It’s a Fashion Statement!

For all the progress gaming has made in becoming more open to different demographics, the industry still has a silly trend of objectifying female characters. Be it from skimpy outfits, games made purely to sell off sex appeal or women being treated as literal rewards, it’s safe to say we have a long way to go before being accepting of the opposite gender.

While I understand that, in real life, some women enjoy the attention that their bodies grant them, a lot of women don’t derive that same feeling. For some, they wish that their thoughts and personalities would be the attention grabbers instead of their “assets.”

When it was recently revealed that Nintendo had “censored” costumes in the recently released Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water and the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles X,, people were upset. How could Nintendo of America be so ignorant of artistic intent? Why don’t they just let us Westerners have the same content?

While I get that choice is a big part of freedom and freedom is important in fostering creativity, I just don’t see the purpose of the original “uncensored” costumes. For starters, why would you ever wear skimpy clothes into battle? Second, why do the women look like whores when the men look like they are doing a load of laundry?

There isn’t the same kind of representation going on between the two genders. This may come down to me being heterosexual, but I don’t see any of the male costumes inXenoblade Chronicles X as being particularly sexual. The female ones, on the other hand, make the characters look like high class hookers.

The changes in Fatal Frame make more sense as the replacement costumes actually represent some of Nintendo’s franchises. The original costumes are wildly out of place in a horror game, but being able to play a game on a Nintendo console as a Nintendo character fits pretty well. Samus even explores areas similar in tone to Fatal Frame, so that is a double win.

It just plain makes more sense.

The biggest thing we need to look at is whether or not this constitutes censoring. If the developers of the original content have no problem with the change, then no one else should be complaining. I’m fairly certain that Nintendo of America is checking with the respective developers before giving the okay to dramatic changes, but I could be wrong.

There is also the discussion of what is being changed. Having a 13 year old parading around in a thong and bra is a bit strange, regardless of what culture you exist in. Even in Japan, which everyone mistakenly believes is pro-sex, that kind of imagery is looked down on.

There exists a sub-culture of people in Japan called otakus. I don’t believe I need to explain what that is to anyone on this site, but regular citizens don’t accept otakus. They are seen as socially awkward, gross and repulsive. A lot of “artists” manufacture content to manipulate these otakus.

It’s similar to the English term, “trainspotting.” It also blends with “hikikomori,” which is a Japanese term for a social recluse. These people retreat from society for an extended period of time, often living with their parents and taking an extreme obsession with a hobby. That hobby usually ends up being anime and gaming.

Why go outside when my life is all in this room?

The types of costumes that are being “censored” are targeted at these people. It’s preying on the weak to make a quick buck. It’s pretty despicable, if you ask me. It also doesn’t have anything to do with creative freedom or expression.

Another reason for such sexualized costumes deals with Japan’s birth rate. For years now, Japanese citizens have been shunning marriage and dating. Their lifestyles place perfection and job performance above all else. Not being affluent and not attaining the best possible life earn you disappointment and condemnation from your elders.

Japanese citizens don’t have time for silly concepts like marriage and children. As such, the birth rate has been falling. Just last year, the mortality rate in Japan surpassed the birth rate. If the trend continues, the Japanese will become a nation of only adults.

Anime artists and game developers include hypersexualized content to spur arousal in their consumers. While it may inadvertently reinforce negative stereotypes of body image, it’s being done in the hope of boosting birth rates. I’m pretty sure most nations don’t look forward to the day of their extinction.

That’s what we’ll call it!

So the debate about this censorship isn’t black and white. I feel strongly that such costumes should be removed from games like Xenoblade Chronicles X as they serve no narrative intent. If it were Xenoblade Swimsuit Chronicles X(XX), then we’d have a different story.

The same goes for Fatal Frame; those costumes have no purpose being in a horror game. When you go to investigate a scary mansion in the cold wilderness, you tend to dress in layers. I would imagine donning a bikini and frilly skirt wouldn’t retain heat.

