Naturally, it occurs to me that with these safeguards and prejudices in place, it will be next to impossible for me to meet someone in the real world, unless I get lucky and meet my future wet-t-shirt-contest-winning nymphomaniac gamer wife at work or at a pizza joint or something.
Did you catch the important word in that last sentence? Besides nymphomaniac? That’s right, gamer. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to realize that I don’t think I should be chasing any woman who doesn’t game, or at the VERY least, any woman who doesn’t have ANY interest in gaming at all. The more time I spend online, the more I see things like the uber-arcade machine some guy’s wife built into the shell of a Super Nintendo for his birthday. My first response upon seeing this was to say “MARRY THAT GIRL”, gleefully ignoring the fact that he already had.
But if I want to meet a gamer girl, I need to get more social. And here the problem rears its extremely ugly head once more – again, the social gaming experiences I’ve had have been by and large awful. I played World of Warcraft for all of two weeks, during which, the people I met only seemed interested in dueling. If I said yes, they’d unceremoniously kick my ass, go, “LOL NOOB”, and leave. If I said no, they’d call me a fag and leave. Which I’ve always taken offense to, because I don’t think I look anything like a cigarette.
My experiences with other multiplayer games haven’t been any better. I played Halo 2 online exactly once. After the third time I got insta-killed and teabagged, I asked myself why would I ever consider this fun, and never played the game again. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare went a little better, but I constantly muted everybody so I wouldn’t have to hear pre-pubescent idiots shouting sexist, racist threats at each other. So I never got to know anybody, for any reason, they may as well have been robots with Down’s Syndrome.
But unlike socializing in real life, socializing in a video game is something I can see myself doing, for a number of reasons. For one, the most horrible thing someone can do to me in a game is call me names. Whoop-dee-shit. That stopped having a genuine effect on me right around the day I realized I had a bigger penis than most horses.
For another, I already know I have something in common with the people I’m playing with – we’re gamers, and odds are, we both like the game we’re playing, which is going to make it so much easier to have a conversation than it would if I were at a cocktail party half an hour from home, trying painfully to talk to a secretary who knows about as much about geek culture as I know about typing and filing techniques.
So, I’ve decided to give it another try, though I’m concentrating for the time being on co-operative experiences like Left 4 Dead 2. I spent a couple of hours last night, playing an internet game with total strangers, something I haven’t done in years. And I had a good time! Nobody was a douchebag, though a couple of them were playing like idiots, but I kept that thought to myself. We were all in this together, and it was an awful lot of fun.
I couldn’t tell you any of their names, so I probably might want to work on this plan if I expect to meet people, but I figure, what the hell, worst thing happens, I meet some new people, and we all get eaten by zombies together.