Quick Dating Tips – 4 Bad Habits You Learn From Video Games, And How They Affect Your Love Life
April 8, 2013 3 Comments
Remember my article last week about 5 Useful Things You Learn From Video Games Applied to Dating?
Well, it actually started out as a bigger, unreadably long article.
Well, in that bigger article, I also detailed 4 bad habits you learn from video games that will fuck you up for a long time if you allow them to transfer to real life, but I split it off from the main article because it was too much awesome in one place. Lucky you, I’m going to get into that right now!
See, video games help you develop quick decision making and strategic thinking, all while teaching you how to deal with situations that you have limited control over.
… but, there are some concepts we take for granted as gamers that will just plain fuck up your dating life if you don’t pay attention to the differences. Here are 4 Bad Habits You Learn From Video Games, And How They Affect Your Love Life:
1) Bad Habit: Relying on the reset button and save points.
Reality: In real life, there is no reset button and there are no save points.
Yeah, that girl who won’t talk to you anymore after you made that joke about sodomizing her uncle? That’s not gonna work out.
I mean, it MIGHT. But it won’t be as simple as “load from previous checkpoint” or “not making the mistake in the first place.”
Look, I’m not saying that all mistakes in dating are irrecoverable – many of them are actually fixable.
But not in an easy way like in gaming. In the Halo series, you can literally shoot all of your allies in the face, hump their corpses, get blown up by whatever the hell it is the Master Chief is fighting nowadays, and then the game automatically dumps you back into the last safe-zone and your guys are all like “sup bro?”
And, just like in Halo, one of the most consistent behaviors I see in a lot of guys is trying to “reset” with a girl they messed up with. Most of the time, it just won’t happen.
Some old-school games, like Nethack, teach the reality of dating very well using permadeath. Permadeath is exactly what it sounds like: you die, you lose everything, and you have to start all over again with a different character. Remember Dark Souls? Part of why Dark Souls is hailed as the “High Prophet of Ass-Whupping” is that it has a tangible (but not permadeath) consequence for every death. If Dark Souls is hard, Nethack is some unexplainable quantum physical conception of superpositional hardness.Which probably means nothing, but sounded cool.
The key point is that you literally can’t go back to where you were before. In that way, it’s like real life. Sometimes, when you mess up, you don’t get to go back and fix it. You have to be willing to accept that as part of the game and move on if you want to get anywhere.
2) Bad Habit: Relying too much on extraneous items to make you more “powerful.”
Reality: Being a badass dragon hunter isn’t as simple as putting on the magic armor that gives you +20 swag.
This is another hallmark of poor game design, in my opinion – equipment that artificially buffs up your character to a point where you think it doesn’t matter how good you actually are at the game. Couldn’t beat that boss because you don’t have mad skills? No problem, bro. But on your +22 Helmet of the Last Dervish and wield your +23 Master Raps of MC Hammer. He’ll go down before you can get to “hammertime.”
You’re skeptical. You’re wondering how that particular concept applies to dating at all.
Well, have you ever dressed up nice for a date?
Yeah, that’s fine.
Ever buy a nice car, just because you thought it would make you more attractive?
That’s a little… well, much.
How about just buying things to give to girls because you think it would make them like you? At least the car was YOURS.
Or what about putting on your +5 cloak of bullshit and lying about things about yourself?
See what I mean? In all of those cases, the player character would, in my opinion as a Nintendo Master, be relying too much on items to try to poke the boss to death, rather than raising his actual skill at the game.
Don’t get me wrong. That thing that you wear that makes you look awesome? Go ahead and wear it. That nice car? Buy it – shoot, I want a nice car, too.
But there’s a fine line between something helping your game, and your game depending on that extra stuff that you can’t provide yourself through skill or charm.
3) Bad Habit: Being a completionist (translation for non-gamers: trying to unlock everything possible in the game).
Reality: You will not get EVERYTHING you want in life, even if you work for it – you simply don’t have enough time. You have to prioritize and really distill exactly what you want into manageable goals.
In games, it’s feasible to spend some amount of time every week on the game, and end up completing the entire thing, getting every item, and every secret.
In life, that shit is impossible. A lot of your success in life and in dating will depend on how you define it. A victory is a victory, yes, but some victories absolutely count more than others, because you have limited time. You will not be able to sleep with EVERY girl. You will not even be able to TALK to every girl. Be okay with that. That’s normal. Stop being a neurotic completionist. It’s creepy, and unhealthy.
The key to the big victories is identifying which ones matter most and letting the other goals slide. Make choices that are important to you, and follow through on those. Everything else is optional and inconsequential.
Video games teach you the opposite, and have been teaching completionism ever since gamer achievements became a thing.
4) Bad Habit: Relying too much on hand-holding and external guidance (“Hey! Listen!”).
Reality: Life is the ultimate open-world game. There aren’t instructions for everything, and not every situation has clear, applicable advice related to it.
A lot of life is emergent gameplay, where you learn how to play it as you go, and discover new ways of playing. A lot of times, you won’t know what you’re supposed to do until you see it. Sometimes, you never find out.
Thats’s just the way it is.
In video games, you have that annoying little sprite that reminds you of what you do and what to focus on, so that you don’t lose track.
In your job, you might have a calendar or assistant that reminds you of particular tasks at hand.
But outside of that? Shit, holmes, you on your own.
I mean, you might have a mentor. You might have a suave Asian guy on the internet yelling at you for the last 1200 words or so about how video games teach you things about dating.
So, no, bro, I don’t know EXACTLY what you should say to that girl you really like to ensure that you come off positively. I have a few guesses as to what MIGHT work based on my own experiences. But, ultimately, you make the choice.
I write guidelines. Not rules. Be a master gamer in your dating life.
Video games are kind of a double edged blade – most of the reaction to my article last week was “I’ve been playing video games for years and it’s never gotten me laid.” Well, that’s because most of the time, we gamers let the bad habits we learn from those games take over in our real lives.
As with anything in life, you have to sift through a whole bunch of chaff before you can get at anything good. Learn to separate the positive from the negative in all of your experiences, and you can learn from almost anything.
Especially Mario. What a pimp.