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Alternate Reality: My Love Life Evolves with Mass Effect - Destructoid




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About
I'm a 22 year old gamer living and working in the San Francisco area.

I grew up playing JRPGs so I have an extensive collection of them. My favorites include Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy VII and Xenogears. I also play the Action Adventure genre and First Person Shooters.

Twitter: Chiben6
XBL/PSN: Chiben3

Currently Playing: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Final Fantasy IX
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I've never been great at talking to girls when romance is added to the equation. In fact, I'm pretty terrible at it. It's not that I'm not a social creature. I have plenty of friends (some of them women!). I’m one of those rare people that enjoy giving speeches and presentations. In fact, I would rather give a speech in front of a hundred people than talk to the one girl eyeing me from across the bar. When I do gather up enough courage to talk to a girl I'm interested in, I become an awkward pile of gibberish.

The Mass Effect dialogue wheel would change all of that. What were to happen if the wheel were a tool I could use in my love life? I'd be an irresistible, suave gentleman. My demeanor would be charismatic, calm, cool and collected just like my Paragon Commander Shepard. Here’s why.

I'd have time to think

One of the problems I have when I talk to women is that I'm thinking about a lot of other things. Make eye contact. Don't look at her breasts. I hope my breath doesn't smell funny from that double cheeseburger I ate. I can't believe Angel left Buffy to go to LA. I feel like I'm staring at her. Blink! This means I can only dedicate about ten percent of my regular mental capacity towards carrying a conversation. I'm slower to respond when it's my turn to talk or I respond with something completely uninteresting. By the time I've processed what’s going on she’s already formed an image of me that falls into the “idiot” “inattentive” or “uninteresting” category. I panic and the conversation slips into an awkward silence as I scramble to think of something worthwhile to say.

In the Mass Effect series, when someone talks to me, they don't expect an immediate response. In fact, they'll pretty much wait the length of forever for me to select one of up to six responses. I could go get a cup of coffee or take a poop and ponder what I'm going to say and the in-game characters wouldn't care. Applying that to dating, I could take my time and think about my response to those pesky difficult questions like "tell me more about yourself" and "what do you do for a living?"

I'd have multiple chances

Let's assume I've had my cup of coffee with my bowl of Special K, the coffee hits my bowels and I've taken a dump, all the while pondering what I’m going to say. Once I've figured it out, it turns out "I fucking love magic shows" wasn't the most appropriate response to "tell me more about yourself" and the conversation ends abruptly in a classic crash and burn.



In the real world, my image would be irreparably damaged and I'd be forced to rewatch my Tivo'd episodes of Chris Angel's Mindfreak instead of going out. In a reality augmented by Mass Effect as soon as the conversation ends all I have to do is walk up to her with an expectant look on my face and the dialogue will start at the beginning. This gives me the opportunity to try other options or keep on repeating my love for magic shows, so I can keep on seeing the look on her face.

Getting women interested in me would be as easy.

After I've had my fun abusing the system, getting the girl to be intrigued by my charm would be a simple one step process. If there's one thing I learned from my time with Mass Effect, it's that in order to have a woman fall madly in love with me, all I’d have to do is select the top right option at every possible opportunity. I wouldn't even have to think about what I would say. I'd just keep on selecting the top-right option, and the next thing I know, whatever girl I'm talking to is batting their eyelashes at me. It's an auto-win. Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.



I'd never be rejected

Even if a girl is falling head over heels from my paragon charisma and charm, there's no guarantee that she'll respond positively to an invitation back to my place or a second date. When the time comes around when moves are made, the handy dandy Mass Effect wheel will automatically perform a check against my charm to see if my ability to persuade her to go on a second date with me will succeed. If my charm is high enough, the option will be blue and I know it's time to pull out my mojo. If there's no way she's seeing me and my charm score isn't high enough, the option will be gray and I won't even have the option to embarrass myself with a timid invitation. I'll know if I'm doomed to fail or destined to succeed before I even make a move.

It's easy to bail out of a terrible situation

Now that I know a second date isn't happening, it's time to get out of the situation. If the girl keeps on talking about how her friend Jessica copies her fashion style and how annoying it is, and all I can think about is how I'd rather be watching fat people exercise in The Biggest Loser, I'd have one of two options. The first approach would be to spam the X button to skip all her dialogue and repeatedly respond when prompted with a neutral response. An equally effective method would just be selecting the goodbye option and saying "I should go." The girl wouldn’t care and immediately drop what she was talking about without feeling hurt or angry, leaving me free to do whatever I want. As we established earlier, if I change my mind and want to talk to her again, I can just approach her yet again and the conversation will start over. At that point I can utilize the "X to skip" button again (but being careful so that I don't accidentally pick apathetic responses for my own dialogue) and quickly get back to the point where I left off.



It'd be easy to be romantic

It’s the classic scenario. A woman and I have really hit it off and I’ve offered to walk her to her door. Once we get to the door there’s the awkward good night “should we kiss?” atmosphere. It's a classic courage test to see if the guy has the guts to move in for the kiss. Utilizing Mass Effect’s dialogue system, it’d be easy to be romantic and spontaneous and shit. As she sits there, fumbling for her keys, looking for an excuse to give me more time to muster up the courage to kiss her, I'd see a Left Trigger (or was it Right trigger?) paragon option. Boom, all it takes is a pull of the controller trigger and I've given her a passionate, courageous and romantic kiss good night

I've applied this to my love life, because that's where I could use the most work. However, the possibilities aren't just for the dating scene. The Mass Effect dialogue wheel would take all the pressure off talking to any other human being. It could also be applied to meetings and classes (ever want to spam the X button through one?). Get ready to be an entity of pure awesome in high pressure situations like when the professor asks you a tough question that you weren’t paying attention to (just wait for the subtitles to pop up) or when in the elevator with the company CEO.

I should go.



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