What Video Games Taught Me About Being a ManBy Miodrag Kovačević | December 17, 2011 | Features | 1 comment | Share
As a gamer, I rarely make contact with the outside world, unless I have a veil of anonymity to protect myself from possible physical and psychological attacks. However, sooner or later, I will be faced with a situation where my masculinity will be taken to the test and my life may depend on it. Maybe there’s a zombie apocalypse and I’m in a party consisting almost entirely of women. Maybe I need to wrestle a bear. Maybe I need to kill an invading army of aliens. What do I do then? The only sensible thing: recall a lifetime of video game knowledge and draw upon it, showing myself off to be the ultimate alpha male, only second to Freddie Mercury.
Real Men Quote the Classics
Learned from: any FPS with a moderately witty protagonist.
Real men do not compare themselves to other real men, but we respect their work. We respect every boomstick-wielding hero, every archaeologist fighting Nazis, every man who went against all odds. We show that respect by quoting their words of wisdom. When we’ve just spent an entire residential block’s worth of ammo, we quote McClane. When the barrel of our shotgun still emits the invigorating scent of gunpowder, we quote Ash. We don’t need no sissy poets or playwrights with some fancy pants old English to show how refined we are.
Lesson: Hollywood is all the literature you’ll ever need.
Real Men Get Close and Personal
Learned from: any game with melee execution moves.
Hide? Keep our distance? Screw that! Here’s what you do: take something sharp or blunt and ram it into any creep that looks at you in a funny way. Don’t have anything sharp or blunt? Use your bare hands! Do you know why real men were real men? Because they were insane enough to throw common sense out the window and risk their lives to look awesome instead.
Lesson: the rule of cool is your kevlar. Go rip some heads off with your teeth.
Looking Death in the Eye Is Just Another Opportunity to Be Witty
Learned from: so many action games…
This is it, the big fight. It’s you and the big bad. He overpowers you in every way that counts: equipment, strength, speed and smarts. He can crush you just by thinking about it. You are suffering from blood loss and are barely standing. Do you give up? Beg for mercy? Just go with it even though you know you’ll die? Fuck no. When he takes his golden polynomial tesla bolter chainsaw bayonet and aims it at you, you tell him: “You can’t make up your mind about your gear in bed either?” Oh, snap!
Lesson: there’s no such thing as an inappropriate one-liner.
Crying is for Wussies, Brooding is for Men
Learned from: every single deep and manly game.
Real men don’t cry. Ever. You know what we do? We sit there, we look through the window and we contemplate. We reflect upon our own shortcomings, our own mortality and inability to protect those we love and hold dear. When asked what we are doing, we disregard our own tragedy with a dismissive hand wave and say “Nothing”. If people start showing concern for our emotional state, we say “Whatever”. We brood. If we were to cry, that would garner attention and invite others to get involved. No, real men carry the burdens of their past alone. They push away the world as to avoid harming it. So, yeah, whatever.
Lesson: real men do not weep, but their souls do.