: Editorial: Games, Girls, Popular Myths

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Editorial: Games, Girls, Popular Myths

By this time, even the most optimistic gamer who continually sees the world through a pair of diamond-encrusted rose-colored glasses must admit that certain stereotypes never die. The stigma commonly attached to a video game fan has altered and shifted over the years, but while the industry and its main audience has changed drastically in the past few decades, the mass populace still sees a straightforward bottom line. Even though it's more mainstream now, and even though the average age of the avid gamer is well over 30, it's still just a "geek's hobby." It's for the kids who couldn't get girlfriends when they were growing up, and would rather stay home with a controller on a Saturday night than hit the nightclubs. It's this misconception that continues to irk me to this day, even though most of my friends have just come to accept the inevitable...the fuel that runs the masses is a depressing mix of ignorance and stupidity.

Although some members of the aforementioned populace will now concede that games aren't just for kids anymore, the other part of the stereotype is amazingly, um...sticky. My friends are my age, which means they're all looking to settle down, start a family, or at the very least, find a relatively nice girl that they can stand the sight of for more than ten consecutive seconds. These people range from teachers to programmers to warehouse workers to veterinarians to those in the armed services. They come from all walks of life and many have vastly differing views on religion, politics, society, and of course, gaming. Yes, they all still play video games - although most don't play to the extent they did back in school; real life drains time away - but gaming remains a tricky subject, and I have just one question. Why do many women assume that we would rather be home playing games than going out? Why did some of our parents assume this? Is it because they all view gaming as a potentially addictive habit that can completely override any other wants and desires? Whatever the answer is, I find the entire situation infuriating.

Nobody I know - and this includes the dude who played Everquest 40 hours per week in college and is now married with a kid - has ever, ever, refused to do something social for the sake of playing a video game. It has never once happened. I've only done it occasionally, and that was simply because I wanted to avoid certain people at a party. But for whatever reason, many women continue to entertain the notion that if we're out at the club or bar, it's because someone "dragged" us away from our games. In other words, we'd rather be doing that than talking to them, which immediately implies that if a relationship were to occur, they'd always play second fiddle to a controller and a TV. As many a gamer on the prowl will tell you, this can be a huge obstacle, especially if you don't meet many women who play games. They can only rely on the mass media for their basic knowledge, and that, as we all know, is not an enviable position to be in. It's not their fault, but it's still insanely annoying.

Then again, perhaps I'm off base. Maybe there are a lot of 20-somethings and even 30-somethings out there who really would rather stay home and play games than risk a date. All I know is that it seems entirely inaccurate from my angle. How's about yours?

P.S. See that girl up there? She'd never play "second fiddle" to me or any game I own...er...well, unless I was in the midst of stealing my Genji items from Elmdor in FFT. Then it's, "yeah, sit yourself down over there and apply some more lipstick or read Cosmo or something. I shall be with you in a moment. ;)

11/7/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (52 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, November 07, 2008 @ 11:02:21 PM
Reply

To me it always comes down to which one you want to be your main girl and which one you want to be your mistress. Which is which will always be directly proportionate to how much the individual girl means to you. To use the girl in the picture above I can assure you that someone somewhere is sick of her sh*t and might just be loath to give up an important boss fight to deal with her particular brand of crazy, I think that's why we get a rap as needing to be wrenched from our controllers: because doing so is hard unless sex or some new experience is actually on the table. Long story short, the ladies of Soul Calibur have kicked my ass plenty, but they never deliberately hurt me ;)

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 11/7/2008 11:03:24 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 07, 2008 @ 11:58:06 PM

I'm sorry, but the first part of your post implies that you have two women in the permanent rotation.

If you have that problem, you may not have a "problem" to begin with. ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 12:03:48 AM

LoL, when I do... that second one (usually the mistress) is my game system, and she is a demanding one!

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Fatcat3788
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 12:26:25 AM

Ben... Agreed... WORLDENDSWITHME... agreed...

