Cupid’s Code Line

| March 24, 2017 | 1 Comment

“Like I said, it’s not about the horniness; it’s about the loneliness.” – Michael Scott, The Office

This is my husband, Samson. He is ugly and I love him.

This is my husband, Samson. He is ugly, and I love him.

I’m in love with a wonderful man. He’s tall, not very handsome, and is the slave to a corrupted magister hell-bent on destroying the world.

Oh, I’m sorry, I should’ve clarified. He’s a fictional character. In fact, my romantic life in the last, well, forever has been limited strictly to individuals of the…virtual persuasion. As someone who thrives on romance, yet is thwarted by Cupid at every turn, I have found dating sims to be a fun way to combine my love of love and the crippling depression that comes with realizing one’s own soul-sucking absence of meaningful companionship.

Not gonna lie, this was one of my favorite parts of the game.

Not gonna lie, this was one of my favorite parts of the game.

There is a stigma surrounding immersive gaming platforms. Some of you might remember Dwight’s use of the game Second Life as a means of doubling the already-rich value of his actual life. There have also been a number of reality shows – Taboo and My Strange Addiction, to name a few — that have delved into the subculture of taking on mannequins (or, more specifically, “Love Dolls”) as replacements for real-life companions.

That is not to say that I foresee myself cuddling up to a life-size replica of my latest fictional squeeze, however. I find myself on the more benign side of virtual escapism. As someone who has struggled with finding friends who stick around and love that calls after one date, finding comfort in the lines of code that make up a video game character just sort of comes with the territory.

While I haven’t chosen to replace all of my interpersonal relationships with robots (yet), there is a certain level of comfort that comes with the predictable nature of a dating sim. I know that while I’m out killing demons in the outskirts of Thedas, my wife Cassandra is going to randomly stop returning my text messages. If I accidentally chose the wrong dialogue option (the virtual equivalent of putting my foot in my mouth), I know that all it takes to get Jumin’s affection back up is to talk about cats.

Me and my wife, Cassandra.

Me and my wife, Cassandra.

What I’m getting at is that virtual relationships offer a sense of security that isn’t always guaranteed in the flesh, and for a Lonely Guy like myself, that can be very comforting after a long day of navigating treacherous social waters.

At the end of the day, it’s a stretch to say that you can lead a fulfilling social life by completely unplugging yourself from reality. As much as I love my Dragon Age companions and dating sim paramours, I don’t think I have the patience (or the PC capacity) to sustain myself solely on virtual socialization. While it’s alright to find small comforts in your escapist life, virtual reality is just that: virtual. Filling the loneliness void with fictional people is only a temporary bandage because pretty soon its 4am, and you’re crying alone because all of your friends are imaginary (take it from someone who’s been there).

At the end of the day, you can treasure your favorite characters. Just don’t forget that there’s a living, breathing world waiting outside for you as well. 

Featured photo credit: sndrv Google Cardboard via photopin (license)

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Category: featured, Poetry, Prose and Comedy, Romance

Vicki Saeed

About the Author ()

The brash speaking voice of a sea-hardened sailor and the softness of a velvet child. Two types of Brown and constantly talking about it. Catch me knitting in the sun and talking about social injustice/horror movie plot holes.

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  1. Heather says:

    I know right? It’s like you get a nice magazine in the mail advertising AS SEEN ON TV stuff and you’re so excited to see these amazing product. Then you turn to pages 42 and such and they’re advertising rabbits. Those things don’t look like rabbits and I should know. I have rabbits at home!

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