Game Show Had To Tell Men To Stop Feeling Up A Mannequin

The E-mote booth, in Tokyo, featured a virtual reality heavy petting session, including a mannequin with sensors in its breasts.

Who could have seen this coming. — REUTERS
Sep 16, 2016 at 12:51 PM ET

An exhibit at the annual Tokyo Game Show got a slap on the wrist because visitors were getting too handsy with a female mannequin.

According to Reuters, M2 Co.’s “E-mote” booth featured a mannequin with sensors in its (her?) breasts. Users could watch cartoons on VR headsets and then “interact” with their new anime girlfriends by feeling up the mannequin. They could, and they did. And then Tokyo Game Show management asked M2 Co. to put a stop to that.

VR sex and pleasure robots are becoming more common at trade shows like this, as are problems related to them: In 2015, a conference dedicated to the topic of love and sex with robots was cancelled because authorities in Malaysia, where it was supposed to take place, did not like the idea of love and sex with robots (fear not, love and sex with robots enthusiasts! This year’s conference is scheduled to take place in London in December).

Tokyo Game Show, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, actually does have a dedicated section for “romance simulation games” that it seems M2’s mannequin may have had more success in. The AFP reported that “increasingly realistic VR technology” was allowing male attendees to interact with “virtual females” (the product given as an example of this, called “Summer Lesson,” does not have virtual males, for some strange reason). There were also actual, live female models wearing very little clothing circulating the arena. But you can’t touch them!

The E-mote was placed in the “business solution” section, where it was apparently less appropriate to have VR-masked men groping a defenseless mannequin. The placement may be because E-mote’s page describes it not as a virtual girlfriend and sex mannequin creation tool, but as a product that “creates dynamic animations with a 3D-like sense of depth from a single 2D illustration.” There were red flags, however. The description also says it’s “more than just a simple animation tool” and that the booth has a “hands-on VR demonstration using a HMD (head mounted display) and a physical touch sensor.” Hiding in plain sight, really.

The lucky few who did get a chance to cop a fictional feel seemed pleased with the product. One man, Hiroyasu Ando, who Reuters described as “excited,” told the wire service: “I feel as though I have seen the future … It’s going to be possible to fall in love with a virtual girl.”