I've often said that although gaming has become mainstream, the thoroughly out-of-touch remain annoyances and even hindrances in the lives of gamers. For this editor, tonight was a prime example of how far we've come…and how far we have yet to go.

So I'm at the mall – not a place I necessarily wanted to be, but I needed to pick up something before the weekend – and although I anticipated a crowd, I figured I'd just run in and run out. It'd be a pain-free endeavor and if the mob wasn't too bothersome, I'd even stop by GameStop to consider an impulse purchase (which likely wouldn't happen, but humans have the tendency to make plans that never come to fruition). But on the way to my initial objective, I feel a light tap on my shoulder and I turn…lo and behold, it was my ex, who was looking all radiant in a bright red sweater, tight-fitting jeans, and long black hair held back in a loose ponytail. The cold had reddened her cheeks and two thoughts hurtled toward each other in my head, on a deadly collision course. Thought 1- "Damn, she looks great." Thought 2- "Damn, when she turns to walk away, I'm going to trip her." The result? The two thoughts collided and I was left smiling and shaking her hand like an accommodating idiot.

Now, although I hate to do it, I need to break off on a wee tangent so the reader can fully appreciate this encounter. We were together for a few months during the summer, and throughout that expanse of time, things were relatively relaxed and laid-back (I don't do it any other way). She never really understood what it was I did for a living, but at the very least, she accepted it and was even willing to learn more about it. She is not the kind of girl that grew up with video games; she was the Homecoming queen of her high school and went to college in Florida. She's now a legal assistant and of course, has aims of becoming an attorney in the next few years. Thing is, I don't really date much, but "smart" and "beautiful" don't typically go together, and besides, she's the one who first pursued me . Arnold knows more about this story, and he also knows basically why we broke up. I'd rather not get into it, but let's just say another guy was the catalyst.

He was only one of the people she considered a friend who I absolutely abhorred, primarily because they all slowly poisoned her mind throughout the course of our relationship. The lawyers she surrounded herself with, perhaps not surprisingly, looked down on my certain position in life, and most certainly believed she should be with someone better. They continually made "polite" insinuations that it "wasn't healthy" for someone my age to still be playing video games – a sentiment that makes me seethe more than just about anything – and in the end, I couldn't combat the deluge of negativity. She saw these people every day, especially this one guy who I met briefly, and although she said they never had an impact, I knew they did. So anyway, this one guy in question – we will call him Mr. Pretentious Jackass for now – had the gall to talk down to me the entire time we all went to a movie together. I won't repeat some of what he said, but one thing was when we were leaving and he saw my 350Z. He paused and said, "hey, you know, when you're doing better, I can give you the name of a Mercedes salesman who's really cool."

I'm not a violent person, but he's lucky he survived that comment. Not only would my Z have toasted his slow-ass E-class, but I could've twisted this idiot in knots… The mere fact that he figured he could torment me, despite the size difference, was a testament to his supreme state of mind: "I'm a lawyer; he can't hit me." My ex didn't really think any of this was a big deal, which is what eventually ended the relationship. So anyway, back to tonight, she's standing there and we're making small talk (the kind of small talk where you want to wince and die, just because it's so trivially stupid), and guess who shows up by her arm? Ah yes, Mr. Pretentious Jackass. His first words- "hey…still playing with your toys?" It was actually comical. He says this, nose in the air, looking up at me from his slight 5'9, 170lb. frame, me contemplating the sound of broken bones as I look down from my 6'3, 230lb. – and may I say at this point, quite powerful – frame. I've been an avid weightlifter for 7 years and this guy has never picked up anything heavier than his briefcase. Which, by the way, probably held nothing but crackers. Idiot .

So yes, no matter what I did, I could not battle the stereotype that, quite honestly, had a hand in actually ending a relationship. No matter what she saw, no matter the evidence…I was still just an 11-year-old in a 30-year-old's body in their eyes. My past didn't even factor in. My Psychology degree, my publishing history that involves four newspapers, one magazine, three websites, 100+ feature articles for places like FOX, industry experience in music, comedy, and television, and high-profile celebrity interviews; it was all irrelevant. I even had the upper hand going in , as this girl honestly didn't have a problem with any of it, but the power of suggestion from that circle of legal geniuses permanently altered her outlook. She didn't even blink an eye when the "toy" comment was uttered, and that simpering smile still sat plastered on her face. Her Armani-wearing friend there didn't even have the respect to laugh or eye me nervously; it was a legitimate shut-down insult designed for no other reason than to injure.

