A Gamer’s Guide to Successful Relationships
Hello, fellow gamer. Have you noticed that lately all your friends are spending their time going on dates instead of playing Gears of War 3 with you? Do your in-game characters get more action than you do? Well have no fear, because I am once again here to show you how your inclination towards gaming has given you all the skills you need to succeed out in the real world. Read on for my Gamer’s Guide to Successful Relationships and prepare to get invited back to Peach’s castle for some cake, if you know what I mean.
1) Clean Up, Find a Woman
This may seem like the most obvious step, but it’s worth pointing out that not all women will find you immediately attractive. You may have noticed that your body has deteriorated somewhat from all the marathon gaming sessions you no doubt engage in on a daily basis. Once you’ve crawled out from under the mountains of empty pizza boxes and Doritos bags that you call your room, taken a shower, and actually met a girl who wants to go out with you (in that order!) then the dating process can truly begin.
If there’s one thing women love it’s a good mystery, and I’m not talking about the Agatha Christie kind of mystery (though I hear they enjoy those as well). No, you yourself are a mystery to your new lady friend. After a date or two your relationship will enter a phase where your chosen partner will dedicate a seemingly inordinate amount of time and energy on a game called “getting to know you”. During this game you’ll be subjected to a range of questions about yourself that gradually become more personal and intimate as time goes on, and you’ll be expected to ask similar questions in kind. This is, naturally, a terrifying experience. Fortunately, video games have given you a few tactics to navigate these virgin waters.
2a) Say Nothing
Your first option hails from the earliest days of gaming where technology had not advanced enough to allow characters to actually speak. Instead, dialogue was presented through text that you had to read for yourself, and even then the main characters would oftentimes not say anything at all. These mute heroes became known as “silent protagonists.” This method of storytelling allowed you to fill the character with your own personality, creating a deeper sense of immersion in the game and a more direct connection with the actions taken by the character.
There’s absolutely no reason this wouldn’t work in real life. If there’s one thing women love it’s an empty shell of a man. All you have to do is stand there and use facial expressions and body language to express the basic range of 16-bit emotions (surprise, anger, confusion, hunger) at the appropriate times. In the meantime, your significant other will be busy building your silent protagonist into the shining white knight she wants you to be. You’ll be nothing at all like those other guys she’s dated, mostly because your perfect personality will exist entirely in her mind. Eventually your romance will culminate in a moment where you (silently) take her hand. Assuming your name is Jerome she’ll say something like, “Oh… Jerome”, and you’ll fly off together into the moonlit night, your love in one hand and an extraordinary amount of helium-filled balloons in the other.
2b) Say Everything
To be perfectly honest, there’s a very slight chance that the silent protagonist method will not work. Not unless you get one of those girls who’s really into retro games. The modern woman, much like the modern gamer, demands a certain level of realism. Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to talk at some point.
This won’t really be a problem for you, though. You’re just a big old ball of love and you’ve got too much of the stuff inside you to keep silent about it. You’ve held your tongue about your feelings for far too long (two dates) and it’s time to make a declaration of your true intentions the only way you know how; the overblown Final Fantasy cut-scene.
If there’s one thing women love it’s hearing how much you adore them while in a really romantic setting. Wait until a night when there’s not a cloud in the sky and the air is really crisp and cool so your girl will have to pull close to you for warmth. Take her out and set up a blanket next to the most glittery, sparkly lake you can find. When she’s not looking, throw more glitter in the lake. Maybe release that jar of fireflies that you keep in your car just in case. Then get her into the lake (but not too deep) and tell her how much you love her using a bunch of differently worded phrases that ultimately mean the exact same thing. Continue doing this for about ten minutes. Voila, instant romance!
2c) Douche It Up
Let’s assume for a minute that you’ve tried using the two methods detailed above and that, for some strange reason, neither of them worked. You’re probably wondering what it takes for a really nice guy such as yourself to get a date when it seems like there are a ton of douchebags out there who can get any woman they want. Well, have you ever considered being a douchebag? You probably haven’t because it’s extremely out of character for you, but if there’s one thing women love it’s men who are total asshats.
Take Ashley from the first Mass Effect. As Commander Shepard, the game’s decidedly non-silent protagonist, you can talk to your squad mates aboard your space ship between missions. Like most conversations in the game there are positive and negative things you can say to each character. With Ashley you can literally berate her the entire game on everything, from her performance on the previous mission to letting her family background interfere with her focus to being a huge intergalactic racist (which, to be fair, she really should stop being). However, say one nice thing to her at one key moment and she’ll still sleep with you.
Personally I have zero experience with this method but you might as well give it a shot. Take every opportunity you can to point out your girlfriend’s flaws, especially in front of her friends and family and/or while drunk. While you’re at it say something really mean about her favorite band, movie, and pet. Her sobbing will be an obvious sign that she appreciates your constructive criticisms. Maybe rob a bank to drive the point home that yes, you are a douchebag. Or you could skip all of that and just crank the dial all the way up to ultimate douche:
2d) Head Shots
…You know what? After some careful consideration it occurs to me that video games might not be the best medium for giving relationship advice. You’re probably better off just being yourself. If there’s one thing women love it’s a guy who can just be himself, as long as “being yourself” doesn’t involve actually doing anything I’ve described here.