If the geeks shall inherit the Earth, who will they share their experience with? Lucky for them, Eric Smith offers the fun and approachable book, The Geek’s Guide to Dating.
Mr. Smith approaches love and relationships from a gamer’s perspective. Modern dating is definitely an adventure, one that can lead to many challenges. But with this book, everyone from the hopeless romantic to the totally clueless can learn new tips to level up their success in the modern dating world.
Throughout the book, the reader is referred to as Player One. The first step for the reader must do is to decide what kind of geek they are, since this determines your strengths and weaknesses to build upon. From there, Mr. Smith gives stealth techniques on starting a conversation with the opposite sex, navigating online dating and even gives a few lessons in reinventing your character.
Mr. Smith has a playful nature, keeping the often-difficult world of dating relatable to both beginning and expert gamers and geeks by using many pop-culture references. Technology may have improved our lives, but it’s often made the dating world more difficult. Luckily, he also helps Player One navigate the best stage to select for asking him or her out. What are the pitfalls of doing it via social media? How can you prevent a Game Over situation? And how do you move on from one? All of these scenarios and more are answered in the book.
In addition to the great advice, the 8-bit art is incredibly user friendly, encouraging readers to press continue for more relationship advice. I really enjoyed his tips to engage the first date like a Cyclon (compile your data, plan for contingencies, have an escape route), as well as looting the geek look from pop culture (borrowing The Doctor’s bow tie is geek-chic, man jewelry is not). Also, creating the geeky mix tape for a shared car ride is brilliant.
After introducing beginner’s advice, Player One has the option to move on to the ultimate boss level: Mastering advanced dating techniques. How do you merge your geek life with your love life? The tricky art of introducing your significant other to your friends is approached, as well as troubleshooting dating malfunctions.
As in life, relationships have their ups and downs. What happens when relationships end? Mr. Smith shares his thoughts on positively rebooting your character as well, even through the most difficult levels.
The Geek’s Guide to Dating is a great source of information and inspiration, applicable to everyone from the relationship noob to the pro. The book is a fun read and along the way, Mr. Smith gives a few personal anecdotes, but I would’ve liked a few more specific examples on what (and what not) to do in the dating world, as well as their repercussions.
Overall, the truth is out there for geeks and non-geeks alike. Relationships can be skillfully managed and navigated, just like in video games. You just need a little practice to become an expert.
Strength: A fun perspective on a difficult subject.
Weakness: I’d like a few more personal examples of dating do’s and don’ts.
WTF Moment: Breaking down relationship myths, “If you don’t inspire comparisons to guys like He-Man and James Bond, imagine how women feel about being compared to She-Ra and Pussy Galore.”
– “Change can be for good — evolution ain’t just for Pokémon, after all.”
– “Random, casual encounters are for Craigslist. This isn’t that kind of book.”
– “Luckily, in life as in RPGs, you’ll always resurrect after a bad dating encounter.”
– “Relationships are about growth, and growth is just the real-world version of Experience Points.”