My response to this whole thing? Eh. If this was 5 or 10 years ago, I might've reacted differently, but when someone is my age, one should be content with their lot in life. Or, if not content, at least secure in who they are, and I walked quietly away from those two, firmly acknowledging the following facts:

A. I've worked hard to forge a writing career for myself, and while I have many more goals, I am proud of what I have accomplished so far.

B. I've rubbed elbows with certain people Mr. Pretentious Jackass has probably only had wet dreams about.

C. Physically, I'd own that fool. Mentally…I'd own that fool .

D. She came up to me , and I broke up with her .

Yeah, that's right. Bitch. 😉 The rest is all quite obvious: although I'd like to say that game journalism is as equally respected as any other writing profession, it's not. Sadly, we still have a loooong way to go.

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WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Good story Ben, and a perfect example of how the holidays can suck. Too bad you couldn't reasonably have popped his little head like a zit, but there's no sense getting sued. What a tool.

Tim Speed24
Tim Speed24
11 years ago

I run into that all the time. I'm a 40 year old gamer but feel ashamed when I mention I own a PS3.

I would have tried to turn this on the Lawyer and say that he's been missing out on some great entertainment. What does he do, watch TV.

MetalHead09
MetalHead09
11 years ago

timster never feel ashamed of being as gamer. those fools out there have no idea what their missing and not to mention we probly are a part of one of the most technilogically advanced and fastest growing industries on the planet. be proud man. i dont hide that im a gamer, i wear a cheat code central shirt sometimes and if i had a PSXExtreme shirt id wear it to. hold that gamer head high dude.

Buckeyestar
Buckeyestar
11 years ago

I am not a violent person, I'm a pacifist actually, but I would have been hard pressed not to just pop that guy or at least put him in his place. Kudos to you. You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
11 years ago

I can't believe you didn't make mince meat out of him. You should've said something. Dammit, go on AIM. Now I'm pissed off. Hahahaha.


Last edited by ArnoldK PSXE on 11/28/2008 10:41:44 PM

chilker
chilker
11 years ago

Mean people suck.
I hope you find/have found someone who can respect what you do.
Good luck.

eLLeJuss
eLLeJuss
11 years ago

Nice story. So Arnold is a lawyer??? hahahaha.. just playin Ben :P. i wouldnt have restrained myself if that sorta thing happened to me..

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
11 years ago

Funny you say that. I actually got my Bachelor's in Political Science, but chose not to go to law school. I am rather well versed in the field, but ultimately decided it isn't for me.

eLLeJuss
eLLeJuss
11 years ago

awww.. If i made it that far i would've continued to law school. But yeah, doing something your not really interested in is pretty hard.

AntDC
AntDC
11 years ago

Shot Ben. Lawyers hate being ignored. Walking away was probably the most effective thing you could have done. And I can totally relate to the "kind of small talk where you want to wince and die, just because it's so trivially stupid".

eLLeJuss
eLLeJuss
11 years ago

LoL. Ben, you should've told him this part "this guy has never picked up anything heavier than his briefcase." when he said the thing about the toys..:D

jaw2008
jaw2008
11 years ago

Why in hell do people think "Gamers" are always the fat ass people who do nothing in their life.

eLLeJuss
eLLeJuss
11 years ago

ok ben, give us a picture of him. And we'll handle the rest. bwahahahahahaha

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

That'd be entertaining. 😉

eaglebaize
eaglebaize
11 years ago

Kudos to you for walking away. I know it's hard, but there's no point in wasting your time with idiots like that. Sure, he can say, "Well I have a degree in *blahblahblahblahblah*," but really, a formal education in law or whatever doesn't always make someone "smart." In plain English, he's just a cocky person that's possibly insecure.

Jed
Jed
11 years ago

I think I went to high school with that guy…

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I think we all did.

Schmitty
Schmitty
11 years ago

i would of punched that b**ch in the face… i freakin hate lawyers….and the thing is lawyers arent cocky and insecure ther just cocky they think ther hot sh**….

Schmitty
Schmitty
11 years ago

sry for language but people like that piss me off

HUSO
HUSO
11 years ago

hehehe would have loved to see u break a ps3 over the fool's head 😀

tlpn99
tlpn99
11 years ago

What a waste of a PS3 lol but would have been funny to see.

tlpn99
tlpn99
11 years ago

Fair play to you though Ben for being calm and restrained. I know it's something I would not have been able to do I would have chinned the cheeky bugger lol 🙂


Last edited by tlpn99 on 11/29/2008 2:03:43 PM

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

I, myself, would've used a 360. But, point taken.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Nah, the PS3 is heavier. But I'd rather get rid of the 360 first. LOL

QuasarSquirrel
QuasarSquirrel
11 years ago

After seeing all the punishment a PS3 could take on that X-play episode with the Human Wrecking ball guys, I'd use it. I'm sure it'd still work afterward.

