Video games take us to all sorts of exotic worlds and put us in the shoes (or wheels…or sometimes tentacles) of a diverse array of heroes. At their core, however, they are metaphors for life, and there are lessons we can draw from every single one of them, even if that lesson is that you should be very careful when preordering. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, let’s examine what gaming can teach us about wooing that special someone.
Make your target laugh.
It worked for Tidus in Final Fantasy X, despite how ridiculous he and Yuna must’ve looked to everyone in Bevelle. And by worked, I mean it got him into a fully-clothed night swim in the ethereal light of a magic tree before he had to kill a terrible beastie that used to be his father and then faded away for good. But hey, ’tis better to have dry humped and have lost than never to have dry humped at all, right?
Pursue your target doggedly–within reason.
Oh, she’s not in this castle? Find out where the next one is. Persistence often pays off when it comes to pursuits of the heart, but beware: there’s a fine line between persistence and creepy obsession. Searching eight castles to find a girl? That’s no big deal. Spelunking through eighty castles in pursuit of your damsel in distress? That’s psychotic. Where’d you park the panel van, and how long have you been growing that wispy mustache? Note that Mario’s got a respectable, full-bodied ‘stache, drives a go-cart, and typically keeps his search areas to a minimum.
Focus on common interests and hobbies.
The couple that eats pellets and flees ghosts together stays together. We’ll never see Mr. and Ms. Pac-Man on an episode of Divorce Court, unless of course they’re fans and they buy a pair of tickets.
Beware the temptation that is a cow on a see-saw.
What’s that over yonder? Why, it’s a Guernsey on the low side of a teeter-totter! Check that out! And there’s a refrigerator dangling dangerously above the other end. How groovy would it be to drop that fridge on the see-saw and launch that heifer into orbit! If you’re on a quest to rescue a vaguely insectile princess from a pulsating, bloated, festering, sweaty, stinky, pus-filled, malformed queen, you should probably forego the aforementioned opportunity. Launch that cow and it’s sure to land right on top of your beloved the moment you rescue her. You can thank Earthworm Jim for this valuable little nugget.
Pursue only one romantic engagement at a time.
Not good at moving blocks? Allergic to wool? Petrified of giant babies? Stick to one companion at a time, then, unless specific polyamorous arrangements have been established in advance. Take it from Vincent; one Catherine is more than enough.
When in doubt, brood until the most attractive person in the room notices you.
I still have no clue what the hell Rinoa saw in Squall. Sure, he dresses much more reasonably that your typical male Final Fantasy lead and that scar on his nose is kind of bad ass, but the dude’s kind of a drag. Some people are up for the challenge of busting a severe introvert out of his or her shell, though, and in those cases you should be sure to bury yourself as deep as you can. Make that special someone work for it and he or she will love you all the more.
Accept that no one’s perfect.
Commander Shepard never would’ve gotten any blue alien ass if he’d had a problem with Liara’s head tentacle thingies. Tali was more than willing to risk a bout of the flu if it meant snuggling up to her man sans environmental suit. And a female Shepard in love with Garrus? That woman’s going to need a steady supply of aspirin and Neosporin. Everyone comes with a unique set of flaws and challenges; but if the one you’ve got your eye on is truly worth it, none of those things matter.