If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are a single, introverted, heterosexual male. As a public service, we are pleased to present some advice for gamers on Getting the Girl. You can get lots of dating advice out there, much of it conflicting, but you come to Kill Ten Rats because you know you can trust us. Also, we are tired of hearing you whine in /gu about how you cannot get a date.
In this occasional series, we will consider how your experience from games relates to the romantic sphere. None of these may apply to you, but how well have your romantic instincts served you so far? First, let us consider the importance of buffing and equipment.
How long did you spend planning your last character, guild event, or raid? How long have you spend comparing the numbers on templates, drops, and everything else? How often have you started looking for a clean pair of jeans less than ten minutes before a date?
Face it, you spend more time thinking about leveling up than you do about dating. Even if you think about sex constantly, you are not working on ways to get it. You need to start planning ahead a bit, for chance favors the prepared mind.
What happens if everyone shows up for the raid with whatever equipment they had handy and no plan beyond “let’s get Onyxia”? You can wipe IRL, too. You have probably seen it.
Let’s talk equipment. You will not be wearing anything on your shoulders, nor a cape, nor a tabard. Leave the sword at home, too, no matter how cool it looks. While some people can successfully combine mix-and-match armor, you will just end up hideous and ineffective. If your closet is full of t-shirts from anime and They Might Be Giants, we have a problem. Luckily, there are many shopkeepers who can help you get equipment with the right bonuses.
If you need to read this, let us assume that you have little idea about fashion. Conveniently, shopkeepers are quite happy to sell you entire outfits at once. They even arrange them on headless mannequins around the store. Pick your level of formality and buy three. You are just starting out here, so do not trust your intuition on what goes with what; follow the template exactly until you get more experience. This is like when you tell the new guy at the raid to shut up and do what he is told; unless you can solo this raid, take the advice of the corporate shills, since they have spent thousands of hours working on this stuff.
If you are in doubt, ask a female who works at the store for a recommendation. Your future girlfriend/wife will be telling you how to dress for the rest of your life anyway, so start getting used to it now. Do not be embarrassed about asking for help; that is her job, she may be on commission, and who knows she may think it is cute that you are admitting vulnerability and asking for help. No, don’t hit on her. If necessary, write down which garments go together, especially if you want to try these slacks with that shirt.
This may cost a fair number of gold pieces. Luckily, you will not be out-leveling your IRL clothing anytime soon unless you are eating too much. This brings us to our next point: buffing.
Specifically, you may need to get a bit more buff. Gamers, like most nerds, tend towards the two extremes of scrawniness and obesity. Are you Arvid or Dennis? When you spend 30 hours a week online, you have limited time to exercise; your mix of genetics and pizza will determine which extreme you swing towards. There are two dominant approaches to this issue.
The first is to find someone who appreciates that body type and/or loves you for who you are. Obviously, either option severely curtails your dating pool. The former are greatly in demand, so you need great patience. For the latter, you need that foot in the door for them to know who you are. Admit it, you are a shallow hypocrite who is not interested in women of average appearance, but you think all the hot chicks are superficial because they will not give you a second glance. You need a reason for them to give you a second glance.
The second approach is to bring yourself closer to the population median. This will involve some amount of exercise and consumption of non-fried vegetables. Stop drinking (so much) soda. Walking is good. Also, you can use free weights while waiting for a group to form or while flying on a griffin. It may take a while to get in shape, but if you have not yet noticed, there is a grind IRL, too. If you want to take part in the big raids, you need a level 60, and you need to get through the easier raids before anyone will take you seriously at the harder ones.
Consider the short term, what you can do right now for the next opportunity. To put it bluntly, bathe. The one thing that is going to get you furthest is having showered before you go out to meet the world. Yes, you showered in the morning, but do so again before the date or before you go out looking for the date. Again, this is a time when you should not trust your instincts about “clean enough.” Accept that she has different standards about that. Shave, brush, comb, deodorant, etc.
Next, recall what I said about your closet full of t-shirts? If you are pulling your daily outfit from the hamper, floor, or laundry basket, you are not getting your gp-worth from that clothing purchase. You and your clothing should both be clean, and you should at least hang your shirts when the laundry is done. You can learn how to properly fold men’s pants later, but not having a wrinkled shirt helps. Some guys go with the overly busy Hawaiian shirt, so you cannot see the wrinkles, but it takes charisma to pull that off without looking like a dweeb.
Finally, remember that real life is unrestricted PvP. You need to be buffed and in good equipment at all times. You never know when she is going to appear, whoever she is.
These are our basics: dress well, bathe, and exercise. Plan ahead, and if your instincts have not led to success in the past, rely on someone else’s until you learn. In future editions of Dating for Gamers, we can address specifics from these and lay groundwork on other aspects, liking conning and spawn points.
Always remember, never act on anything you learned in a dating sim.