Friday, August 19, 2011

The Attractiveness of Video Game Geeks

Friends who want to set me up always ask me what I look for in a guy. Usually, my first response is simple: I want to date somebody who plays video games.

In fact, my dating track record is relatively one-note. I tend to gel better with dudes that are both extremely geeky, tech-oriented, and know what "Chrono Trigger" is. To be honest, I'm a little hard pressed to come up with an eloquent explanation of why I love dorky boys. And, especially why I have an affinity for boys that can play games well. There's your average gaming geek, then there's the gaming geek that you are simply in awe of when they fly into action on their Xbox 360 consoles.

I may possess a passion for games, but I am nowhere near even the lowest-level of competency when it comes to shooting games. I attribute my own lack of skills with the reason why I find my boyfriend's "Call of Duty" skills so, well, adorable.

He can do things with a tomahawk that I can only dream of doing. Sometimes when I watch him play I realize I am poised in slack-jawed awe of him back-stabbing his enemies, shooting someone from afar, or using a bow-and-arrow to completely humiliate his opponent.

Some may find this a bit perverse or strange. But, to me, I find it inexplicably attractive. Maybe it's true that women love the macho man, and since I'm into gaming my version of "macho man" has translated itself into "man who plays Call of Duty well."

But, as to why I find gaming attractive in the first place? It probably has to do with my own personal view of the business of video games in the first place. As someone who has been forced to "grow up" relatively early on, holding onto video games reminds me of a lot of things. In particular, it reminds me of nostalgic memories of my childhood. Back then, the perfect afternoon was a lazy lunch of macaroni and cheese, followed by a few hours on the SNES with my older brother.

When I recall my best childhood memories, many of them revolve around games. I nearly cried when playing Final Fantasy 7. I learned how to code in HTML so that I could create my own Final Fantasy III walkthrough. My brother and I played Street Fighter 2 and countless other games together.

To me, someone who plays video games tugs at my heartstrings in the most fundamental way possible. It makes me think that this person is not only someone I can relate to, but is someone that is just like me: they're retaining part of their innocence, and their child-like imagination. After all, that's what video games essentially are. You suspend your belief for a brief few hours so you can be transported to a different world. A world where you're a hero and a world where your actions can impact the world.

What girl doesn't want to be with a hero?

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