What Your Gaming Strategy Says About the Way You Love
Love is said to be a game, and in looking back on my gamer loves, I’ve noticed correlations between their love and gaming strategies.
I recently went down to Seattle for Bumbershoot and stayed with an old friend, with whom I drunkenly confessed my romantic feelings five years ago—and who drunkenly reciprocated. He left for the military days later. We kept in light contact, but it wasn’t until he returned that I tried to initiate any sort of relationship.
One of the evenings following the festival, he showed me a turn-based strategy game called XCOM 2, in which he sent first into unknown territory a character he had designed to resemble and named after me. I gave him a hard time about risking my life, and he explained his usual gaming strategy, which is to minimize casualties. He proceeded to send in the rest of the troupe to strategic nearby placements. I helplessly watched as my avatar ducked behind a low wall, gun in hand, while scary aliens stood guard at the other end of the room.
He’s said no to a romantic relationship with me in more than a few ways, but the reason that strikes me as being most true is that, in his words, he doesn’t want to shit where he eats. In less crass terms, what we have right now is really good, and he doesn’t want to risk that.
Strategic counter: Blitzkrieg!
When I was first learning to play strategy board games, my boyfriend at the time taught me that if there wasn’t an obvious path of play, it was a good idea to play in a way that kept your future options open. This strategy worked well for him: When opportunities arose, he was usually able to seize them. Want to guess how he handled our relationship?
Days after we started dating, I discovered that a girl had moved from Texas to Washington to be closer to him and had already been on her way at the time of our first date; she was understandably upset when she arrived and had to sleep on his couch while she looked for another place to stay.
Later that year, while I was packing up the last of my stuff on the evening before I was to move in with him, he secretly met with another ex for dinner out of town. Shortly after I moved in, he invited a “friend” to move into our basement; it wasn’t until I was helping to move the last of his stuff out of her new bedroom that I discovered a valentine she had made him years before and that yet another ex would be sharing my boyfriend’s home.
This strategy may work well in gaming—hell, it works well in love if your goal is to keep playing—but at some point you have to commit to a strategy. And a woman.
Strategic counter: Dump his ass!
Now, you’ll have to excuse me; I’m off to research gaming strategies and observe some gamers at Dark Tower. JK! AFK.
Disclaimer: No psychological or tactical research has been done on my part. All evidence is merely anecdotal. Names of strategies were superficially taken from a Wikipedia article titled “List of military strategies and concepts.” Names of lovers have been omitted to protect the innocent. And the guilty. Please do not dump your current partner because of the way he/she games.