Arkhon
Arkhon
11 years ago

Break a Gamecube over the guy's head, then give the PS3 to me. Seriously, I need one. I feel like a noob.

BigT_1980
BigT_1980
11 years ago

So Ben you should told this tool to take his Amercronie & Fitch wearing Giorgio Armani cologne bathing Super Cuts hair cut wearing douche bag to go home go home before he misses his favorite episode of One Tree Hill.

King James
King James
11 years ago

He couldn't come at me like that, Ben. You betta than me b/c I don't tolerate no one talking to me like I'm less than a man. But I guess that's that extra 8 years of living u got on me. I may have not gone straight to the hands w/ dat a-hole, but I would've definitely beat him up verbally. Then as soon as he touched me…"Two pieced his face w/ the biscuit and the pepper on the side"!…LOL

Ahhh, Words are weapons.

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

I prefer the London-kissah !!!(aka "head-butt")

Kiengo
Kiengo
11 years ago

I never pictured you in my mind as a weightlifter. Cool. Maybe you can give me a beginner's routine through PM or email. Anyways, I'm sorry the trip to the mall was such a negative one. Your actions showed class though, and that's a lot more important than being a lawyer. Remember, we love ya!

The_Chimeran
The_Chimeran
11 years ago

Haha. Good read, I've always said that knowing your the better person is best.
It actually kind of reminds of this vid:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpog1_NFd2Q
you guys should check it out (It's the best argument against a lawyer I've seen).

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
11 years ago

I have been in that situation ben, with my wife and a co worker of hers. When i asked her to marry me and she told her co workers about it, all were happy except one guy.

He knew i play games as a hobby and tried to fill her mind with all types of garbage. So one day while i was picking her up, lo and behold, this guys walks right in front of me and says congrats, not knowing that my then fiance told me everything.

So i confronted him, im not 6'3 but i sit at 6'0 around 260ish. It was one of the few times i just had to use my size advantage to mess with the guy, those who know me know i wouldn't fight unless it was needed. I scared him pretty badly but i didn't hurt him.


Last edited by aaronisbla on 11/29/2008 12:43:37 AM

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
11 years ago

also if she is hot, id say you should still go for it.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Thanks for the responses, peeps. While I know I did the right thing, I've been fuming all night. I had to go blow sh** up in Dead Space (that boss at the end of Chapter 6 ruled, but 2 of my 4 weapons were useless against it so it was tough).

Arnold, I'll still be pissed same as you tomorrow. So I'll be around…there's a small follow-up to this story I gotta tell you about, anyway.

Tatsujin
Tatsujin
11 years ago

Lol, take it easy Ben 😛 Who gives a flying rats ass about anything (If they were in your shoes) you got a bad ass career that anyone would probably want (even that twig of a lawyer) and your the one thats making the fame…

Hes probably just insecure about himself ;), anyways nice story and peace!

DIsmael85
DIsmael85
11 years ago

Crazy story Ben. My girlfriend of about 8 years broke up with me just a month ago. Scarecrow on here knows I talked about her a lot, loved her with all my heart. I never could figure out exactly why she did it, but maybe my gaming habits may have had something to do with it, Im not 100% sure. It hurts like hell to think about it, and I try my best to move on. Coming here and reading what you write is awesome, and these types of things are inspiring to me. Even though I dont know you personally, you seem like a damn good person and would be an awesome friend. There's this girl who is new at work, and she's pretty cool, and after about a month of not making friends with the opposite sex, I'm thinking it's about time I see other people, so Im thinking to ask her out, especially to make up for her birthday she spent alone. Life can be cruel, but we all make it. It's funny that way as well.


Last edited by DIsmael85 on 11/29/2008 4:09:17 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

8 years? Wow man…although I'm qualified to be a marriage counselor (rather kill myself, but whatever), I can't say I know what it feels like for such a long-term relationship to end. All I CAN say is – and I'm sure this comes as little consolation – is that time really DOES heal all. The rule is proven in this way:

Even when people are absolutely crushed after a break-up and could never fathom in a million years that time won't help much, they're the ones that quote this same piece of advice to you a few years later. 😉

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

Ismael, if it's just been a month after 8 years, don't. Figure out yourself first, otherwise your past will show again, only the new person will call it "extra baggage".