Is there ever going to be a correct answer to this question? Not really. Many people hold different values on what constitutes negative or damaging imagery versus playful extras, but we need to get our facts straight. Japan isn’t a sex loving, orgy induced frenzy of a nation.

There is also some reason behind a lot of the content in anime and gaming. Along with that, the hobbies that a lot of us love aren’t necessarily seen in a positive light by a majority of the Japanese.

Whether or not you agree with me in my thought that the removal of these costumes is good, you shouldn’t walk into a discussion without knowing all the details. It’s time to stop spreading false information and getting down to the real core of this topic.

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Someone For Everyone?

This past week, I had taken a long deserved vacation. I went to Anaheim, California and spent some time at Disneyland, as well as venturing further south and visiting Sea World and Lego Land. It was definitely an eventful trip, if a bit predictable.

The most troubling part was the plane ride to the West Coast. Not only do connecting flights truly suck, but I was separated from my family for the second flight. While I don’t mind alone time, I felt a tinge of sadness strike me.

Unable to block out the world around me, I started to eavesdrop on the conversation this older woman and younger lady were having. They spoke about life, love, trips, drugs, sex and romance. To put it bluntly, things I have no relation to.

I felt an intense jealousy as both women spoke of the “loves” of their lives and the adventures they had. Snorkeling in France, moonlit dinners in Italy, flings in Spain; it was basically an amalgamation of every Nicholas Sparks novel.

While I typically don’t care how people spend their time, I couldn’t shake the idea that I had been wasting my life. Very little excites me anymore and I tend to draw a blank on what to do with my day. I like being active, but my idea of a fun day isn’t about meeting people or sharing anything.

I don’t mind taking hikes through the forest alone. I love rock climbing and rappelling. I am enamored with playing video games and working out. These types of things don’t require anyone else to be fun and often are less fun with less experienced participants.

My mind is perfectly capable of rationalizing why I shouldn’t worry, but my heart wants something more. I want to be alone while being surrounded with friends. It’s a strange dichotomy that causes me a lot of hurt.

And makes me stare into scenic backgrounds…

As I sit and ponder why a relationship would even be beneficial, my heart is telling me to get out there and find someone. I don’t even know what I would do with a significant other, but my heart keeps nagging me to get on with it.

I’m not sure if my thoughts are infused with societal pressure or if my body truly wants something. I’ve never been able to express to any woman how I feel about her without some kind of sexual connection. It seems that I truly value sex more then anything else, which troubles me.

Even so, I hear stories of people moving from partner to partner and finding love in peculiar spots and I begin to feel hollow. I have never dated anyone one or gone on a date. Sex only happened because I still live at home, negating the need for me to truly save money. An escort is good enough when you can’t form a solid connection with people.

It makes me sick when I visit most ladies of the night. They are just so disconnected from their current situation. I have only found one escort that makes the most of each moment and I find myself falling for her.

Even then, I still look at other women. I still fantasize about whining and dining other girls and living a life of decadence. I want to be out in the world and getting my fill of adventure and lust.

Then on the flip side, I don’t want to hurt anyone. Sex is a tricky proposition for a lot of people. To the general public, monogamy is the only option. To even question infidelity or dabble with taboo is to be branded a pariah.

I long ago gave up on faith and it seems that I’m now on the cusp of releasing myself from the shackles of normalcy. Obviously I’m not meant to have a regular “American Dream” style life. To be with wife and child in suburbia turns my stomach inside out.

Yet, my heart still wants that. My body keeps telling me to love and be loved. That is nigh on impossible when you have so many social dysfunctions. As I learned last year, I’m autistic; I have asperger’s syndrome, a fairly big social disorder.

While a test concluded that I more then likely have an extreme case of social anxiety, diagnosing an adult with autism is tremendously difficult to do. There are a lot of habitual occurrences that age will help change. One of the therapists at the psyche ward I was sent to even said that the results are no where near 100% accurate.

Why can’t life just make fucking sense?!

Getting that label explains so much about my life. The fact that I can’t make friends, that I am intensely interested in a few things and that I struggle to even speak to people. That autism also covers daily routines and an unwillingness to change furthers frightens me. I’m living a life that I have little power to rectify.

