We’ve scrutinized and analyzed some of our favorite seminal game relationships to create this guide to actual dating. You’ll get advice on meeting singles, maintaining a successful relationship and taking your friendships to the next level, all straight from the mouths of the most emotionally stable and satisfied game characters (through us) and right to you.
We all know that balancing a serious relationship with a virile gaming appetite can be challenging to even the most attractive gamer (see picture, above). But as serious gamers, we’re also constantly finding that the skills we learn from games have new and unexpected real-world applications, and to the astute gamer, the game of love is no exception. Have you ever saved someone in a game and watched them fall under the sensual spell of your character’s gaze of mucho loving while thinking to yourself “I wish real life could be like this?” Well, with this article, it can be.
Above: This is the look
You’ve already taken the first step by reading this guide
But the second (and equally important) step is meeting someone you like and convincing them to like you too. The best way to do this is to save someone from an arch-villain bent on kidnapping your would-be date and forcing you to navigate a series of increasingly difficult areas and defeat enemies with progressively more ingenious movement patterns to get him or her back. Sadly, not everyone has an arch-villain handy, and for those who don’t, there are a few other things you can do to get a date – things that don’t require you to re-save your helpless counterpart every couple years, when the sequels come out.
Above: Gets the same girlfriend every few years
Meeting your new boyfriend or girlfriend
Assuming you haven’t already become a private detective and started tracking down available kidnap victims, you can try meeting someone by getting involved in a local club, sport or social group. There are many places to do this, but none of them are in your house playing games. We’re very sure about this – we’ve tried. So find a convenient save location, quit whatever you’re playing, apply an appropriate amount of sunscreen, print this article to take with you and walk outside.
Good, it’s brighter here. Now that you’re out of the house, you should find an activity that you can enjoy with other people – no, not an MMO. Look around, do you see a quest? A quest is another word for an activity and is a great way to meet people. There should be one nearby, but if none are available, rest and try again in the morning.
Above: Study this image. One of these men has a quest to offer you
Your first quest might be anything from clearing an obstruction in the engine room, saving the world from a dark power or retrieving Mrs. Fiddlefaddle’s missing pies. No matter how degrading or menial it is, work hard. Once you’re close enough to the end, you’ll probably run into your new girlfriend or boyfriend.
Here’s a classic example from Final Fantasy VII. Early in the game, Cloud is on his quest to help out the rebel group Avalanche pull detrimental practical jokes on the corrupt Shinra corporation, when he runs into the flower girl, Aerith, for the first time.
See what he did there? Cloud comes across as a guy with important things to do because of his mission, which makes it easy for Aerith to start a conversation. She asks him “What happened?” but rather than keep the focus on himself, Cloud ignores her question and notices that she’s really into flowers. He comments on them even though he, no doubt, finds flowers totally lame, and then to seal the deal he buys one from her. This shows her that he’s sensitive and appreciates her useless hobby, which sets her at ease and plants the first seeds of their legendary romance.
Starting a conversation
In the average game, it should take no more than two hours to meet someone you’re obviously fated to fall in love with, so don’t sweat it - you’ve got plenty of time. Spend at least three to four hours looking for your real-life true love before considering turning down the difficulty (or lowering your standards).
OK, now that you’ve appropriately calibrated your standards and found that certain someone special enough, you have to say something to them. If you have more than one dialogue option, you might have to venture a guess about what he or she might be interested in. Sometimes there’s no way for you to know, but a discerning eye and quick wit can increase your chances of catching his or her interest. Study this follow-up to the previous example with Cloud and Aerith to improve your ability to strike up a conversation:
Above: The correct answer is “Yes”
Getting shot down
This will happen to you, but don’t be discouraged. There’s no way to tell if you’ve got a match without putting yourself out there. For example, Mario and Luigi are both great guys looking for the right princess, but they’re also very different. One is really into red but the other thinks red clothes are for douchebags.
The girl they’re usually courting, Princess Peach, likes mustaches, knowledge of plumbing, a discerning taste for mushrooms and red caps with overalls; obviously, Luigi’s out of luck. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with him, he just needs to find a princess who shares his sense of style.
If you find yourself in Luigi’s unenviable position, it’s OK. The important thing is to keep it in perspective and walk away with your pride intact. You never hear Luigi say this: