Games have Skewed my Perspective on Love
Yup. As much as I hate to admit this, games, movies, and other fictional media (like anime, cartoons, books) have totally warped my sense about love and what it is all about. As many of you who have followed my blogs in the past know, I have always struggled with dating and looking for love. It was a really big depression in my life for a long time. I would constantly blog on here about missed opportunities, issues with meeting girls, and just acting sorry for myself.
Iím happy to say however that Iíve currently been with a girlfriend I love for 2 years now. A lot has changed over the last two years, but the biggest change has been opening my eyes to the way relationships really are supposed to work (thanks very much to the help of my girlfriend who has stuck with me through some of my noob-ish ways of thought). You see... all that time I spent during my teens and early 20s wallowing in self pity because I couldnít find and meet woman... that existed only because I had this warped perception of what a relationship should be like, inadvertently shutting off any potential women that didnít fit the mold. The catch? My perception of what a relationship should be like was WHACK. It didnít exist... thus, I could never find woman. In fact, I had only met my current girlfriend shortly after reluctantly becoming more open about the terms on which a relationship should be about. I had a couple dates with other girls at the time, then met my current girlfriend, and here we are, happily together for two years now. All because I deviated from what I thought an ideal relationship should be like. And trust me, being with a sensible girlfriend for two years now has only opened my eyes even further to just how naive and senseless I had been all those years.
Ok, so where am I going with all this... Iíve already gone on for three paragraphs and not even hit the topic yet... (heh, sorry!). The point is, where did I get this warped perception of what a relationship should be? At the time, it was just what I thought was right, because itís how I honestly felt. But now, I realize my view of relationships had been shaped by the countless games Iíve played, anime Iíve watched, and books Iíve read. It was fictional, just like the media I consumed.
I thought love had to be perfect. I thought there would have to be no compromise, that a relationship would be so great everything would just fall into place. My ideal body image of my dream girl had been sub-consciously shaped by the unrealistic (yet attractive) portrayals of women in media. Whether this be the cute and always perfectly shaped video game girls, the glossed-over women of fame in movies and TV, or the dreamt up of women in books, the point remains that they were unrealistic. In reality though, OUR world, very, VERY, few women have the body type of females seen in video games or other media. I had played so many games that I had become disconnected from what the average woman looks like. My dream girl that had been shaped by tons of video games over the years frankly just doesnít exist.
As someone who plays mostly games out of all the types of consumable media, the video game industry probably sexualizes women the worst. In the few cases where games actually ďtryĒ to use a ďmore averageĒ looking women, they either
1) Tend to still come across as cuter and and more attractive than the average woman.(think Alyx Vance in Half Life 2, or Elena from the Uncharted series)
2) Come off as humorous, even though more accurate. (think Ellie from Borderlands 2, albeit a maybe extreme example)
3) Get absolutely dismissed without any further thought because they are not ridiculously good looking. (think Eveline from Dragon Age 2)
And whatís the deal with the lack of clothing, (or bulk of suggestive clothing) for female characters? Ok, point is that ďSex sellsĒ, and the girls we see in games are created from fantasy and dreams, usually that of male minds. I'm not saying that we should stop this, and start injecting games with tons of average or even ugly looking women. No, not at all, as that wonít really accomplish anything, and really, women of fiction and fantasy should remain that. But what is really important here is that personally we are able to differentiate these fantasy women and their beauty from the normal looking women and real beauty of... well, reality. For me, I knew they were not realistic, but over time, my brain sub-consciously came to believe they were indeed real. Honestly a bit mind boggling when I think about it.
But enough about just looks. Thatís only one facet of this discussion. My perception had been warped in other areas as well. I used to think that relationships should be like a fairy tale. EVERY DAY. Thatís how games and media make it out at least. Couples fall in love in the most perfect ways imaginable. Couples share the most magical moments together. Couples never fight, never have problems, everything is perfect. The woman in the relationship does everything the man wants perfectly, and vice versa. Personalities fit perfectly, and your partner adores everything you do and vice versa. To further emphasis this point, I recently played through Zelda Skyward Sword and thought Linkís love interest in Zelda was blissful. A budding childhood romance that only blossoms fully once the hero saves the world and the maiden, to which they live happily ever after. However, take out the hero and maiden bits, the save the world and adventure, and the flying birds and city, and well, itís not the same type of magical relationship anymore. It quickly becomes a relationship like that of the other townsfolk in Skyward Sword, including that of the overweight swordsman and the careless housewife. Itís a day in day out life of good moments, bad moments, and those moments in between.