This doesn’t bode well for romance. Most people don’t like someone who is so rote in their execution of life. Spontaneity wins hearts, not comfort. Risk taking and confidence are huge turn-ons, not calculated strikes and logical reasoning.

I am lacking in a lot of ways and don’t quite know how to change. To ask me to instantly mix-up a routine is basically asking me to breakdown. Even when my friend calls unexpectedly to hang out, I tend to seize up a bit and get nervous. I don’t work well with unknown variables.

An ex of one of my friends once said to me, “You haven’t dated anyone because no girl has challenged you.” While I kind of nodded in the moment, those words have never left my mind.

The current apple of my eye is definitely challenging, in more ways then one. She’s an energetic ball of zest that grabs life by the horns and then proceeds to make love to it. She has a past in pornography, a love of the Beatles, an intellect far greater then the average human and looks that could be weaponized. She is far from typical.

On the idea of any kind of future together, she has said this; “Remember how we met.” While this wasn’t directly to me, she is basically stating it for all of her potential clients. If I wasn’t some horny, deep pocketed nerd with a lust going unchecked, would I have ever met her?

If I wasn’t willing to basically bend the law, would I have met her? How does one describe our initial meeting to any potential family and friends? “Yeah, I met my wife a few years ago. I went to her apartment, we introduced ourselves and then had sex.”

Basically like this, but with less clothing and more moaning.

Should any of that matter? As I said, my life is far from normal and I doubt any more therapy or extracurricular activities are going to bring me back to normality. I’m a man who is very damaged mentally and broken emotionally.

I just want to figure out if my heart is making sense. Should I even bother with finding love? What will that do for me? Will I be able to shut off my carnal desires long enough to maintain a relationship? How come everyone else seems to do this so easily?

Whatever the answer, this past vacation just brought up a whole bunch of questions that trouble me. I needed to write this to simply stop the thoughts from swimming in my head. I don’t want to keep things bottled up anymore. That led to my past breakdowns and I’m not going to repeat that routine.

Forbidden Fruit

America has a strange taboo involving sex and pornography. We shun what is a basic human function and need. Everyone likes sex and our brains are triggered to make us want it (sometimes at random). Why do people look down on this?

I can no longer lie about my isolated habits. I play video games, I work out, I go to work and I look at porn. Porn doesn’t control my life, but it is a decent part of it. That habit led me into beds with six different women before I stumbled upon a big discovery; there is a pornstar living in New York City.

Not only is that incredible, to me, but there is another caveat; I’ve watched her videos. I’ve found her incredibly attractive. I’ve fantasized about what I would do with her, if I could only have her for an hour or so.

After I learned that she was close by, I also figured out that she does escorts. My mind was blown. Could I pass up an attempt to be with a pornstar that I’ve actually pleasured myself to? Well, clearly no, as I wouldn’t be writing this blog if I did.

I just never thought that I’d find myself in love with a porn girl. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m very sexually oriented and that I don’t truly believe in relationships.

Marriage seems like a silly concept to me and getting mad over sexual exploits is just futile. People like to mate. But being with this girl, I can’t get her out of my head. It feels like the first time I truly made love to someone. While I’m probably just a small blip on the radar of her life, she has become the most satisfying and interesting love encounter I’m ever likely to have.

I know what her lifestyle is, though, and I don’t feel right having these feelings. I could never ask her to stop just to please me. I’m finding myself getting more and more accustomed to being in an open relationship and allowing my lovers to be free.

I know I wouldn’t want anyone to constrain me to an outdated ideal. Most of the problems that remain in my life are simply from older people attempting to control me. I just want to live my life and have people accept me. I’m so tired of being judged as a pariah.

Obviously this crush I’m harboring for this pornstar won’t last. The two of us come from very different ideals and barely know each other. The only time we have met was this past weekend. Talking to her, though, just made me feel so great.

That look in her eyes was to die for, too. Either she had a blast, or is a phenomenal actress. I can’t say for certain, but I do know that I want to see her again. That has to mean something.

