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Dear Fruitman... - The Atari Times

Dear Fruitman...

Matchmakers Rn't Us
by Fruitman

November 2, 2001
I need a girlfriend 16-20 who's an Atari Jaguar freak like me. Can you help me?



Dear Luke,

Probably the most popular women's Atari game, Centipede.

Boy, you sure did ask a tough one, didn't you?

Generally speaking, women don't like video games. Let's face it, how could a woman, who has been conditioned to like dolls and tea parties, find blowing away aliens enjoyable? Mindless violence is not something that appeals to them. You'll just have to get used to that. However, there are two video game genres that do appeal to most women: Action and puzzle games.

Take for example Centipede. One of the few games that is almost universally enjoyed by women. The controls are easy, the graphics are simplistic (even for 1980), and the goal is simple: Survive! Anyone who plays it will feel a rush of excitement as they roll their blaster around the screen avoiding the crazed insects. This is a game that anyone can play.

So, why isn't Millipede as universally accepted as Centipede? It's basically the same game, only with more insects, more action, and a bigger trac-ball. The reason is overload, my friends. Too much of a good thing isn't necessarily a good thing. With Centipede, there are only four insects to deal with. Millipede can get confusing with all the different bug types and what they do. Now, that's not saying that women can't handle a lot of things at once. Far from it! In fact, I've yet to meet a woman who doesn't have at least ten things going on in her life at once. But when it comes to video games, women don't want to add any more complexity to their already overloaded lives.

Yes, the REAL Tetrisby Atari Games. Not that Nintendo bastardization.

Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man are other examples of simplicity over complexity. Jr. Pac-Man, with all the extra levels, scrolling screen, and bouncing toys that change the dots into super dots, is not as popular as the original, simpler games. But there is a fine line: The original Pac-Man is not quite as popular as Ms. Pac-Man. My theory is that the more colorful graphics and four screens is more appealing to women than the original. Not to mention that the title character instantly makes them curious.

Of any game in all of history, none has had the mass appeal of Tetris. This puzzle game has broken the barrier of video games for women. They love this game. But then again, who doesn't? The rules are simple to understand, the graphics can be nice in certain versions, the action constantly builds, and you only have yourself to blame when you screw up. (Not like most other games when guys kick the machine!)

So Luke, here's my advice to you. Don't spend too much energy looking for a girlfriend who is a Jaguar fanatic. Because you probably won't find one. In fact, don't spend too much time looking for a girlfriend who likes video games. Because you probably won't be able to find one of those either.

However, if you do happen to find one, do these things immediately:

  1. Kiss the ground that she walks on.

  2. Buy five lottery tickets.

  3. Book a trip to Las Vegas.

  4. Quit your job.

  5. Look both ways before crossing the street.

  6. Email me and let me know if she has a sister.

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