I find that it's always the mood I'm in. I also find that money factors into that equation as well. Considering girls = time and money... When I do take the video game path over the go out and party hardy path it's due to financial reasons more so than that time reason... Ben, your statement of doing it to avoid certain people is dead on. I can only handle so much of "OH WHAT ARE YOU DOING? OH YOU ARE STILL IN COLLEGE AND YOU AREN'T WEALTHY YET? WELL MY (insert boyfriend, daughter, son, husband, fiance, etc here) IS DOING THIS, THIS, and THIS AND YOU STILL PLAY VIDEOGAMES." Of course, this scenario shows that the people who believe all you do is play videogames can be the kinds of people you avoid. Unfortunately this results in myself, tending to avoid more often than not, but never if it is with my core friends and they are doing something other than go smoke huka.

Last edited by Fatcat3788 on 11/8/2008 12:28:29 AM

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John Shoemaker
Friday, November 07, 2008 @ 11:09:07 PM
Reply

I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention....is she wearing a whipped creamed bra?

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coverton341
Friday, November 07, 2008 @ 11:30:16 PM
Reply

For ever beautiful women in the world there is a man that absolutely wants to wring her neck.....

I love my fiance and would never put a game before her but I have exes that i have and still would in a heartbeat

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GuernicaReborn
Friday, November 07, 2008 @ 11:50:37 PM
Reply

My girlfriend games with me. Her favorite game is warhawk, and she's gotten pretty good. Not great, but good. She still has a NES and a 64, she plays those more than my PS3. She beats the crap out of me in Goldeneye. Anyway, lucky me :)

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Alienange
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 8:51:14 PM

I wouldn't call that lucky. But that's me. I don't like sharing.

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Ed_Wayne
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 1:00:39 AM
Reply

I just don't like people in general so I avoid going places. I must have a chemical imbalance or something. Oh well.

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Bugzbunny109
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 9:04:46 AM

LOL, I think that we are brothers :)

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Scarecrow
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 1:00:46 AM
Reply

Stereotypes are a bad thing

Happens with race, ethnicity, etc.
Sadly there's really not much we can do

In the US the "v-game geek" stereoype is even worse than in MOST, if not all countries.

Women have one track mind, few really understand the kinds of men out there.

I know it sounds like something women would say, but it's funny, it's actually the other way around.

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FLYING_APE
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 4:15:16 AM

Yeah they are just look at black ppl they don't all talk that retard slang crap and commit crimes. Well my friend does that lol

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Scarecrow
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 1:02:29 AM
Reply

By the way I'd never put a v-game before a girlfriend/fiance/wife.

UNLESS I'm at the end of a game(no way I'm missing an ENDING lol)

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PhilipJWitow
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 1:16:18 AM
Reply

Weird. I often play games instead of going out to parties etc. I said I would go. I just am lazy/tired and think I'd have more fun playing games. :
I do have a girlfriend, and of course she comes before games, EVEN if an ending is about to happen! But to be honest, most other people suck and I'd rather play games. :\

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Mystearica
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 2:44:34 AM
Reply

I understand this article and all and to some extent I agree... and this may not be relevant but I honestly dunno were else to ask this but I'm really curious about this phenomena so

PLEASE EXPLAIN!

Why is it that if we're talking about "gamer girls" images of fat, ugly, hair girls with glasses show up (0%) or play boy models (10%)? What happened to "normal" girls? I dun get why super geeky or super hot females are always on the cover whenever the mention of a "gaming girl" comes up (and I mean EVERYWHERE it's the same type of images).

Normally I don't care about this issue - and it may be an interesting issue to address in the future too - but every time I mention I'm a female in any MMORPG, people get the impression that I'm super geeky (and with "super" see description in above paragraph) or I must be some hot playboy looking girl... Kinda makes me wonder what happened to being a balanced-everyday-down to earth chick who tries to incorporate different elements in her life everyday? To me guys who play games are just guys and sure there are your 500 pound people who won't move their butts. But that's not the initial image I get.

Am I thinking in a weird way?

Last edited by Mystearica on 11/8/2008 2:45:07 AM

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Advent Child
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 3:19:13 AM

I don't think so. I never thought fat and ugly or supermodel. I can't see why other people do.

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FLYING_APE
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 4:12:07 AM

As benny boy said its a stereotype. my gf plays ratchet and lbp. So it just one of those things.

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Advent Child
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 4:18:45 AM

Haha thats funny those are the only two games my sister will play too!

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Alienange
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 9:00:00 PM

Mystearica - There's ugly and there's beautiful. Some uglies like to pretend they're "normal looking" and that's fine. We know the truth. Others are beautiful and want to be viewed as "normal looking" and that's fine too. Take the girl in this article. At first she looks beautiful. After a couple seconds? She looks like Michael Jackson.

