Video game lessons: how not to flirt in real life

Gabriel Knight, Sins of the Fathers, video game, screenshot, Malia, butler
Mass Effect, Femshep, Shepard, Garrus, alien

February is all about #LoveYourBacklog and your pile of video games.

But many people will also be thinking of romance and how to spoil their partner now that Valentine’s Day is here. If you’re looking for guidance though, I’d highly recommend thinking twice before turning to video games for advice in this area.

The course of true love never did run smoothly and that’s certainly the case for our favourite characters. For every protagonist destined to be together, there’s another which seems totally unlikely (I’m looking at you, George and Niko from the Broken Sword series). And for every charming compliment used by a hero to woo their sweetheart, there’s an opposite which is far too cringey.

As someone who’s never been a fan of Valentine’s Day, it’s the latter I’m going to dig into today to give us some light relief from all the hearts and flowers. I’ve trawled through the digital world to bring you some of the worst chat-up lines ever uttered. Try using any of these during a date in real life, and you’re almost guaranteed to end up with your drink being poured over your head.

Dragon Age: Origins

Have you ever licked a lamppost in winter?

I’ve not played Dragon Age: Origins and know little about the game, but I’m aware of the horrible line uttered in the clip opposite. I’m very confused: does Alistair really believe this is a good flirting technique during what could have been an incredibly tender moment? I get the feeling he may have been hanging around with Garrus (see below) for too long and now can’t decide if he’s going for sincere or euphemism. But if it’s the former, please don’t be persuaded to lick a lamppost.



Getting someone to fall in love with you in the world of Fable is as simple as walking up to them and saying ‘Hey’ in a smooth voice with a raised eyebrow. Add a Manly Arm Pump or Sexy Hero Pose, give the object of your affection a bunch of roses or a box of chocolates, and you’re well on your way to marriage. I’m not sure who I’m most annoyed at in this situation. The Hero for being too lazy come up with a less clichéd approach, or every single inhabitant of the town for falling for it every time.

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

There’s something about you. You really touch me.

Gabriel Knight is a total sleazebag who frequently lets his fondness for pretty ladies get in the way of an investigation. He throws pick-up lines at his assistant Grace so often, that you know the first time he meets beautiful socialite Malia is going to be cringeworthy. With lines like the one above and ‘Your legs are so strong, do you work out at one of the clubs?’, he’s lucky she didn’t slap him before kicking him out of her house. I hate myself for it, but there’s something about him I just can’t help but love though.

Mass Effect 3

I’ve got this big gun back at my place I’d like to show you.

I feel sorry for Garrus. He’s one of the best characters in the Mass Effect series and has some endearing qualities that would make a great life partner – but he’s going to struggle finding one because he doesn’t have a clue when it comes to romance. After Commander Shepherd tells him he needs a date and introduces him to a fellow turian at a bar, the only thing he can think of to talk about is gun collection. I’m not sure you could say anything else which sounds more like a euphemism.

Metal Gear Solid

If you make it back in one piece, maybe I’ll let you do a strip search on me.

It’s impossible to say what I dislike most about the conversations in Metal Gear Solid. It could be the way the characters think there’s nothing wrong with calling each other during a top-secret mission and having a chat. Perhaps it’s how Snake feels it’s appropriate to start hitting on the young Mei Ling immediately after being introduced to her, and while others are on the same line. Or maybe it’s the way Naomi fights for his attention by saying she’ll let him do a strip search. Can anyone else feel their skin crawling?

Resident Evil 3

All the foxy ladies love my accent, it drives them crazy.

Carlos from Resident Evil 3 believes he doesn’t need chat-up lines because his sexy accent does all the hard work upfront. So, when Jill wants to ask something, he automatically assumes she’s going to propose a date. Good for her then that she doesn’t react and instead asks him why he has been sent there. Sounds like Carlos has been taking a few too many tips from the Fable Hero above and should really start putting in a little more effort when it comes to his love life.

The Curse of Monkey Island

By my congealed blood, you’ll learn to love me!

Let’s face it: Guybrush Threepwood is a bit of an idiot. He’s sarcastic, insults everyone around him and messes up every plan he’s involved in. Someone as independent and courageous as Elaine would have been far better off with LeChuck thanks to his many positive qualities. It’s never going to happen though. It’s usually a good idea not to remind the object of your affection that you’re a zombie or make them think about your congealed insides when you’re trying to flirt with them.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Is that an ancient Tibetan ritual dagger in your pocket?”

Pete and I have a big difference of opinion when it comes to Nathan Drake. My husband thinks this protagonist is a nice guy with a charming cheeky streak; I think he’s an idiot who has far too much good luck on his side. That’s why I’ll never understand what Chloe sees in him or why she constantly flirts with the douchebag. I’ll give her points though for coming up with a bad pickup-line which references his obsession with ancient artefacts though. And no, I’m not talking about Sully there.

That concludes today’s lesson in how not to flirt in real life. Whatever you’re doing for Valentine’s Day, I hope it involves video games somewhere (and not licking lampposts). And there’s still time to participate in the #LoveYourBacklog event if you’d like to show your gaming library some attention.

About Author /

Spreadsheet lover, video gamer and SpecialEffect volunteer. Goes by the name 'kissingthepixel' online. Lifelong fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.

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