Shopping mall lets wives leave husbands in gaming pods

Commentary: In China, reluctant spouses can be shoved into little glass boxes and play Tekken while their significant others enjoy shopping.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


A happy shopper?

The Paper screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Relationship dynamics are fascinating.

Is it really true that wives like to shop and husbands hate to tag along?

That's what one Chinese mall appears to think. The BBC, relying on local news outlet the Paper, reports that the Global Harbor Mall in Shanghai has installed glass pods where women can leave their husbands.

Is this a sort of jail? In a way, it is. Inside is a computer, a gaming device and a monitor. Oh, and a chair. The pods offer '90s retro games like Tekken. 

The Paper presented a video of men trying out the so-called Private Lounges. Some seemed to enjoy drifting back to the classic past of gaming. Others bemoaned the lack of air-conditioning.

I worry about the psychology, however. 

If your loved one -- male of female -- doesn't want to do something, is it wise to drag them along and then lock them up in a sweaty box? 

Isn't it better to leave them at home, where they can play games to their mindless content?

Then again, one man who spoke to the Paper insisted that this was a wily way of getting the man to come to the mall and pay for his loved one's shopping.

Attempts to contact the Global Harbor Mall were unsuccessful. I wonder, though, whether these little pods will be a springboard for a reality show, perhaps involving live competitive gaming.

"Real Husbands of Global Harbor Mall," anyone?

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