Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Love Lessons Taught by Video Games

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Being an Aggressive Lover Will Make You Rich but Lonely
Learned by:
Custer’s Revenge (2600)

It’s always important to treat a woman like a lady, respectfully and gently.  Despite what some of my drunken college shenanigans have suggested, no one wants to be treated in the pathetic way that General Custer does in Custer’s Revenge.  Without going into much detail, this early Atari game for adults only is significant for two reasons: it’s one of the most expensive games on the Atari 2600 (nearly $200 on eBay) and no one has played it.  For reasons of an offensive nature and the fact that the game just isn’t that good, it’s forever stuck in Dead Pixel fame.  The message is clear: be an aggressive lover and you’ll be worth some money, but you’ll also remain dusty and alone.

…oh yeah, I guess Kratos got away with it, but those were different times and from what I saw those women were begging for it.  So I guess you’re allowed to if you happen to be in a brothel in Vegas or something, but it isn’t real love.

Always Have a Place to be Alone With Your Partner
Learned by:

Nintendo’s Hiroshi Yamauchi, known as the man who reinvented Nintendo into the electronic’s industry and took the world by storm, knows the importance of privacy.  In Japan there are establishments known as “love hotels”, which are intended for short or long-term engagements with a special someone.  One of the many owners of a chain of love hotels is none other than Nintendo, whom Yamauchi himself was rumored to frequent in many of his extramarital activities.  In love you always need a person, a time, and most importantly a place.

Fight for your Woman
Learned by: Double Dragon and Final Fight

While developers Technos and Capcom may differ on the meaning of this lesson, they do agree that every woman in red is worth fighting for.  In Double Dragon, brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee fight the entire Black Warrior gang to save the red dress clad Marion.  While Wikipedia claims they were both always in love with the girl, I swore that the original game had Billy Lee as the sole love interest and the twist was that Jimmy would fight you at the end for the girl.  Ironically in the two-player version, Marion would fall for whoever won the fight, proving that this girl is more shallow than a kiddie pool.  If you like a little more loyalty in your brawler, Capcom’s Final Fight had both Cody and Guy can take on the Mad Gear Gang to fight for Jessica but all endings lead to Cody.  While Cody is Jessica’s boyfriend and third character Haggar is her father, Guy is in it only to help out a friend.  In fact, Guy is so loyal that he can even take on the entire gang himself to free Jessica and all he wants in the end is for her to run into the arms of Cody.  Just like in real life, this is the right decision to make but it’s unfortunately tarnished by loneliness and regret.

Go Big or Go Home
Learned by:
Internet Game Geeks

Leave it up to video game geeks to take the concept of proposal and marriage to a whole new level.  If you think that something simple like in game chat or an e-mail is going to do it, for the hardcore girl gamer you need a bit more gusto.  Most people remember the famed 2008 Halo-Themed wedding of John Henry and Desirai Labrada that included a proposal within the Forge.  How about the wedding that took place entirely in Everquest 2?  There’s always the LittleBigPlanet proposal, a setup my limited level-creating experience can attest will take little time or talent to create.  Perhaps my favorite was the fan who, in 2008, hacked a rom of Chrono Trigger with an entire area of memories for the couple and finished it off with a formal proposal of marriage.  In comparison, my paltry proposal on the top of the Hancock building in downtown Chicago on Christmas Eve doesn’t compete, but I knew it had to be bigger than a simple question over dinner.

Sometimes it’s Nice to Just Sit
Learned by:The Darkness (360/PS3)

As a big time blabbermouth, there’s something to be said for silence.  Most guys, however, have no problem shutting up and often times can’t find something to talk about with their woman.  Ironically they are just the opposite in video games, which is why in The Darkness, you can net some bonus achievement points for just spending some romantic time with your girlfriend Jenny.  No kidding, you have to just sit there and do nothing while talking about a stupid TV show.  Get used to it, because that’s what real romantic life is all about, especially when you come home from a busy day.

Knowing the Right Moves can be Critical
Learned by:
Heavy Rain (PS3)

There’s a moment in Heavy Rain where all of the plot points start to come together and we finally see protagonists Ethan and Madison get a bit more, ahem, comfortable with one another.  Just like Quantic Dream’s previous title Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit in Europe), a sexual experience will unfold with you the player.  Unlike Indigo Prophecy, you’re doing a much more familiar set of movements with the analog sticks in Heavy Rain than the rudimentary quicktime event (QTE).  This is when, just like in real life, if you can’t properly set the mood, you will have very different results than when you have all the right moves.  Sex isn’t a game boys and girls, but games sure turn it into a challenge.

You Don’t Always Know What You Want
Learned by:
Catherine (360/PS3)

Main protagonist Vincent has a lot of problems, and being a lazy guy who’s future is going nowhere is just one of them.  One night while at his routine trip to the bar, while he’s milling over whether or not he even wants to be with his girlfriend Katherine, he ends up meeting a beautiful girl also named Catherine.  What unfolds is a tangled web of cheating, lying, deception and even a run-in with a few demons to boot.  If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a sheep running with the herd, Catherine will do that in a series of events you can’t even control.  It does have one important lesson to be learned: you won’t have all the answers all the time.

Written by Fred Rojas

February 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Features

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