The Hazards of Dating a Gamer: Love At First Frag

September 27, 2009 by Susan Taylor  
Filed under Articles

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It’s every nerds dream and it is one that many social-networking sites have built their empires around. Gamers dating Gamers. In theory, and sometimes in practice, the relationship between two gaming geeks can be a truly marvellous act of passion and love. Like getting that first headshot or finally dinging 80. However, there are many occasions where having a gamer for a partner is not something of hope, fun or joy.

Today we are going to be looking at the dangers that can arise in choosing a fellow gamer as your beloved and the issues you may face at the beginning of your relationship.

Endurance Training 101

Congratulations! You have passed the first major hurdle and have managed to attract yourself a gamer girl or a gamer boy. You didn’t screw it up and are on your way to living the dream, busy Twittering about your new love like there isn’t a 140 word limit. Your phone rings and it’s a very excited person who is clearly full of The Squee on the other end of the line. It takes you a few moments to realise who it is. After your little gaming superstar has managed to find time to breathe, you realise that they are squealing about the sequel that has just been announced for their All Time Favourite Game Ever.

The game that you absolutely detest.

You feign interest, trying to hide the sound of that frown on your face, and ask when the release date is. Your real-life-emoticon drops from a 0-bracket to a 9-bracket when you are informed that you have are going to have to endure another 18 months of this kind of conversation. That’s a year and a half of hearing about a game you cannot even pretend to like at gunpoint. And that’s if you’re lucky enough. Most games nowadays get delayed. Unfortunately, you are not a lucky person. Remember what died on you the day before the release of Bioshock and you had to beg your best friend to borrow theirs just so you could get some game time in?

You sigh and resign yourself to your fate.

This is what you get for dating a gamer.

Performance Gaming

It’s game time and you have settled yourself down for a good long session on your favourite multiplayer. You have re-stocked your drink supply and you’ve just got back from the toilet. Your headset is all plugged in and you’ve hooked up with your gaming buddies online; the game is about to start. That’s when a message pops up: “Hey baby, can I join you?”. Now you are all for gaming with your lovely partner, the only problem tonight is you are slightly inebriated and this is the first time your gaming god-or-goddess has played a competitive game with you. That means you’ve got to impress, and impress you shall.

Ten minutes in and you are throwing down all your cards and playing all of your top moves. Your adrenaline is pumping like a true gamer, you are doing everything you can to stay on top and keep yourself in the limelight. You just know that your partner’s silence over chat is a clear sign of them sitting there in complete and utter awe of you.

Mission accomplished.

Life is good.

Or so you think. Lets take a look at it from the other side of the screen, shall we?

You log on one evening to see your love online with a group of other gamers. You send a quick message to them to see if it’d be okay for you to join. You are considerate like that. Naturally, they say yes. Game time begins and you start to focus on the job at hand. You try to remember if you’ve ever played this game together, but while you are pondering this, you are rudely interrupted by your partner shouting in your ear “WHOO! ALRIGHT! YEAAAAH!”. Snapped out of your recent reflection, you get back into the game. And that’s when you start to slowly shrink back into your chair, embarrassed of your beloved’s behaviour.

headphones1“DID YOU SEE THAT BABY? DID YOU?”

“OHNOOHNOOHNOOOOOOO!”

“AHAHAHAHA! THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR COMING UP AGAINST ME MOFO!”

“BRING IT AWWWN!”

You are left completely speechless. Everyone else in chat have gone quiet and all that can be heard is YOUR partner making a fool of themselves. You sit there hoping that they do not act like this with people IRL and certainly not when you host that LAN party next week.

You do something that you have never done before in this relationship.

You face-palm.

This is what you get for dating a gamer.

Quality Time Together

Picture the scene, if you will. The lights have been dimmed, there is a sweet melody playing the background – two love birds sitting in front of an open fire, gazing into one another’s eyes with candles dancing seductively around the room.. And then your partner asks if you could stop playing your new JRPG and come spend quality time with them.

To a gamer “quality time” generally means “All of my games are boring me right now and I need entertaining.”

The plus side of dating a gamer means they are really understanding when it comes to all things games-related. Be it queuing up outside a store from 12 midnight for the launch of a new game, to purchasing a game they know nothing about on a whim because “the cover looks good”.

The down side to dating a gamer is the high chance of them catching what we in the industry call “gaming mojo burnout”. This horrible condition is when a gamer’s poor mojo has been driven to it’s limits by an influx of fantastic games, so much so that all of a sudden, out of nowhere, they can’t find something to play. The same way an artist or a writer will sit and stare at a blank page, these poor gamers spend hours just sitting and looking at their pile of games feeling lost.  The lucky gamers out there only ever find their gaming mojo gone maybe once every few years, others will be burnt out every six months.

So now it is up to you. You must re-kindle your partner’s gaming mojo or face the prospect of endless nights of: “What do you want to do?” “I dunno, what do you want to do?” “I’m not fussy, I’ll do whatever you want to do.” and so on and so forth.

You run to your computer to find your “thinking cap” which is in the shape of a website you find all of your gaming news from. There you spend hours trying to get your partner interested in upcoming game releases. You’re waving your arms around, you’re speaking in a higher voice than normal and you’re practically bouncing on the chair in a bid that some of your excitement will rub off of them.

After you have exhausted all of your brain power online you move onto the idea of co-op games and throw yourself into setting up a session you can both get involved in. You are the perfect team mate, letting them take the lead and giving words of encouragement every 30 seconds in a desperate hope that your gamer geek would take the bait and get back to their happy-go-gaming-self.

And when all else fails you offer to buy your pouting partner a brand new game of their choice.

“Well…” they say with their eyes suddenly coming back to life, “There is one game..”

And just like that, the mojo has been resurrected. You may now pat yourself on your back, you have successfully averted disaster. Although you have just lost a good chunk of cash.

This is what you get for dating a gamer.

The Present Question

There are many occasions throughout the year that generally require you to purchase a gift of some sort for your significant other. Birthdays, Valentines Day, Christmas.. All of these holidays generally mean you need to head into the nearest town centre and hunt down the perfect present.

So there you are, standing at the entrance of the mall, desperately trying to think of what to buy your gamer geek. Clothing? Crap, you forgot their size. DVD? Nah, might as well torrent that. And then it hits you – A video game. Duh. You click your heels with glee and run off to the nearest game store. Now it’s up to you to pick the right game for your gaming god/goddess. And it doesn’t matter who you are or how long you have been with your partner, the first game you pick up will ALWAYS be something that YOU would play. You hold it in your hands, you pause. You re-think your choice and move onto the next shelf. Rinse and repeat about nine or ten times until you return to the original shelf where you hover around the game you picked up first.

“Yeah.. Yeah they’ll enjoy this. I can totally see them getting into this.” you convince yourself. In your head you are picturing your sweetheart gaming their little heart out on the game in your hand and then, for a brief second, you see yourself playing it too.

Money exchanges hands and you skip out of the store with a spring in your step. “I’ve bought the best present ever!” you sing to yourself internally.

onechanbara_bikini_samurai_squad_conceptart_Guw7QAnd that, my dear friends, is how I ended up with a copy of Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad for my 21st birthday.

Yes, the hack ‘n slash samurai game with half-naked women with their ill-fitting clothing and their big bouncy boobies. I spent about five minutes playing it before I returned to F.E.A.R 2.

But that’s what I get for dating a gamer.

I hope you enjoyed the article, and I look forward to hearing your stories about you ‘n your gaming girl/boyfriend.

The Hazards of Dating a Gamer: Part 2- Coming Soon!