All and all, the relationships and love that gets portrayed in games and other fictional media ends up being the work of fantasies and dreams. I think itís really important to understand that. Itís all created from the deepest dreams and desires of mankind, but when we get down to it, itís just that... dreams. Itís not realistic at all.
So what is real love about? There will be high moments and low moments. There will be plenty of fairy tale moments, but they arenít going to be supplied constantly. There will have to be compromises. You will have to work stuff out. No one is ever going to make you perfectly happy all the time and meet every expectation you have. Why? No one is perfect. Itís a simple thing people can tend to forget. Love is all about supporting one another, through thick and thin. Love is about finding not only the beauty in the physical uniqueness of people, but their inner beauty as well. Love is about being open and understanding, and caring and passionate. Me and my girlfriend have been together 2 years now and itís been wonderful. However, it hasnít been perfect, and thatís just fine. This is real life after all.
So before I finish, I just feel I need to say a few more things. Probably some people at this point might be scoffing at what Iím talking about, saying they this stuff is all common sense and that Iím not saying anything worth saying. Maybe, maybe not, but look at how long it took me to realize what real love is truly about. For the longest time I had based my approach to finding love off the fantasy like love of the media and video games. If there was even one thing about a girl that wasnít ďperfectĒ... boom, she was off the radar just like that, and I wouldnít pursue dating her anymore. Only once I took down these nonrealistic expectations I had, did I find myself getting dates, and eventually ending up in a happy relationship.
I think itís also important to give some concrete examples of what I mean when I say ďI though relationships had to be perfectĒ. Itís possible that one might read this and think Iím saying that even if you arenít happy, too bad, thatís real life love! NO! Definitely not! You should most definitely be happy in a relationship, but the point is that everything doesnít have to be perfect for you be happy. Let me give some examples of small things that have turned me off from potential relationships in the past, to just show how trivial some of them were, and how high video games had shaped my expectations of love.
Before: I love animals, but am not a huge dog person. If a girl was a dog person, I would have said nah, this canít work because having a dog was not my ďperfect situationĒ.
After: I now own a dog and absolutely love him. Would I have gotten a dog of my own accord? No, but I still enjoy having him and am happy.
Before: I used to think me and my partner had to have very similar interests, and no different interests. If she had too many different interests, I didnít think it would work out.
After: Different interests are a good thing! Having too many similar interests could possibly be boring or dull, while having different interests can either lead to new mutual interests. Regardless, this certainly should never be a deal breaker like I made it out to be.
Before: Our personalities have to be very similar.
After: Could work, but the opposites attract thing is just as valid, and even those personalities in between can be good matches.
One last additional thing I could add here is that my girlfriend is vegetarian. As a guy that couldn't imagine going a day without eating some good tasty meat (NO JOKES! :P ), I would have previously thought this would be a dealbreaker. You know what? Two years in and it has not ever affected me one bit at all.
I can go on and on and on, but the point is, I had this totally ridiculous view of what I thought love should be based off how the media portrays it. My definition of love was unreasonable, unrealistic, and just silly. Yet, I believed that for many years. Iím not one say the media had ever affected me, but looking back, there was no other reason for me to think about love the way I did.
So not much else to say, and thanks to those that have read this. Hopefully if anyone reading this has a similarly unrealistic view of love and relationships like I had, they will take some time to think about it and become more open minded about love, hopefully eventually finding a happy relationship for themselves. Donít be afraid to give people a chance, because no is perfect, but there will be many people out there that can make you very happy and in love. Anyway, thank you all for reading!
|Comments (Total Comments: 7)|
|celegus - 12-18-2012, 12:49 AM|
|showtimefolks - 12-18-2012, 03:47 AM|
|MiNuN - 12-18-2012, 05:28 AM|
|wquach - 12-18-2012, 03:04 PM|
|SolidSnake86 - 12-18-2012, 04:35 PM|
|Zaku77 - 02-04-2013, 02:53 PM|
|the_grimace - 02-05-2013, 02:21 PM|
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