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       Video games influence you more than you think. Consider this. I met a woman, and we got to bullshit'n back and forth. Which raised a yellow flag for me because I usually don't bullshit with people. My conversations and interaction with people usually have more substance. For some reason though I found myself making extra effort to impress this woman. She wasn't "hot". Not to be vain, but on ""The One To Ten Scale"", she was a 5, so there was no "hotness" factor involved. Yet I found myself drawn to this woman in more ways than one. Then it hit me. I like this woman! This wasn't a bad or good thing, I just thought it tenebrously odd that I was so drawn to a woman that I had just met, that wasn't particularly attractive. Maby in another life...? NO! Then I noticed something. This woman had the exact same hairstyle (and skin color) as one of the protagonists of my favorite video game, Final Fantasy VIII.

From here on out I will refer to the woman presented above as Sora

       Sora resembled Rinoa; the winged, blaster edge weilding goddess from my favorite childhood pastime. Sora had shoulder-length black hair with three caramel highlights on both sides of her face. Same as Rinoa. What was happening here was that my brain was associating her hair with all of those good feelings that I would get while playing the game. This is not something that is unique to me. Reaserch in psychology has shown that certain symbols, objects, music, ect, can bring about specific emotions in an individual, depending on what said person associates said symbol, object, music, ect, with. This chain of thought is referred to as associative memory. For example, say since the age of 9 some kid was abused by her mother, and her mom always wore a red hat. Naturally that kid would come to be averse to red hats, or any person wearing a red hat; rather she was conscious of the fact or not. Another example of a symbol is bubble gum. It's said that you should chew bubble gum while you study for a test, and chew the same bubble gum when you take the test so you associate the bubble gum with studying and any notes you migh have taken. There is a conspiracy theory that actors dress, act and look a certain way in order to manipulate the masses into fancying particular traits over others. Consider this, if said conspiracy theory is true wouldn't the president of the United States (or any world leader for the matter) be made to model said specific traits in order to be more likable?

       I highly doubt Sora, through well rehearsed artifice, wore her hair the way she did solely to seduce vicarious gamers (unless of course...this was her intended goal all along). However I'm glad I came across her because she made me realize some things about myself; one, how vain I am, two, just how much video games were influencing every aspect of my life. I wonder the outcome if I never put 2/2 together and realized the root nature of my cardinal desire for Sora. Would I have acted on an impulse and asked her out? If I only liked her because of her hair than how would I know If ""I"" really liked her. As the renown Greek philosopher Socrates (or as Plato said Socrates) said "the unexamined life is not worth" living". I can only speculate on the different outcomes. May you also speculate on the possible outcomes your next video game purchase.

       RIP Socrates   399 BC

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