The problem with loving something will all your heart is that it has a physical effect on the object of your affections. Teddy bears lose all their fur, clothes wear through at the knees, and game consoles… well, they get the worst of it all. They also make you act in unusual ways. You could call it devotion… or obsession. So here are some tell-tale signs that you truly love your console. How many sound familiar?
You bought a faceplate for your Xbox 360
Of course you think your console looks good in its plain monochromatic outfit. It was wearing that on the day you met, after all. And it can wear it again any time, you're not throwing it away. But right now, you've bought it a present. Something a bit glitzy. A bit glam. Very up-market and outrageously expensive for the cheap, flimsy material it's actually made from. And if it only sports that outrageous Hello Kitty look behind closed doors, in your alone time together, that's perfectly OK. Just remember to hide it away in a box under the bed when your parents are around. Nobody will know your secret.
You've drawn a picture of your console
"Draw me like one of your French girls" is what your console probably didn't say. But it's not like the inability to request a portrait was going to stop the Jack Dawson in you. Oh, how your smitten hands captured every curve of that smooth, flowing design. How the light played upon the bare surface of your languid muse, shadows falling playfully over its vents and USB ports. Whether you spent hours on a still life masterpiece with more than one type of pencil, or sketched out a doodle in your Maths book in blue Biro, it means the same. U + UR CONSOLE 4 EVA.
Your DualShock's face buttons aren't springy any more
"You really know how to push my buttons" is what your DualShock would probably say if it could talk (in a tone that would make even Jessica Rabbit or Leisure Suit Larry blush)… or at least it did the first few hundred times you pressed X to Jason. But after 100,000 presses (hopefully on a different game, otherwise your mind must be dribbling out of your ears by now), it's a little less responsive. Pushing X now feels flat, like the head of an electric toothbrush you don't realise is completely knackered until you put on a new one. But that's OK, it's pleasantly familiar and you know it like you know yourself. It's a reminder of all the things you've been through together. And so what if other people can't work it out? It's your special controller. Like Biff and his car in Back to the Future.
Your Xbox controller is covered in shavings
No, I don't mean beard shavings or any other human hair (eew). I mean you played so many games that you actually sheared pieces of plastic from the base of the analogue stick. So what if rotations no longer feel as smooth as they once did (that'll be the irreparable furrow that you've dug into the hardware with your enthusiasm, tiger), that just shows that you've been through so much together. You'll be with each other until the end. Come on, baby, let's twist again...
Your Wii's controller port cover has broken off
After a while, you realised you were only using Wii to get closer to its older sibling. It's OK, the older, less obviously-attractive, darker, more mysterious Gamecube is our favourite too. But perhaps you should have been a bit less zealous in fumbling open that flimsy, barely-there covering on your way to your true love. Broke the cover off, didn't you? It's OK, there's a logical explanation. It wasn't very well-made and was always going to break – you had nothing to do with it. Yup. Of course the Wii noticed. It just didn't say anything because… well, because it's an inanimate object. Dur.
You've upgraded your hard drive
You've spent so much time together, creating countless memories. But you didn't realise how full both your lives had become until your console announced that it was unable to continue without 'an addition' to both your lives. You should have seen it coming, really – all the signs had been there that the breathless, carefree early weeks couldn't continue indefinitely, but you didn't want to admit to yourself that you were in this for the long haul. But hey, it's been living in your place for a year now, and you've been getting on just famously.
You've also started seeing your friends less and spending more time with your console. Maybe it is time to take the plunge and buy a bigger hard drive. But reassuringly, this time it feels different. It feels like the right thing to do. You know they cost a lot, but loads of your friends have already got them. Your Facebook feed is full of pictures of middle-aged mates beaming next to their tiny new terabyte drives. You promised yourself you wouldn't post loads of pictures because… well, they all look the same. But of course you will.