Unobtainable Love

Feelings of love are a very curious thing. They strike without warning and fester without asking. Love drives people to the brink of insanity or brings them to the cusp of ecstasy. Love can mend your life, but love can also break your heart.

I happen to find myself smitten with someone, yet I am utterly confused as to why. This lovely girl is someone I met over the past summer. I worked with her only for a few short months and I did not see a strong bond between us. The best quality about her, for me, was the ease I had in approaching her and speaking my mind.

Regardless, I have not seen this girl since she left work. That was approximately one month ago, give or take a few days. I wanted to say so much to her on her last day, but I held my tongue and wished her luck. There is no need to ruin her perception of me, especially since I could tell it was positive.

Still, this past month has seen me leave one job and become isolated. Wishing I could still have strong friendships at work, I keep thinking about the good times at my previous job. I had worked there for two years and all I can think about is her. Even though I have never spent time with her outside of my job and I actually have contact with a few other co-workers, she is the one I see in my dreams.

I remember the first day I actually worked with her, too. She had come back from another state and was transferring to a school locally. Being away from her family did not bode well with her. She was ringing a customer out and could not remember a few of the PLUs. I butted in, like I tended to, and felt some kind of superiority. She was pleased, but I was just aggravated that some petulant child was given her job back, regardless of qualification.

For the next week or so, I did not introduce myself or even really speak to her. I was not an angry or irate person towards her, but I wanted nothing to do with this girl. I had been working my ass off for nearly two years and had gotten barely any recognition, but this bitch could come back after a year and be greeted with open arms! That was infuriating beyond belief for me.

One afternoon, though, an older co-worker of mine had told me that this girl always loved working with me. She was happy when I provided help and was delighted that at least one of the baggers was able to competently perform their job. My presence, in all likelihood, just made her feel at ease. I guess caring about your job makes others perk up. Who knew?

Well, once I was told that, I swallowed my idiotic and misplaced pride and spoke to her. Turns out we had a few things in common, but not a vast majority of similarities. We both loved the Beatles and that alone gave me plenty of conversational pieces. I actually puzzled her with a few of the songs I recommended and her father interviewed Paul McCartney himself!

Still, I was astonished at how easy talking to her was. I could mention anything and this girl would respond to me. I have never had that happen to me, even with the girl I swear I was in love with. This co-worker shot straight up my list of favorite people to be around, let alone co-workers.

Over the weeks, we spoke more about anything that came to our minds. She mentioned “Portal” and how the game was seemingly difficult to her, which I chuckled a bit. I at least gave her credit for trying and explained that her perceived difficulty was probably just due to a lack of experience. I never belittled her or ridiculed her for not being able to complete the game.

When I mentioned I would be heading to DC for a System of a Down concert, she told me about how she was in love with them in her middle school/high school years. We chatted about some of our favorite tunes and even got another co-worker to add his two cents. The atmosphere shifted from work related tension to jovial fun.

Then one weekend, she had to get coverage for a shift of hers. She had randomly won tickets to a Dave Matthews concert and was not missing the show. That is literally her favorite band in the world. I happily took the shift for her and explained how if Dave Matthews was her thing, I understood perfectly.

Now I personally am addicted to Dave Matthews. Maybe subconsciously I am trying to impress this girl, but seeing as how I probably will never encounter her again, why am I bothering? Is my need to find love so pathetic and nagging that I will fling it onto a person no longer in my presence?

What makes matters worse is that this girl has been dating someone for five years. She obviously is in a committed and happy relationship, yet I keep seeing myself with her. Before I even found out, I told myself that I could see myself being with this girl forever.

That last thought is entirely silly and brainless. How would I even know that I love her? What exactly have I done with this girl to cause such a stir to my heart? What if I am entirely mistaken and just filled with lust?

Speaking of that, this girl really is not a drop-dead diva. While she certainly is a pretty girl and I had a strange infatuation with the way her teeth looked, I could not claim she was a perfect ten. What bolsters her beauty for me is how wonderful she is to be around.

I am not unattracted to her, but I was more intrigued and enamored with her personality than anything. Alas, she is not to be mine and I will more than likely never get these thoughts to her. Even if I could, though, would I want to?

As I have been trekking through the Dave Matthews catalog, one song comes to mind. The love song “Sleep to Dream Her” rings truer for me each day. A tale of a man who cannot be with a woman except for in his dreams; that is exactly my current situation.

I would never force her to be with me, though. Even if I will never be able to say I actually did love this girl, I care too much about her to enforce my own stupid wants and needs upon her.

Hopefully I will be able to tell her how I felt one day, looking back. Maybe when we are old and happy with families and responsibilities, I can laugh to her and recount how I fell head over heels for her. Maybe if I improve my voice, I can sing her the Beatles “Julia,” to which she claims her name comes from.

Whatever the case, I just am unable to remove her from my thoughts. She permeates in my mind and I have not made physical contact with her in weeks. If I ever hear that she has left her boyfriend, though, you better believe that I will make every attempt to cease my lack of “contact.,” even if my means coming back home.

“Girlfriend Mode” My Ass!

Editor’s Note: To Gearbox’s credit, President Randy Pitchford seems pretty pissed about the whole situation. He took to Twitter stating “Borderlands 2 does NOT have a girlfriend mode. Anyone that says otherwise is misinformed or trying to stir up something that isn’t there… The future DLC Mechromancer class has a skill tree that makes it easier for less skilled coop partners (any gender!) to play and be useful.” Pitchford didn’t deny Hemingway’s statement, citing it as a “personal anecdote” and following with “there is no universe where Hemmingway is a sexist – all the women at Gearbox would beat his and anyone else’s ass.” But that still doesn’t change the fact that sexism continues to be an important issue in the gaming industry and culture as a whole.

Developers and stupid comments seem to be going hand in hand these days. First we get Crystal Dynamics shooting themselves in the foot and now we have Gearbox making asshats out of themselves. It’s insane to think how grown adults can’t figure out how to properly speak to journalists about their games.

Still, the most recent instance with Gearbox’s John Hemingway just does not make sense to me. Are the developers intentionally trying to not sell their product to women? When I first read the quick blip for Eurogamer’s article, I immediately thought of a mode where the female character would bond to one character and heal them.

Instead, the gaming world is now treated to something unintentionally sexist. To say that female gamers require additional assistance in their games is ludicrous. If the main idea was to appeal to significant others who are bad at video games, why not just label the mechanic as noob mode?

Still, I’m a white male and I’m getting outraged at something that doesn’t really impact me. I’ll never know what it’s like to be a woman and have people constantly harassing me, so I took to Twitter for some quick comments.

I asked my co-worker’s girlfriend and another co-worker of mine (the now infamous Jozie). Both play games and while they may not be experts or as hardcore as I am, they certainly can hold their own in terms of ability.

As you can clearly see, both aren’t too happy about Hemingway’s comment. While he may not be a ravenous sexist, he certainly is unfounded and ignorant. Just like the controversy over Dead Island and their “Feminist Whore” skill, developers need to realize that in-jokes aren’t funny to the masses and knocks against female stereotypes are unfounded and ridiculous.

To further drive the point home, an old friend of mine was quite the gamer. She couldn’t best me in Call of Duty or Gears of War, but she certainly wasn’t a slouch either. Gaming with her on “Hard Mode” wasn’t some futile attempt to make myself look better. She honestly was up for the challenge and liked not having the game be a cakewalk.

I’ve also known quite a few female workers from local GameStop’s that are interested in some pretty awesome stuff. My best friend Jim’s old boss loved “Dark Souls,” a game that makes most grown men cry. This very lovely girl, Jen, was a huge fan of Fable and Call of Duty and she used to ask me pointers on how to get better, instead of cowering in fear of harder difficulties.

I also recall of two twins who were gigantic Pokémon fans. While that may not be the most daunting of titles to topple, just having the sheer dexterity to finish any of those titles is a pretty monumental accomplishment. I’ve only ever beaten two Pokémon games and I sink hundreds of hours into each.

