Gaming pods let husbands play games while wives shop at the mall

The Paper. Click for original.

You have probably heard the saying, "happy wife, happy life," and for some couples, that means the occasional (or frequent) shopping excursion. A mall in China has figured out a way to make these events more pleasurable for the husband, assuming he is the one that is being dragged along and not the other way around. According to The Paper, the Global Harbour mall located in Shanghai has implemented special pods where the men can play older games such as Tekken 3 while the women get their shopping fix.

A Google translation of the article calls these gaming pods "husband restrooms," though we're betting BBC's use of the term "husband storage" is more on point. We're hoping that is the case, anyway, since these are see-through contraptions where any onlooker can watch you doing your business.

Each of these pods is decked out with a chair, monitor, computer, and at least one gamepad. There is some confusion as to exactly what is offered—one of the pictures shows a PlayStation controller, while another one shows an occupant using an arcade stick.

The Paper. Click for original.

The pods are free distractions for the time being, though not for long—in the coming months, users will be able to scan a QR code and pay a fee with using their mobile phone to use the service.

So far it seems that people are liking the idea, or at least some husbands are. Mr. Yang tried out a pod and said the experience was "really great," adding that playing Tekken 3 made him feel like he was back at school. Another person named Mr. Wu agreed, though he pointed to a lack of ventilation and air conditioning as areas that need fixing.

"I sat playing for five minutes and was drenched in sweat," Mr. Wu said.

While we can see these pods spreading to more locations, it does not necessarily mean you will get out of store hopping at the mall.

"If my husband just wants to go out and play games, what's the point of bringing him out?," a woman who was not identified by name said when asked how she felt about the pods.

These gaming pods have been out for about a month. A revised version, possibly with ventilation, will be rolled out sometime before the end of the year. Perhaps these pods would do well in the US.