Top 5 Reasons Gamers Need Romance in Their Rpgs

by Zleven on 18/08/2009

Or any other media that you like to delve your imagination into. These are my thoughts on an always serious topic; romance in games. Rpg games to be precise, and while some don’t care either way as long as their game keeps them enthralled with an awesome storyline, I beg to differ just because I can… :)

5. Love/Romance can make our hero/heroine stronger

How many games can you count on your fingers have fallen to this hella simple plot device. While I’m not knocking it too much cause it’s one of my fave cliches. The ole’ “hero gets enlightenment at a crucial point in the story gets me every time”. Whether it be when his woman (usually the female lead) is in the clutches of the big bad boss (or even mini-boss), our hero is usually on the brink of defeat and feeling really, really helpless. When all of a sudden surprise he remembers something from the past, pulls out that ultimate weapon, or even skill and smashes said boss to kingdom come. (An Indie rpg by the name of Romancing Walker suffers from this rule hardcore, probably because it was heavily anime influenced though…)

Ahh I love it. All because he/she really cares for or has some kind of romantic interest in the woman/man. So what would have happened if it was someone else. Hmm would they all be dead? Damn hurts to think about it.

4. Brings a Sense of Hope to us the Gamer

All of us gamers have a real life, no matter how much we deny it. Or lol how much it really is non existent, we as people deal with a lot of things on a daily basis. So when your own life is in a state of disrepair, i.e. bills killing you; schoolwork to much; your boyfriend or girlfriend flipping out on you just because you were a little nervous on going with them to a skydiving trip, after you saw on the news about 4 hours ago how someone died skydiving. Then maybe you need an escape of the mind so to speak. Rpg games do this: stimulation and escapism all in one. On a side note however while we get to escape, our heroes in said rpgs do not. They go through worse trials and tribulations then we do it seems. Such as: how am I going to afford this Teddy Bear for this side event just to raise my relationship points with this person I don’t even like too much? What I have to go on how many dates and give her this woman/guy a gift just to raise 1 heart point? Arrgghh! When will this giant cactus stop following me?

Ahh so many things and so little time that they have to deal with them. (Yeah right they have all the time in the world amirite?) So its upon you the outside person looking in to help our hero get the money for gifts, go on the dates, and kill the annoying cactus just so you can reach the next part of the relationship plot, because honestly when you feel as though there are some things you can’t solve at one time, go back and look for the things you can take care of. That is a sense of hope ;)

(Don’t forget to take a break from games to handle real life too, that’s my disclaimer for the day)

3. Romance Adds to the Story

Believe it or not, (once again my opinion) sometimes the romantic plot is more interesting then the actual full game plot. While I curse the developer’s for making such a hiccup in the game I thought I would so totally enjoy, once it gets to the romantic part of the game I’ll keep playing just to see what will happen next between the two people (if I have a choice) I picked to see if it leads to the infamous happy ending. (Side note: Final Fantasy 8 did this too me almost half way through …weird plot in my eyes) So when our game developer’s pull off an interesting romance between  characters we actually care for, eventually us gamers will not only pay more attention to the game, but we will actually go off and do more sidequests to see what else is available for said characters to see if their character development…well develops more.

An excellent example of this would be Star Ocean 2. While you always had the choice of staying with the original female lead, if you were anything like me you did that once, and then came back to the game just to see what would happen with another woman. God that was a lot of personal sidequests!

2. Women Gamers Like the Romance just as much as (Gasp!) the Guys do!

Now don’t all jump ship on me just yet gentlemen. Can you honestly sit here and tell me that you don’t like a little romance in your rpg(s) to spice things up? Especially since most of us gentlemen have *clears throat* unsavory thoughts about the female lead? Ahem, but I digress let me get to the point at hand… basically female gamers have influenced rpg games over the years as much as… and in some cases (Final Fantasy x-2 anyone?) even more so then us guys.

The girl gamers have been over the years help influence a lot of things. Most guys agree with me when they say if it wasn’t for women I don’t think I would shower every day. Well the same can be said about a lot of the things that we find interest in. Ideas while sometimes totally original, are usually based off of other ideas. So romance has been in books since humans began writing; movies when we made the projector/recorder; comic books and several other types of mediums we share ideas on. So why not put them in our games? Of course the original games didn’t have enough processing power to afford that kind of detail, but after a while when we developed the ability, I’m pretty sure some guy/woman somewhere said lets spice this story up to appeal to the small amount (at the time) of female gamers we have to increase that number. Heh I wonder if they knew that it would be well accepted by us guys too…

Overall I must bring to the table that if anyone here really thought that it was a sausage fest of people at Square, Bioware, or any of these other game developing companies coming out with some really good romance plots in their rpgs…then you will be soon proven wrong (I hope). So while most guys will even go so far as to say women gamers do not exist, let me correct you and say they do and they are behind the scenes helping us make the games a little better, which leads me onto my final point…

1. It’s what makes us human… or just gamers…

Finally the infamous Number 1 spot. While sitting here pondering, and typing up this article I asked my self:

Me: “Self?”

Self: “Hmm?”

Me: “What would be a good topic to talk about on this article in the number 1 spot?”

Self: “Hmm I’m not sure why are you always asking me?”

As you can see I really didn’t get anywhere with that conversation, but shortly after several things popped into my head. Overall there are way too many things to get into so I’ll try and stick too the basics without getting off topic too much.

As the topic title states “It’s what makes us human…”. I’m sure you’re asking well what does that mean Zleven? Well lets delve into this a little. While I can’t speak for everyone I’m going to go ahead and make a general assumption and say that people overall need other people. When I say need, I mean man and woman need each other, and even man-man, woman-woman. Humans psychologically speaking were not meant to be made to be alone. At least in my eyes, we always yearn for the touch or thoughts of another. Gamers are definitely not an exception to this rule. No matter how anti-social we act at times, when we head back to the real world we are usually happy to know that our lover (if you have one…ahem), family, and friends are doing well. Or you can skip all of that and say maybe people just like stepping outside of their boxes and gaming it up.

With that being said, when we do go back into our fantasy game worlds to escape the sometimes harsh hiccups of life, we can relate to what the writers of the story are saying. They take two people make them go through several different trials and tribulations, and we want to see them come out on top. It’s human nature to root for the people who you care for. Add romance to that and you have yourself an almost epic tale if told right. Doing things we can only dream of in our imagination and seeing them unfold in a ‘medium’ we enjoy brings a happiness that is always experienced on a different level for each individual, but always brings about the same state of euphoria in every gamer who enjoys romance, and in my eyes that is a very important part of what makes us human :).

So hope you enjoyed my thoughts. Tell me did I miss anything? Comment and tell me what you thought.

(p.s. I’ll edit my grammar and spelling one day)

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  • Uller

    Honestly, in books as well as Rpg’s, I almost spend more time thinking about the relationship between the male and female than I do the storyline, just to give your argument some credit.

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