Phoelix
Phoelix
11 years ago

As much fun as it would have been to jack the lawyer in the jaw, that would have been the worst path of action. All of you guys encouraging violent acts upon the man are just proving that gamers really are neanderthals. That's not what we want to tell people, is it? The best way to get video games considered legit is to make ourselves legit. I applaud you for your actions, Ben, but I advise you not to waste another second of your time on that girl or that guy. There's a reason why you broke up with her.

As far as gamers go, we're all oppressed here; my mom is livid when I buy a game, but doesn't care if I go to the movies, eat at a restaurant, or spend my money in any other way. She also wouldn't care if I just laid on the couch and watched TV all day. Just as long as I'm not playing video games. But I can't just get mad at her and fight her over it. That's just make the situation worse.

And I would like to add that, yes, it is ridiculously easy to, when confronted with a man who thinks he's smarter than you, want to clean his clock. It's just instinct. Just don't let it get out of hand.


Last edited by Phoelix on 11/29/2008 1:20:41 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

I wouldn't get mad and yell in your situation, but I would most certainly try to calmly educate my mother on the matter…

MRSUCCESS
MRSUCCESS
11 years ago

Ahh running into ex-girlfriends. It can truly be very awkward and leave you wondering "why did I run into that ****?" all night long.

Dead space huh? I'd just play Warhawk and do what I do best, kill others on land or air. Don't let it consume you though, I'm sure we can both agree you're better off without her.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Sounds like he's lacking in a certain department, I just saw a TV commercial for a gift you could send him. Gift wrap a bottle of Extenze and mail it on over 🙂

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

LOL Gift wrap!

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

Classic.

Jed
Jed
11 years ago

That would be fu**ing awesome.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

Girls are dumb and indicisive, specially in the US.

In countries like japan trivial stuff like hobbies don't get in the way of relationships I'm sure.

The US culture is messed up, sad, very sad.

Reccaman18
Reccaman18
11 years ago

Thats why I love Asian girls! lol

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

"Still playing with your toys?"… I would've been like, "Nah f*ckhead, your playing with them, now. Enjoy… I know I did." But that would've made me the bad guy, too.

But, Ben, you are a gentleman, and proved you are the bigger man (in more ways than one). The guy was just jealous, and furstrated which shows the benz, the suit, the girl can't make up for certain short-comings. And you know what? The look he gave you shows that he was afraid, and still wrestling with a past which the girl had that he can't get rid of. Those guys try to compensate for certain insecurities all their lives, until even the ones they live with get sick of it. Believe it or not, secretly the guy envies you: You live your life as you like, and by your own terms. It's a f*ckin' rat-race, and anyone who is not stuck in it is admired by everyone who is, including the girl, and even him. You are free, and they are envious. And lawyers hate lawyers. At the end of the day, the last person anyone wants to come home to is someone who reminds you of work!!!!
Now regarding the girl… you've been saved. Nothing against professional women, but a lawyer can only be a part-time spouse, at best. Now if you broke up with her, she was trying to show you off. Which means she didn't even give a f*ck about the guy she was with (because it wasn't a nice situation to put him in, either), and she was still thinking about you…Now, if it was more of a mutual thing, means she still wasn't over you… Most likely, it was a mixture of those two scenarios, cause in life, it rarely is just this or that. Either way, forget about them. Since you did what you were suppose to do, you are allowed to do just that.
No matter how modern this world is, women (and people in general) fall into domains. Don't waste your time with girls who've already been taken…and I'm not talking about by other men. Their defiled, spoiled goods, in just the same way. And for God's sake, keep away from artificial, ostentatious f*cks. And never share a female friend, even platonically. People relate with their like and women relate with women (even the competitive b*tch types)…if she isn't it's because she's confused, or suffering from the "only-child" syndrome… Either way she doesn't know her intention… And that's the biggest waste of time.


Last edited by Aftab on 11/29/2008 2:30:26 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Well thought-out. Good boost for my somewhat deflated ego, too. 😉

I suppose the real bitch of the matter is that I really thought this particular girl was different. I know every guy always says that – it's like the default excuse these days – but I pride myself on being able to spot people like that from a mile away. She had me fooled, even if it was only at first.

In all honesty, I think that's what annoys me the most.

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

I know exactly what you mean. And you know what? You were probably right about her on who she was, and who she is to some extent. But the fact is, personality doesn't entirely decide who we are or will be. Our choices do. Because of that, you can never predict to 100% accuracy what a person will become. The best one can do is either find a woman who's found her lot in life, or look for certain traits that generally don't change…