On the date of August 24th, 2005, I was caught with my pants down in front of a cop car that had been set on fire, while holding a book of matches in one hand and a tank of gasoline in the other. As part of my community service, I’ve been ordered to bestow my vast knowledge upon the gaming masses.
My girlfriend absolutely HATES video games—thinks they’re a total waste of time. I can’t mention them at all without her going off about how there are so many other things in life more important than saving the world. She actually YELLED at me one time for wanting to write a report in my government class about the potential response of Solid Snake to the war on terror; can you believe it?
Thanks for your time,
She’s Pretty Cool Otherwise
Dear She’s Pretty Cool Otherwise,
Let me get me straight: Your girlfriend actually yelled at you for wanting to write about Solid Snake and the war on terror for government class?! That just doesn’t make any sense to me at all. You wanted to write about a fictional videogame character for your government class, and all she did was yell? I don’t see how you haven’t already been dumped. Do you keep your girlfriend restrained with some sort of electrical collar that shocks her whenever she’s more than twenty feet away from your home?
You claim to be in a relationship, yet videogames are your greatest passion and not her? Maybe that’s why she’s yelling at you. Frankly, I’m not even convinced that you even have a girlfriend. Maybe you should consider the fact that spending endless hours playing out digitized fantasies is not the best use of time.
If you maintain your warped priorities you may find yourself without a girlfriend. Speaking of which, you can tell her that I’ll be over at 8:00 p.m. tonight. She needs something to do while you play Metal Gear.
I don’t think I’m a real gamer. I don’t have a TV with me in college, but I do have a GameCube. I’m scared to play it in the lounge because I’m afraid real gamers are going to see me playing Wind Waker and make fun of me because I stink at it, or because I don’t know enough about video games, or because I’m not playing the right video games, or whatever, I’m not really sure. It’s gotten to the point where I make myself getup at 6 a.m. just so I can have a few hours in the lounge to myself for gaming, before people will see me there and make fun of me.
Is there any way I can build my gaming self confidence? Or do you have any suggestions for how I can better game in privacy without resorting to owning a TV?
Perturbed in Pennsylvania
You want be a “real” gamer? There are various levels within the hierarchy of gamers. The lowest level, the casual gamer, has about one system and is only familiar with a handful of games, while the top level of the hierarchy would have to be the crazed gamer fiend, with a range of anti-social behavior in between the two levels. It sounds to me like you’re trying to reach the coveted “fiend” level, so here’s some tips:
Stop waking up 6 a.m. to play videogames, stay up longer than anyone else, then turn your GameCube on. Forgo any opportunities to sleep during the night. That’s what class time is for. Switch to a caffeine-sugar-chips diet (cheese puffs or pretzels are acceptable.) Gain about 50-100 pounds. The stored fat will give you energy, or at least that’s what you’ll tell yourself. Finally, stop bathing and forget any rules of social interaction that may have picked while not gaming.
Now, you test yourself. Go down to the one local videogame store that has a girl employee. As a gamer, you should know this one. Buy something, anything, it doesn’t matter as long as you have to talk to the girl. If you can manage to creep her out so much that she is unable to wait until after you’ve left to make a snide comment about your body odor, then and only then will you have achieved that final tier within the gamer hierarchy.