The Virtual Nagging Wife Diet

We’ve written about commitment devices before: tools that hold you to your promises, like putting a replica glob of human fat on your kitchen counter to remind you to keep to your diet, or signing a contract to have yourself fined each time you smoke a cigarette.

But what about a virtual wife who sends you nagging e-mails throughout the day telling you to keep healthy?

That’s the latest commitment device out of Japan, where a new service allows you to choose from one of four virtual wives who will hold you to your weight goals.

Virtual Japanese wives whose personalities you can customize to make sure you eat your vegetables, but will never be disappointed in you if you slack? Talk about a Shangri-La diet.

(HT: GamePolitics)


IlanaSense

Hilarious. Only in Japan. Wonder if anyone checked if it actually works...would've designed the wives a bit more realistically (they remind me of amelia bedelia) though the 4 options are interesting. overall-slightly creepy and kind of dumb. but funny. very funny.

Find a chubby friend and check if it works.

sarah

I suspect it would be convenient to filter to a separate inbox folder, select all messages then mark as read.

science minded

so where does one draw the line between civlization and anarchy. In politics and hence law, words can be used as weapons or friends. But even here there is a point where the line between civilization and anarchy must be drawn. I once had a student who threatend to kill me. The administration chose to do nothing about it. I had reason to think that the line had been crossed. I suspect we have reached an all time low when one party has to resort to verbal assaults, lies etc as a means of garnering votes. When did free speech ever mean saying anything and everything you want. I learned this from someone very dear to me who can be quite hurtful with her choice of words. She has not yet learned that a bit of discipline is required for social order to exist. it is not ok to verbally assault some one or hit below the belt. So "free speech" was never meant to mean absolutely free.

science minded

does not the "nagging wife" model represent the mirror image of the virtually guilt free, shameless ferral child-like husband. what happened to the super-ego in all this? Psychologists out there, where are ya? I see this with high school kids "out of control" when it comes to eating, cutting themselves, drinking... and now we have it with free-speech (as if it's ok to tells lies (winning an election at all costs)-

LL

I believe one of Dr. Kerorkian's early prototypes was a nagging wife model.

Rachel

"I think there are few nagging husbands, at least along this dimension. Men reminding women of health/appearance issues is deemed not politically correct, so they aren’t observed. So a virtual nagging husband isn’t offered, because the archetype would not be recognized. Duh."

Or perhaps men telling women what to do isn't called nagging but is called "being the head of the household"? And reminding women of how they should look isn't really required in a culture that reminds women all the time via the mediums of advertising, magazines, porn etc....? Sexist much?

Not sure whether to even get on to the deeply dubious racial stereotypes being traded in with 'Virtual Japanese wives whose personalities you can customize ... but will never be disappointed in you' - what a Shangri-La indeed, the ideal utopia of submissive asian women.

Michael

Yes, dear.

Whatever you say.

Of course dear.

That's nice, dear.

Kevin in McLean, VA

Do you get virtual make up sex when she stops nagging you?

Daniel Reeves

It doesn't take long before you start tuning that stuff out, unless you actually have something on the line, which of course with a bot you don't.

My (non-virtual, non-nagging) wife and I have been building something we call kibotzer -- a kibitzing robot -- the idea being much the same as the virtual nagging wife. But it's morphing into an emphasis on easy ways to report data (like responding to the nagging emails) and pretty/motivating graphs. Feel free to sign up for the beta at http://kibotzer.com

ted

I think there are few nagging husbands, at least along this dimension. Men reminding women of health/appearance issues is deemed not politically correct, so they aren't observed. So a virtual nagging husband isn't offered, because the archetype would not be recognized. Duh.

beth

What about a virtual nagging husband? Can we choose among four of them?

Jeffrey

Fining yourself might work. But wouldn't a virtual nagging wife just backfire and lead to cyber-divorce?

adrienne

If nagging worked, this might be a good idea.

katie

yeah, only in Japan, I read they also got for women too a virtual boyfriend. Seems everyone wants a virtual partner, perhaps less hassle LOL

http://japansugoi.com/wordpress/virtual-japanese-boyfriend-from-webcare/