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Pixelated Lilac avatar 11:51 PM on 01.24.2010  (server time)
Metal Gear Fandom or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Solid Snake

Is this man the pinnacle of sexy?

In the wake of Valentine’s Day (it’s different for me this year – I’ll get to that later) I think it would be a good time to express one’s love for videogame characters. I realize that recently some people have taken their love to astronomical levels, but I think I can openly express their feelings for a character without bending the law and/or the foundation of marriage.

Let me start of by saying: I love Metal Gear Solid. I’ve played the series since I was eight years old and ever since I’ve been hooked. Apart from the numerous t-shirts to the 10 hour Metal Gear Solid 4 session, there is something in my lifelong fandom that I have to say is my craziest form of fandom: my crush on the infamous Solid Snake. Yes, if you must call me crazy, you have the right to, but as a teenager with raging hormones and a Playstation 2, I feel as if I need to really understand and explain this strange but apparent crush.

The original Metal Gear Solid for the Playstation 1 did nothing for me; everyone was blocky and pixilated, the characters shook their heads to speak, and as a 10 year old with an affinity for any female videogame character, I couldn’t help but feel for Meryl more so than Solid Snake. This is not to say that Metal Gear Solid wasn’t engaging because it really was… however I’d like to think I hadn’t quite met the “conditions” to fall in love with anyone at the time.

Uahm… no.

It wasn’t until Metal Gear Solid 2 that something kind of clicked. For one, the improved graphics gave me a better look of the man I was crushing on. As a female who had yet to be exposed to medicated progesterone, I was instantly attracted to the gruff, but professional look of the updated Snake. When ever he talked down to Raiden, it was almost a turn on. I also partially blame the lack of Solid Snake mostly for the beginnings of my crush. The lack of a real romance between him and a female character was also a huge proponent of this crush. Sure, you could get that Easter Egg where Snake contemplates his fondness for Emma, but that didn’t help – see, as a 13 year old with thick glasses, chopsticks in her hair and a hobby of programming her TI-83 Plus during Algebra I… that tidbit had the opposite effect on me. To me, it was more encouragement to love the legend.

Better~! (Although now he kind of looks like a mouthbreathing ape. But I disgress.)

By the time his next game came out, Metal Gear Solid 4(I don’t mention Metal Gear Solid 3 since I felt no emotion for Big Boss), I was 17 years old, dating here and there, and had ran out of the love I had for the character. It wasn’t until I was 18 years old and had my hands on a Playstation 3 that the weird fangirl crush I once had returned. Witnessing Snake’s struggle with the Patriots, Liquid Ocelot and the ever growing stress from his rapid aging. While the ending brought a degree of closure to my ongoing crush for this solider, I still question to this day the integrity of it all. How does all of this really happen?

What you didn’t see: we smooshed later that night. Okay, we didn't. I don't even like Big Boss that much.

The crush could be comparable to an English major falling head over heels for Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights or Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. These people, male or female, find validity in believing that they could be involved in a romance that no other fan could remotely expect from these characters. Many gamers I know believe Snake could never hold a relationship with another human being after the events of Shadow Moses, yet the idea of achieving was a real boost to my teenage girl self-esteem.

Today, I’m in a loving relationship and my lonely teenage crushes are beyond me, yet I still ponder my blind love for this martyr of Foxhound. So I guess what I’m constantly asking myself is: is this crush truly wrong? I make fun of girls who think Edward Cullen is the Morons’ greatest contribution to this Earth, yet I find myself swooning over a gentleman who only exists through videogames. Sure, it’s a bit more interactive than a book, but is having a crush on a virtual character right?

There is some irony in this post, however: I’m writing it in my boyfriend’s bedroom in my Metal Gear Solid 4 t-shirt. I got the 21-year-old college senior into Metal Gear last semester. We’re spending this coming Valentine’s Day finishing up the series in a day we’re calling “Metal Gear Day”.

Eh, I’m blabbering on now. My question to the readers now is: have any of you fellow bloggers had a real in-depth crush with a videogame character? Not just “LOLZ YUNA/DANTE/LEON IS SO HOT I WANT TO BANG HER/HIM!!!”.

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