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FLYING_APE
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 4:07:29 AM
Reply

I still hit the clubs every friday night with the gf and i still play videogames but not as much as i used to.
I remeber being 14 staying at home not socialising playing videogames all freaking day and thats pretty sad and nerdy.
Ben you should put your games aside. games are not important but they are awesome.

Last edited by FLYING_APE on 11/8/2008 4:08:08 AM

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firehahahahaha
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 8:45:26 AM
Reply

I've never been too big into the social scenes so I usualy stick to staying at home, not always playing video games, rather than going out. Typicly when I go out, it's boring and irritating, but if it's just with a couple of friends to go bowling or what not, then I'll usualy choose that over staying home playing games. Big crows = no no for me basically :).

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isaya85
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 10:03:51 AM
Reply

Hey folks this is my first time posting on this site I've been a member for quite some time I figure I finally come out of the closet and let my voice be heard, this is my favorite site to get my gaming info and I love reading everyone comments, I've had my PS3 for 3 months I sold my 360 just to get it and I think I made the best decision and dont regret it. Im looking for new friends to add me. PSN ID Biggest_GMoney

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Alienange
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 9:02:06 PM

Uh... ok. Are you just saying hello or adding something to the discussion? Let's hear your opinion.

Last edited by Alienange on 11/8/2008 9:02:40 PM

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FLYING_APE
Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 2:40:27 PM

are yo coming out the closet because there skelotons in the closet.


Last edited by FLYING_APE on 11/9/2008 2:41:41 PM

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tlpn99
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 11:00:12 AM
Reply

Welcome to the site isaya :)

I agree endings must come first lol, the wife, girlfriend can wait surely for 5 minutes while you get it beaten. Unless you are late for that party or whatever. I have saved a game right at the last bit before going out and came home fresh and beaten the game and moved onto something else to play.

Speaking of going out im off the pub now to watch the football (soccer) gaming will commence once im back home.

Last edited by tlpn99 on 11/8/2008 11:00:52 AM

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SplendidBlended
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 11:00:32 AM
Reply

Mystearica I agree with you.
I'm also getting really tired of the slutty looking women pictures wtf?

You know, there are a lot of you who seem to never go outside, and can't do anything about your acne... a whole freakin' lot. And I know not all of you are like this but I there are a LOT. And hell, even if some of you do get out and have a social life that doesn't mean you won't be talking about video games the whole time (I've SEEN people like this, and they're scary)

I'm afraid you have no one to blame for this stereotype but yourselves, and until I stop seeing so many people like the ones I described above...

Stop bitching.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 11:12:59 AM

Fair enough. But for the record, what you're describing is nobody I know. As Mysterica said about "normal" girl gamers, there are also plenty of "normal" guy gamers.

So no, from my point of view, I won't agree that it's our fault.

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Joe_III
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 11:19:08 AM
Reply

I can say that I can easily prefer games over "social" activities. I mean, I could put the game down to do a small date or something, but I wouldn't go to a party or an art show even for that chick at the top without certain promises for afterwards.

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SplendidBlended
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 11:30:11 AM
Reply

Fair enough. But for the record, what you're describing is nobody I know. As Mysterica said about "normal" girl gamers, there are also plenty of "normal" guy gamers.

So no, from my point of view, I won't agree that it's our fault.

...

I know there are plenty of normal guy gamers, what I'm trying to say is that there are a lot of, well, not so normal ones and for a long time it seemed like for the most part, that's all there was.
And because of this, this stereotype was developed... and it's a little hard to get rid of it. Especially when there are so many gamers out there that are still like this. And this is not just guys I'm talking about. I happen to know a girl who I really wish I could pull out of her sad little gaming corner of the world, and wash her hair.

I think there are more and more of these normal gamers, and I'm happy to see that. Gaming in my opinion (unless you want to make a career out of it) should never be more than just... games.

I'm also tired of girls forcing guys to give up their games, or lose them as their girlfriend. I think this is just another example of how obnoxious the female gender can be.


Edit:
Sorry for sounding angry in these posts, but I guess I just seem to be very unfortunate in the fact that I'm always running into the worst sort of obsessive gamers.
You should see this guy who comes into the library where I work...