My point is I don’t understand why developers are still treating women like unskilled peons. According to ESRB polls, around 40% of gamers are women. If you total up all sales of the previous “Borderlands” (as presented by VGChartz.com), you get about 4.55 million copies. Imagine if 40% did not buy the sequel. You’d sell close to 2 million copies less.

That is something that Gearbox probably doesn’t want to face. Sadly, they may see a pretty big decline come September. Borderlands didn’t have the easiest start of any new IP, but it did well on the charm of its gameplay and word of mouth from gamers.

If the new word of mouth is that Gearbox is a bunch of sexist idiots, maybe Borderlands 2 won’t sell so well. While I can’t predict what will happen, I will say that developers need to start treating their potential customers a lot better.

Enough of the bullshit where women apparently suck or that being offended is solely your fault. Start thinking about what you say and maybe I’ll give a shit about your work. Until then, you’ve lost a prospective customer.

Cate Archer isn’t pleased.

Talking Bout Your Sex Appeal!

Tomorrow sees the release of Suda51’s newest title, Lollipop Chainsaw. I know very little about the actual gameplay and there doesn’t seem to be any extensively in-depth previews on the internet for me to read. All I really have to say about the game is, “I FUCKING WANT IT!”

Why is that? For once in my life, I think I’ve fallen for the “sex-appeal” angle of marketing. It’s terrifying to me as I’ve never been prey to such stunts, but it looks like WB Interactive was won the war this time.

Juliet Starling is so outrageously sexualized that one cannot help but be entranced. The art designers went with blonde hair for obvious reasons (Blondes have more fun!) and even gave their character an excuse to wear practically nothing by designating her as a cheerleader. It’s all too damn clever for me to not fall victim to.

It doesn’t help that the real life analogue of Juliet, the fabulous Jessica Nigri, is a bomb shell. Jessica isn’t sexualized, but taking a look through her cosplay resume reveals that she isn’t afraid to show off her “assets.” It’s insane how uncanny the resemblance is between Jessica & Juliet is. They are equally as attractive.

Still, I feel a bit remorseful for objectifying this woman and the character in the game. I should be able to look past such things and notice what the game is actually all about. I’ve been able to do it in the past and I still look at other games with clear sex symbols for their gameplay.

The only other character that has been able to slightly breach my mind is Morrigan Aensland from “Darkstalkers.” Her entire existence is as a sex symbol, being that she is a succubus. I’ve let that one slide as an unsexy demon wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense in the lore of the series. Then again…

Be still my gentle heart…

It doesn’t help that Ms. Nigri has also cosplayed as Morrigan, so I think this whole fusion of Juliet and Jessica was just meant to happen. I was meant to play previous Suda51 games and have excitement for his new title on pure name alone. Not only that, but these two super-sexy and drop dead gorgeous women were destined to be marketed to me.

I just wish I could separate my hormonal mind from myself long enough to know if “Lollipop Chainsaw” is even going to be worth my time. I’m sure at some point during the game I’ll be able to disconnect my mind and sex-drive long enough to know whether I’m enjoying the game or merely the “eye candy.”

Then again, is it really wrong for me to have a crush on a game character? Considering the situation of my life, love isn’t something that comes around often. Maybe having someone to idolize whom I can’t actually impose danger to isn’t so bad. The only thing that could go wrong is that I get sucked into a fantasy which I never leave.

I don’t really see that happening. I’ve always been able to differentiate between fact and fiction ever since I was a child. At the tender age of 8, I was slaughtering people in “Mortal Kombat 3,” but I’m not a merciless killer. I’ve been stomping on Goomba’s since I was 4, but I’ve yet to jump on someone else’s head.

As I grow older, though, I thought I’d have a better shield against juvenile marketing campaigns. While sex clearly sells and I know about its importance in life, the marketing for “Lollipop Chainsaw” is a bit tasteless for me. That’s the whole problem though.

Well, whatever the case, I’m excited for the game and I’m wondering if anyone else suffers this same dilemma. Who else wants Suda’s new game, but only based on sex appeal?

