It’s ok to Love a Game Character

Once upon a time I wrote for a now defunct site called GamerWho. As it is deactivated last time I checked, I occasionally post stuff I wrote there on here. This week, here is an opinion piece I wrote.

Ah Stereotypes, like Herpes they never seem to go away and are a constant pain to those that are afflicted by them. For those of us in the gaming community, many can be applied, sometimes correctly, more often than not incorrectly. You may see a few well known ones below.

“Gamers are all budding psychopaths, everyone knows that.”

“Gamers are out of shape and incredibly lazy, that’s just a fact.”

“Gamers are lame virgins who are probably in love with fictional characters. Duh!”

Though people like Daniel Craig, Ronda Rousey and Vin Diesel generally disprove these notions, sometimes someone else comes along who brings truth to the ridiculous claim. One such man who had his proverbial 15 minutes of fame a while ago was from the country of Japan.

In 2009, CNN reported on a 27 year old from Tokyo (Going by the name Sal9000.) who married a fictional character in the popular Nintendo DS dating sim series known as Love Plus. The world over, people scorned this man and pointed to this incident as a sign of the island nations increasing frigidity and dramatically declining birthrate. Me, I was honestly happy for the guy.

Why was I happy? Because I went through a similar (Though obviously not as intense.) period of infatuation. When I was 13, I had a very strong attraction towards Alyx Vance from Half Life 2.

Yeah, it is silly to look back on now. But at the time, I was genuinely struck. I played the game over and over and over. Fiddled with more than my fair share of embarrassing nude mods and even wrote some bad poetry that is sealed away and will never be released to the public (At all!).

For a time, I was in a period of utter bliss. With this infatuation, my general confidence went up; I did better grade wise at school and even blossomed creatively in my writing. I was having a ball, until I saw a program on television that shattered that otherwise blissful illusion. I don’t remember what the actual piece was, but what stuck with me was their mockery of a gamer.

In this television show, the man was portrayed as a lonely and sad man who was so desperate for attention that he output his intimate emotions onto an artificial character, a few lines of code used in only a few shots of the program. As I saw that, I gave my head a shake and perhaps out of fear of ending up like that character, abandoned my childish crush all together. I’ve since figured out how to communicate with the opposite sex (Boy, have I ever! ;)), but still, I can’t help but think there’s a general frame of thought that can be found in this odd scenario.

And that frame of thought is this, if a person wants to be in love with a fictional character, let them do it and be happy. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a sad and lonesome nutcase. On the contrary, it could mean they’re highly intelligent. Most geniuses are a little bit eccentric you know.

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