Designed as an extension to the PlayStation 2 game console, Ping (or SONY SEVS-44936) is capable of interfacing with any games that uses the Emotional Doll System (EDS). As a consequence, Ping can become virtually any dating sim girl simply by switching from one game to another. The most recent indication is that Ping is acting out a role from the game Catalyst. Ping is only equipped with a Japanese language module and can not understand characters such as Largo who speak only English, until Largo equips her with a translator.
Originally owned by Tsubasa, Ping now lives with Piro and Largo in their apartment above MegaGamers. Ping has confessed that she "has feelings" for Piro, and seems content to simply avoid Largo as much as possible. When Ping does pay attention to Largo, she tends to show her concern with large objects and the threat of inflicting the most possible damage, although this behavior seems to have ended with Ping's most recent physical change.
Ping and Miho became fast friends after an encounter one day in Largo's class at Shiritsu Daitou High School. Ever since, speculation has raged about the nature of their relationship. Many seem to believe that Miho somehow hacked Ping's software and controls much of how Ping behaves. Others believe that they merely have a good friendship and, if Miho is manipulating Ping, she does so just as she would any flesh and blood human. Regardless, there can be little doubt Ping considers Miho a friend.
Ping has gone through changes in the comic. Her hair has gone from greyish/silver to bright pink to green-blue. In chapter 8, it is revealed that she can change her appearance, memories, and personality to deal with heartache. As Miho pointed out, ever since the incident at the Cave of Evil, Ping's physical dimensions have been changing. The most noticeable is her increase in bust size. Miho also points out that her hips are wider and she is a bit taller.
Most recently it has been revealed that she does not want to remain a fantasy. Ping decides that in order not to be a fantasy she must not look like one. She desires her appearance to reflect how unattractive she feels on the inside. only then, she says, will she find the feelings that she truly cares about. Also, it is to be noted that Ping desires the acceptance of her classmates and believes that they will like her more if she is no longer as attractive.
"Sorry about the mess. I had to make a bad man go away." - to School Nurse
"If you can't grasp what a fake girl who seems real feels, how are you ever going to understand what is in a real girl's heart?" - to Piro
The design of Ping's programming is hotly debated among fans of the comic. The canonical facts are that Ping is a non-H model (which means that she cannot perform "perverse" acts, although the scope of this restriction is not known) and that "segments of her processor core are isolated from each other". She seems to be aware of her programming; she refers to subroutines being run and knows exact timeouts. She seems to be able to restrain herself from enforcing programmed behavior when the situation calls for it, although there do seem to be limits. Her complex, adaptive behavior strongly implies an advanced artificial intelligence.
There are two basic schools of thought about Ping's design. The first group holds that Ping has a general-purpose AI engine whose behavior is restrained by an intricate web of hard-coded override behaviors. Essentially, this means that Ping may "want" to do something that her programming won't allow. This gives her a very conflicted nature—one fan likened it to being hypnotized into killing a beloved pet—which lends itself to creative writing.
The other group believes that Ping's basic behaviors are closely integrated into her AI. These behaviors don't constrain her will, they say—they define it.
There is evidence for both viewpoints, and sometimes both sides will cite the same fact as evidence for their belief. It's even possible that Fred Gallagher hasn't considered things in these terms. In either case, it appears that her "isolated processor cores" may emulate the various layers of human consciousness including autonomic, primal, rational, irrational, and super-ego processing with loose or tight coupling depending on the context. There may also be a base level master program (OS) that runs her consciousness and it is in there that Sony "3v1L" may reside (if any).
Ping appears to have a default mode of sweeping and cleaning, leading to some amusing speculation that her great-grandmother may have been a Roomba. This default mode appears to help her find her "happy place".
Relations with other characters
- Piro is currently Ping's end user and the object of her affection. She lives with him and Largo in their apartment. Her feelings for Piro are slowly beginning to show. First Shown Together: Strip 105.
- Her English teacher. The two do not get along well at all. Cultural differences between Largo's normal behavior and the definition of appropriateness in Ping's coding frequently result in Ping looking for some weapon to beat Largo with. Curiously enough, this behavior stopped with Ping's most recent physical change, so it seems that some mental changes occurred as well. First Shown Together: Strip 105.
- Before his departure, Tsubasa was Ping's owner. When he left, he gave her to Piro and Largo to care for. First Shown Together: Strip 105.
- Ping's classmate and best friend. Miho may not be the one getting the love, but she certainly gets plenty of affection just the same. A friendship of opposites. First Shown Together: Strip 154
- They seem to be on good terms when they interact. Neither pays much attention to the other, though Ping is more than happy to help around the store. First Shown Together: Strip 317.
- Ed is her mortal enemy, though she remains unaware that he is specifically after her. Ed's Pursuit of Ping is a story arc that repeats in Ed aiming bigger weapons, only to be foiled and usually taking damage. Ed's supposed purpose is to return Ping to Sony Labs but the lab may be unhappy with the condition of a returned Ping as Ed has made Ping's termination quite personal. After his fifth attempt, he appears to have shifted targets to Miho. First Shown Together: Strip 252.
- Ping appears to have formed the idea that Kimiko has "rejected" Piro. She also appears resentful of Piro's affection towards her. Nevertheless, Ping has shown herself heroic by backing down in favour of Kimiko. First Shown Together: Strip 183.