There’s a fun new way for gamers to get over a bad breakup. When most gamer guys get dumped, they spend their extra free time clearing out their backlog of games, but not these guys…When these guys got dumped, they loaded up their favorite RPG games to create characters that look exactly like their ex-girlfriends in a sad, desperate attempt to keep these ladies in their lives.
Designing a character that looks like yourself so that you can roam a virtual world full of adventure is just fun fantasy. Designing a character that looks like the woman who left you to keep her in your life…well…that’s just creepy.
Cecilia D’anastasio from Vice had the opportunity to interview a handful of guys that play as their exes in video games to see what makes them tick. She says that some people use it as a way to get more immersed into the game, since they’ll have a personal connection to it. Other guys, however, “enjoy the thrill of subduing and controlling avatars of lovers past.”
One guy in particular, named Hobbes, made an avatar of his current girlfriend in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. His girlfriend watched over his shoulder as the character based off of her was killed. Hobbes told Cecilia that his girlfriend stayed silent after witnesses her digital death, “which said a lot.”
Fast forward to the release of XCOM 2, and he decided to go all-in this time. He thought it would be “fun” to create an entire squad of 10 players, one for each women he has fooled around with. In his conversation with Vice, he said he made an avatar for each of the ladies, “except the crazy or egotistical ones.” After seven of them died, he said that some of those seven deserved a better death. OK, I’m creeped out.
There’s a mod for Skyrim called Natalie, where the creator (named Harris) encourages players to “Enjoy my girlfriend.” The mod replaces a female companion from the game with a life-like copy of his girlfriend. Why? Because his girlfriend would watch him play, and she would get jealous that his in-game character was spending time with a female in-game character.
After about an hour, he created a digital version of his girlfriend Natalie to appease her, instead of noticing the huge red flag which is a partner who gets jealous of a video game character.
To date, Natalie has been downloaded over 10,000 times by Skyrim modders who wanted to check her out for themselves. The Nexus page says that the real life Natalie approves of this mod, however they broke up shortly after it was released.
What do you think about this phenomenon? Is playing RPG games as an ex-girlfriend cathartic or creepy?