I’ve Fallen Again…And Hard!

It seems I’ve done it again. I’ve fallen hard for my old friend. Snake just has a way with words and his blue eyes are so enchanting. Yes, I’m talking about Metal Gear.

This past weekend, I beat “Metal Gear Solid 3” again. Long considered my favorite of the series, I was eager to jump back in when I purchased the HD Collection last month. Finishing off my plate of titles from 2011, I immediately threw the disc into my PS3 when I had a clean slate.

That’s not the only thing I’m falling for. No, just like all those years ago, I believe I’m coming down with a case of love sickness. My recent efforts to expand my rapport at work have led me to develop a lust for one of my co-workers.

If any of you still haven’t played MGS3, then I apologize for any spoilers. Considering the game is now close to 8 years old, though, I don’t believe I’ll be including any tags. Your only warning rests here.

My first time with the game was in 2004, when I was a Junior in a brand new high school. I had trouble making friends and since I was depressed beyond reason, I actually couldn’t muster up the will to even play the title. I was content with having it and Metroid Prime 2 become bookends.

When the New Year rolled around, I began talking with my now best friend, Jim. I mentioned that I had gotten MGS3 for Christmas and his eyes lightened up. He was in love with the series and demanded I play the game.

Well, I somehow got myself to suffer through the awful camera and I became entranced. Nothing was stopping me from fully loving this title, even some of the hammy dialog. I experienced all the highs and lows that Snake did. I cried multiple times throughout the plot.

When it was all said and done, I went back to Jim and professed my love of the game. We quickly became close friends and haven’t faltered that badly in the years since. Well, it couldn’t have been too troublesome as Jim is almost as close as family to me.

During my journey, though, there was a girl I had admired at school. While it wasn’t on the same level that I would eventually have for the girl the following year, I was fairly smitten with her. Sadly, I only admired her from a far.

Every chance I went to speak with her, I would freeze up. I didn’t possess the courage to simply talk to her. I would talk to my friends about how I thought she was beautiful and I would fantasize about her during class. It was simply a voyeuristic lust.

Now, my current situation isn’t anything like this. I’ve actually spoken to my fellow co-worker, so that’s already a step ahead of my 16-year-old self. Still, the types of conversations I’ve had with my co-worker aren’t exactly what you’d call romantic.

She will sometimes mutter to one of our superiors about how she wishes she had a boyfriend or could spend her time with someone. Even today, she made some crack about being alone with a box of chocolates. I never really know exactly what to say to these quips.

When she’s busy with customers, I sometimes catch myself staring at her. I’m taken back by how alluring and magnificent she is. When she talks, I fall on her every word, though not enough to reveal my hidden interest. I try my best to brighten her day, even if my advice is often too truthful.

This makes me think back to the character of Eva from MGS3. While she doesn’t come into play until around halfway through the game, she is quickly established as a love interest for Snake. The funny thing is, though, that Eva has no true interest in Snake.

My attraction back in 2004 felt like his, but is now perfectly summed up by my current desire. Snake knows how to get Eva’s attention, but it’s not exactly for the reasons he would like. Eva will carefully listen to Snake, but only because she’s a damn triple agent looking for any details.

At one point, she even removes most of her clothing to tempt Snake. Well, forgive me for taking Snake’s side, but a man can only be pushed so far. Thankfully, my co-worker hasn’t revealed any part of herself to me (or maybe that’s bad…).

Diving back into the jungles of this game couldn’t have happened at a better point in my life. My maturation has let me see the game in a new light, but the ties to my past within my present are keeping me fully engaged.

I’m not sure if my chances are any better currently, but I do know that lust is taking over me. Just like Snake, I’m craving the attention of someone who probably won’t discern the same emotions.

For the hell of it, I’m going to re-re-beat the game. And, for once, I may finally talk to a girl about my feelings. Maybe she’ll be able to see through my rough exterior…

While I can’t say for certain that my feelings for her are strong, I can claim certainty about my love of MGS3. I will always love this game, regardless of where my life takes me.

I will always love this face paint, too!