*Disclaimer: This article was written by a heterosexual man. Your crushes may vary.
You’re a teenager full of hormones, idealism, and social awkwardness, fighting to save your world of choice. Things are going great, the bad guys are dying in swathes as you lay down your pixelated justice, when suddenly… there she is. Maybe she’s the princess of a distant magical land, maybe she’s a fearless freedom fighter, or maybe she’s the protagonist’s girl next door. Whoever she is, there’s just something about her. From the moment you see her, you want to step up and protect her. She starts creeping into your thoughts even when you’re not playing. You’re willing to lay down your life - as many lives as it takes, because you’ve got continues - to make sure that this girl lives and gets the happily ever after that she deserves.
And who could blame you? She’s perfect!
For me it all goes back to a game called The Legend of Dragoon , a JRPG that came out in the wake of Final Fantasy VII but never achieved the latter’s widespread popularity, eventually settling in as a cult classic. Fairly early on you meet the protagonist’s childhood friend, a young woman with heart and courage who’s willing and able to fight alongside the heroes, but who keeps just enough of an innocent streak to warm the heart. Her name is Shana, and she was my first video game crush.
“Isn’t that kind of creepy?” some of you ask. Well, no. Unless you’re completely aromantic, odds are you’ve been attracted to a fictional character yourself; if not from a video game, then from a book or a TV show. I mean, just look at what movie theatres were like during Twilight. Or, to look at it another way, have you ever had a crush on a celebrity? You don’t actually know that person. It’s not a real person you’re in love with, it’s the character you’ve created in your head based on that person. So I can almost guarantee that you’ve had a crush on someone fictional. Heck, maybe you still do. I won’t judge. It’s perfectly normal.
So this Valentine’s Day, let’s all take a moment to remember our first loves. While you do, also take a moment to appreciate the writers and designers who were able to bring us such compelling characters. Then, go out (or stay in) and spend the evening with your special somebody. I know that’s what I’ll be doing.
Love is a beautiful thing.
Who was your first video game crush? Is there one that stayed with you more than others? Why? What does your current Signifigant Other think of that? Leave us a comment here or on our Facebook page, and open up your heart!