital relationship over the internet. -a game; -a life; -a threat;

Works Cited

Robins, Kevin Chapter4, Cyberspace and the world we live in. Into the Image: Culture and Politics in the Field of Vision; p. 83 corp. http://www. corp. the9. com/products/city. htm Hong, Jin http://www. chinadaily. com. cn/english/doc/2005-06/07/content_449284. htm Yuan, Xia http://www. chinadaily. com. cn/english/doc/2005-06/07/content_449284. htm

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