"A Pink Carnation & A Copy Of Pravda"
Though essentially solitary by nature, we gamers occasionally like company. What's more, we prefer it if that company is easy to come by. Sadly, thanks to technological advancements in orthopaedic shoes and neck braces, we can no longer spot kindred spirits by their bowed heads and shuffling gaits.
I have, therefore, committed to paper three methods (each having sub-methods) of drawing attention to one's gamer status, without alerting the general public or officers of the constabulary. (I wished I'd written them before an enquiry to a fellow office worker, about him 'being a gamer', was misconstrued as a homosexual advance. If either of us had been gay, the incident might not have been as traumatic.)
I hope that, with my guidance, you may never feel alone again. Do try what I suggest and report your findings back to this electronic noticeboard. I shall ask Certis and Elysium to polish the valves that run it, ready for your tales of success.
Method One: Mention Games In Conversation.
Conversation can be used to let others know of our interests. With gentle guidance, one topic can be steered into another almost imperceptibly. This is an excellent way for gamers to drop hints about gaming and see if those hints are noticed.
Here are examples of tried-and-tested phrases, found during my research, that gamers have used to mention their hobby subtly. See if you can guess the context after the suggestions.
1. "So, Miss, would you like your coffee on easy, medium or hard?"
2. "My promotion meeting went really well. My boss said I'd be levelling up."
3. "I'd like the chicken teriyaki, a couple of California rolls, a miso soup and a side order of shoryuken please."
A. Meeting someone for a drink after work.
B. An appointment with the dentist.
C. Taking a group of zombie schoolchildren to a dark carnival.
Method Two: Express Yourself Physically.
In his opera "˜The Magic Flute', Mozart used a Masonic door-knock rhythm so his fellow Freemasons might notice it. We could learn something from the Masons and Mozart; we could disguise a pattern that's familiar to gamers in everyday actions.
What pattern would gamers recognise? I think the 80s and 90s console "up, up, down, down, left, left, right, right" cheat code would be suitable. Here are some places you could use it. Why not think of your own examples too?
1. Shaking hands.
Move your hand in the directions the cheat requires or, to attract less attention, move your thumb upon the hand that's being shaken (or is shaking you).
2. Adjusting your office chair.
If, like me, you work at different a desk each day, you'll often have to adjust the chair you'll sit at. Changing its height is a good excuse to go up, up, down, down. When you scoot from side to side, claim you're checking the castors.
3. At a gentleman's urinal.
Experiment to see whether you prefer to do the code when angling your stream or shaking yourself down. Remember to act vigorously whichever method you choose.
Method Three: Read Books In Public Places (In Pursuance Of Women Geeks).
Reading makes one look smart. Certain types of book reveal positive aspects of one's personality. Therefore books are an excellent way to alert female gamers (and females in general) to our presence. I shall talk about using books for that purpose.
I've found books to be most advantageous on the Queen's Underground Railway, though they're also useful in doctors' waiting rooms and at wakes. When wanting to be seen reading, it's important that you select the right type of book. For obvious reasons, it cannot be about a games-related subject.
What I do is find a non-gaming book, the title of which says one of three things about me: that I am sensitive, adventurous or intellectual. This will attract normal females. To attract gamers, I highlight individual letters in the title, the combination of which spells a gaming word. (I bold the letters using crayon and shoe polish; you may find your own method).
Here are some examples of titles I've used. See if you can spot the hidden words.
1. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
2. Live and Let Die (Ian Fleming)
3. The Science Of Seduction (Artie Fufkin)
When you have your book and are on the Underground Railway, you must draw attention to yourself and your book. The correct way to do this is as follows:
First, read the book with your arms slightly outstretched; the book's cover should point to the floor at a 45 degree angle. Next, simultaneously cough and flick the book upwards, so its cover is facing the female/s opposite you. Hold the book in that position for a second, then lower it slowly to its previous 45 degree angle. Make an effort to look nonchalant as you do.
Remember that we are never alone; there are gamers all around us. We just have to let them know we're here. I hope my guidance brings you many friends, some of whom you may touch in a special way (permission notwithstanding).