Last edited by SplendidBlended on 11/8/2008 11:33:38 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 12:26:17 PM

I certainly believe you and everything, but in my experience, I've never really known an obsessive gamer. Everyone I know has loved games since they were 4 years old, and now that we're 30, we still play. But we all have jobs and live relatively normal lives.

Of course, I work in games, but even then, I get out. I think you're just unfortunate for running into people who are really and truly addicted to being anti-social. It's all a matter of perspective, I guess.

As for that part about girls forcing guys to give up games...they should know that would never work with people like me. ;)

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BigBoss4ever
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 2:18:45 PM
Reply

I am a RPG geek, and at times, I can be a couch potato just to play tons of games and I am addicted to it. However, I do not have any problem of social life, I have lots of friends playing games or not playing games, and I am about to marry next year (my fiance played a heck lot of RPG and most FF games too, lol) In my mind, you just have to balance out the time in your life, work, date, socialize, house work all that, and since gaming has become a popular way of entertainment, it is not hard to find out most of your friends play a bit of game here and there also, even for girls. The difference is just the degree of devotion, but thats ok for me if girls just want to play Wii and DS games.

However, I do agree lots of time, I just want to indulge in the RPG fantasy world and stare at the awesome game scene and listen to those emotional game tunes. thats better than anything. lol

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 11/8/2008 2:23:56 PM

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Alienange
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 9:07:43 PM

You friggin' said it boss!

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Aftab
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 2:43:15 PM
Reply

Especially with the online component, gaming is becoming an increasingly social activity. The biggest difference is that you'll never risk contracting an std, or accidentally mowing down some poor soul while driving in a drunken stupor (in real life that is: though I still avoid doing so in games like GTA4). Regarding the relationships, I say to the naysayers, really, how is it more deleterious than internet-surfing, reading, tv, or movies?

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Scarecrow
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 3:24:25 PM

Amen

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N a S a H
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 8:07:26 PM
Reply

Two of my friends actually have girlfriends from XBL. They see each other a lot. Many people mock them about it which is kinda cruel because they both liked each other based on their personalities and not their looks. (how rare huh?)

I don't think the problem is girls. Put yourself in the position of one: Would you rather be with a guy who's on his Computer/Console a lot or one who goes out in the weekends, goes to parties etc.

I've found the perfect balance between the two, but others just go over the top.

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Alienange
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 9:14:07 PM
Reply

I think girls need to think twice about whether they want a guy who parties all weekend or a guy who's home on his computer/console. Guys who party all weekend are more likely to cheat on their girlfriends than the ones who play games all weekend.

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BigBoss4ever
Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 1:59:15 AM

it is very true from that perspective. couch potato is safer than party monster.

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FLYING_APE
Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 7:52:05 PM

Woman don't like a safe man. That's why im not safe. i don't understand why a woman would like a man who plays videogames too much. They prefer a man who they can trust but knows how to have a good time

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LightShow
Saturday, November 08, 2008 @ 9:30:20 PM
Reply

as far as the gaming stereotype applies to parents, my folks are convinced that gaming is an expensive, useless hobby that does nothing for me but eat my time and my cash. They say i should take up a more classical hobby, like bird watching or bug my manager for more hours so I'm busy all the time.

is this atypical? Cause if every gamer under the age of 18 had parents like mine, i seriously doubt that the gaming industry would flourish like it does...

*sorry if i sound whiny, i just bought LBP, much to my parent's chagrin, and got an earful. apologies*

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Scarecrow
Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 1:39:29 PM

Having a job = good

KILLING yourself in a job without a college degree = bad

It's as simple as that, tell your parents that 'till you don't have a college degree you'll take it as easily as you can in your current job(if you have one or are trying to find one).

Seriously, it's not worth killing yourself in a job if you don't have a college degree.

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aaronisbla
Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 12:06:08 AM
Reply

i normally play my games if my wife is sleeping ( im a late night gamer, she wakes up really early for work ), not at home when im there, or if she plays something with me.

i could never put games above social things or her, its not worth it. The game will be there when i get home, parties and things of that nature don't happen all the time

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Joe_III
Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 12:38:20 AM

lies. its easily worth it. like i said a few weeks ago, there are a few things better than games, and the only one more than twice as good is if your wife brings a friend over for a special occasion

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LightShow
Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 6:52:39 AM

thats a nice opinion, joe.

just because you have a different priorities set than aaron doesn't make him a liar...

