December 14, 2009

Why I Have Crushes on Fictional Characters

FYI:  This post is spoiler free.  Please keep the comments that way too since I and a good chunk of my readers haven't finished the game.

Alright, in my last post were I apologized for not writing in ages, I admitted something embarrassing.  I'm not sure if all  of you thought it was true, but I know some of you knew it had to be.  And to be honest, I have no problem just saying it out in the middle of the internet.

I have a crush on this guy:

Handsome, no?

Don't worry, I'm not going to be like the girl who dumped her boyfriend because he wasn't like Edward in Twilight.  My expectations are realistic.  I know I'm never getting with this piece of pixelated ass or anyone even close to my expectation of who he really is.  Also, having a boyfriend in real life is a lot healthier.  Sorry, Alistar.

My and my nerd gal pals do this all the time though!  I was writing horrible fan fiction about Chekov from the original Star Trek in junior high!  In fact we all wrote horrible fan fiction about our heart throbs, whether from Star Trek, Pirates of the Carribean, heck even Digimon! Uh, p.s. the digimon is not even me.

But why do us nerd girls even do this?  Why don't we lust over guys that really exist?  I remember it being a lot more normal in jr. high and high school to like an actor, like Josh Hartnett or one of the Backstreet Boys.  But throughout that time I would long for other guys.  There was Checkov, Johnny Depp's Ichabod Crane, John the Savage from when I read Brave New World... list goes on.  And it's not like I didn't have boyfriends all throughout that time.  But I was attracted to all these guys that were not real, and didn't think they'd ever be real.

The question is why would I do this in the first place?  Not like I was ever going to be fully satisfied with these romantics interests, right?

I'll let you in on a secret: these crushes are safe.  S-A-F-E.

Think about it.  All you know about the character is right in front of you.  There are no hidden secrets you need to find out (Dragon age is an exception, but not by much) and it is so much easier to focus on all the positives of that character.  Seriously, right now in game I can just make out with Alistar as much as I want when I am in camp.  And if I was really sick, I could replay all those moments when Alistar says silly bumbling things about being in love with my character. (BTW I'm not that sick)  He's available for everything good you want in a relationship, and barely available for everything bad you have in a relationship.

This is especially true for a lot of my other past crushes.  I had just enough information to be "yeah, this is guy is nice/romantic/endearing/just my type, and I'm sure if we met we'd hit it off"and then just roll with it in my own head.  The guy is never going to approach me, never going to reveal himself to have a secret which I couldn't live with, never going to have to move in with me and split rent and utilities... and he's available to you all the time if your imagination is good enough!  If not, watch the movie/play the game/read the book over and relive all the moments that make you heart go a flutter!

Also, fans who have crushes on characters can easily shape some of the character to fit their romantic liking.  "Uh... sure he likes brunettes.  He does in my head at least!"

In a way this is extremely normal.  Everyone in their head has an idea of who their perfect man/woman would be.  A lot of the time people have a problem projecting their current love interest to be that person, or needs to change to be that person.  In this situation, that projecting doesn't cause fights, misunderstandings, and even break ups.  It's just molding something that already isn't there into your liking.

I have never gone too far with this stuff though.  I have never thought that The Boyfriend should suddenly act like Alistar, or start looking like him.  When I was younger I never though "I should have a boyfriend who is just like John the Savage" or anything remotely like that.  Never even compared my real life crushes to my fictional ones.  That's when it just gets weird.  More than weird.   I have never actively sought that out.  I have known of people who do, and it just ends in tragedy.

I will continue to have my crush on Alistar for a while, I'm sure.  The Boyfriend doesn't feel threatened, since when he's around I shower him in kisses and snuggles.  That's something I'm not doing to my computer monitor.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised that this is only because he's a romance-able character.  Those developers definitely know what their doing.


  1. Hmmm makes sense.

    Sometimes i develop "crushes" on characters belonging to friends around the game table, and i don't even know what they look like (unless the player has a lot of free time and offers pics or artistic renderings...)! They're rarely my "type" of guy, and my characters don't usually pursue them in any way (not their type either!), but i am sometimes guilty of some in-character daydreaming.

  2. uhhhhh agree
    Nathan Drake. full stop.