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FLYING_APE
Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 7:54:46 PM

@joe, i feel sorry for you like arronblablah said videogames will always be there.

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Joe_III
Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 9:19:21 PM

i'm not calling him a liar. I'm just letting him know the truth.

And yeah, VGs will always be there. So will women. It's not like they all disappear after you turn 30.

It's just that with a VG all you have to do to get enjoyment is push some buttons. What do you do to get enjoyment out of a girl?

Feed them, entertain them, listen to them talk on and on about unimportant stuff, yadda yadda...

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clowangel
Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 10:38:47 AM
Reply

Well, this is half-half for me. Being a female gamer, I've run into my fair share of male gamers and practically no female gamers (I can count them on one hand with myself included). Half of my male gamer friends are relatively anti-social or just downright weird. Maybe I just meet all the strange ones, but they're all cool people in their own right. But yes, many of them would forsake going out on dates or just hanging out with friends in favor of holding onto their controllers. Granted I've done the same thing when I didn't want to see some people, but sometimes it gets a little ridiculous.

And they have nothing to add to normal conversation, but when gaming is brought up, they immediately jump in. It's friends like those that drive me a little crazy, and I can't help but get a little violent with them. I'm guessing it's people like them that make the stereotype stick around. Thankfully my more 'normal' gamer friends are quite 'normal'.

Oh, and some people mentioned girls that would threaten guys with the "me or game" thing, and that's even more ridiculous. It's true. I know of girls who have done that, and I stared at them like they were freaking crazy. I mean, there's no way I'm giving up one of my favorite pastimes for some guy. So why would any guy give up their games for a girl? Geez.

Edit: Regarding parents, yes, my parents hate my games and my consoles. With a fiery passion that would likely incinerate my precious Playstations if they were to physically manifest. Even moreso because I'm a girl. Why? Because "games are for boys. You shouldn't be killing things like that. It's unladylike. Why can't you be more like a lady?"

Last edited by clowangel on 11/9/2008 10:43:17 AM

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LightShow
Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 9:08:01 PM

=D k, you win.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, November 09, 2008 @ 11:23:06 PM
Reply

Joe, I gotta say...I really am sensing some bitterness on your part. LOL

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Joe_III
Monday, November 10, 2008 @ 12:47:05 AM
Reply

Bitterness?

Bah. Bitterness is what you kids these days call realism.

Have you guys tried to date for over a year? Trying to find a decent girl, not just the same one? But doing the singles grind? Lemme know when you do.

After dating for 6 months with 12 different women, you'll be broke, know more about menstuation than you ever thought possible, have seen every movie in the theater 3 times over, and have used probably 12 cases of hand lotion.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 10, 2008 @ 10:25:00 AM

I'm 30, chief. I've done all that and perhaps a little more, fortunately or unfortunately. What you say isn't exactly a lie, but it's eliminating any and all good that can come out of dating. The combination of the two; the good and the bad; THAT'S realism.

What you're describing is a defeatist attitude, which goes hand in hand with bitterness.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 11/10/2008 10:25:57 AM

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Joe_III
Monday, November 10, 2008 @ 11:34:46 AM

ok, mebbe i overstated my position a little. But i will tell you that the day i knew i was going to marry my wife i was so happy i could stop dating for good.

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Archangel
Monday, November 10, 2008 @ 4:47:26 AM
Reply

Wow, sounds like you guys have been meeting the wrong girls. almost every girl ive met love playing VG's. I have seperate systems for them to enjoy while i am currently too distracted in my own game. thats until i find a good enough save point or beat the part of the game that satisfies my gaming needs for the moment. a lot of the girls that i know can probably even kick your butts in whatever game theyre playing. i work part time for a modeling agency and we have game systems for the girls to keep entertained while in between their shoots. you wouldnt believe what games they request and how good they actually are. if you dont believe me, i have some import model friends that live for games. i dont know if youve ever been to an MTV awards show or Hot Import Nights event but all they have in the green room or where ever are game consoles and tons of games. i've hosted some game nights at my place before and its tons of fun when girls get into the games and know exactly what youre talking about. for example, my friend Naomi was featured in IGN three times and her modeling website has tons of references to the games she's played and love. you should check her out and if you do then let her know that i sent you her way ;). get at me if you want her website and check out my myspace for more game loving girls.

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