This is Captain Gamer, superhero and columnist. On the side, he works at a five star restaurant called the Pixel Palace, substituting for the regular bartender Dominic when needed. There, Captain can meet his old video game friends when they come in to have a drink. Sometimes, they share stories and even secrets. For as we all know, what the bartender hears is confidential... isn't it?
So I'm sitting there tending bar when in walks - or jogs, rather - someone I see every day. Not here at the Pixel Palace, mind you. I'm one of her morning clients. In case you haven't read the title of this by now, I'm talking about the female Wii Fit Trainer.
As soon as I see her come in, I figure I know where this is going. Normally I'm not in the habit of pegging people, but in this case it made so much sense. I mean, we all know that the Wii Fit Trainers are going to be in the new Smash Bros. Great news. Unfortunately, you get your bad with the good in all that attention. And with the Trainer in the spotlight, she got the attention of... a certain kind of artist.
To say it straight, the Internet just got flooded with pornography of her. The male Trainer too, but not to nearly as much of an extent. Of course anything happening in the video game world gets pornography inevitably, but in the Trainer's case this was one of the swiftest mobilization of lewd art the Internet has seen. I can imagine this would impact the Internet presence of the character and the game she comes from. And I don't want any sour looks. I only know because information really gets around.
Anyway, the Wii Fit Trainer come in, we say our hellos, rap a bit about health and fitness and whatnot. I get started on her Long Island and things are going swimmingly. I'd just completely forgotten that I was expecting her to vent. So once I got her drink to her, I ask her - delicately. The people who don't want to talk are the surliest - I ask her, "What brings you here today?"
She says, "I decided to really treat myself tonight."
I say, "I can see that. But I didn't take you for the type to knock back a drink."
And she says back, "I can see how you would think that." And by the way, that even, instructional way she talks in Wii Fit? That's how she really talks. She's not "on" or off, she's just herself all the time. I think it's great. Anyway, she told me that and says, "I generally wouldn't advise alcoholic drinks, especially if you're meeting a specific goal. But it's important to treat yourself well mentally. As long as you moderate yourself, rewarding yourself with a little 'cheat' from time to time can have a positive effect on your morale."
Well, that's a good point. But as you can tell right now I'm looking for more of what's directly making her want to drink right at this moment. If she has a reason, she's being uncharacteristically evasive. And I get to thinking that maybe that whole thing is a coping mechanism. She feels uncomfortable or put on, she just starts throwing health advice at it.
So I come at it from a different angle, I ask her, "How's the public treating you, by the way? What with the surge of popularity you got last year."
She gives me this little head rocking and says, "People are nice, for the most part. I do get the occasional double take because, well..."
I say, "Because...?"
And she gestures over her arms and says, "I look like a mannequin. A walking, exercising mannequin. I honestly can see why people would look twice. I heard a term, the uncanny valley. Where something that isn't real looks or sounds too real and that makes people uncomfortable. Talking to anybody for a few minutes gets them over that real quickly."
Now, anyone else would have been satisfied and left it off well enough. But, and I regret this, I got a little vindictive at the time. My mind works fast and I tell a white lie, asking her, "Just out of curiosity... Do you go on the Internet much?"
And she says, "Absolutely! There is so much information on the Internet about healthy living. I've even signed up for some forums to exchange notes with a few fitness gurus. They were very helpful."
And I say, "Hopefully you haven't had any run-ins with the, ahem, darker side of the Internet."
And she says, straight-up without flinching, "Are you talking about the pornographic fan art?"
Naturally I'm taken back by how she just went straight for it. But then again so did I, so I'm one to talk. But at least I lead the conversation there so at least I could make like that wasn't what I was thinking the entire time. I tell her, "Well, yes. I wasn't going to say it like that, but you hit the nail on the head."
This woman, she doesn't skip a beat. She just goes into it and says, "Fortunately, I didn't stumble upon any lewd artwork before I was made aware that it existed. Samus Aran personally met with me and told me not to be angry, offended, or upset that fans saw me that way. But to be honest, after seeing the art for myself, I didn't really feel any of those things. In fact, I felt flattered."
And I blurt out what you're all thinking, "Really?"
She says, "I know it's strange, considering that artwork does not represent me at all. But that's exactly why I took no offense to it. It all represents me as promiscuous, sex-crazed, nymphomaniacal, and to be honest, more flexible than I actually am. That depiction is just so far from the truth that I can't possibly see it as applying to me personally. It's more like they created a separate person that just looks like me. Especially when they draw me with a penis. I don't have a penis. I can prove it to you if you want."
I politely wave her off, "No, no. I believe you. We get enough of that around here." Aside from that, well, candid moment, I was not expecting that response at all. And I tell her that, "I was not expecting this response at all. And it's great that you're not losing any sleep, but aren't you worried that it's going to affect your image?"
"I did at first," she says, "but it actually had the opposite effect. Fans rallied behind this lewd interpretation of me and somehow that acclaim transferred when they meet me for real. In fact, I met one person who said he had a fascination with me, fed that fascination with the fan art, and that fascination lead to him buying Wii Fit for himself. So some good is coming out of it, however small. Not only that, but I've really looked closely at the art and devised some new ways to stretch based on the positions. I can tell you more about them tomorrow morning."
I even more politely wave that thought off and tell her, "Let's put a 'maybe' on that thought."
She smirks it off and things get a little quiet. With how much we were chatting before, it was kind of uneasy. But sure enough, the Trainer starts again.
She says, "I'm not completely without harassment, though. There will be people out there who don't know how to act appropriately, and unfortunately being a mannequin doesn't make me immune from that sort of behavior."
Instinctively, I say, "Yeah, sorry about that. We non-video game people leave a lot to be desired in a lot of ways. Gender being one of them."
And she comes back, "It's not even a matter of gender. It's a matter of this one person have no sense of respect. There's nothing gender-specific about that. And I treat them as such. I rebuff their advances and let them know that I'm not going to act how they want. It's hard to take someone's behavior seriously when they're being disrespectful and unprofessional. "
Just aside, I comment, "You make it sound so easy."
And she responds to that, "It's not so much easy as it is necessary."
"Many things are," I say to that. I couldn't help myself.
She keeps on her topic, saying, "I remember going to a convention one time and seeing a young woman dressed up to look like me. It was wonderful. But she got some unwanted attention and I could see she wasn't standing her ground."
And I asked her, "You did something about that."
Trainer nods, "I roundhouse kicked him in the head." And then she takes a drink,
It would have been badass if I weren't completely dumbfounded by her admitting to this.
She puts down her drink, sees my expression, and gives me a nudge. "I'm just kidding!"
I wasn't even aware she was capable of kidding.
She says, "No, but I did confront the young man and got him to leave. The young woman was alright, and I told her some ways about how I think so she could be more confident in herself. Helping a person train their spirit is a lot tougher than helping train their body, that's for sure."
I concur, "We have a long way to go. But more positive role models can't hurt."
And she uses her overtly charismatic tone to say, "I'll drink to that."
You see a lot of strange things as a bartender. You see a lot of strange things at the Pixel Palace. So sometimes it's the things that aren't too strange which really stand out. And there's nothing wrong with that. Swear to it.
Video Game Confessions featuring Captain Gamer: Wii Fit Trainer
Based off of Doug Walker's "Video Game Confessions" series at That Guy with the Glasses.
Based off of Doug Walker's "Video Game Confessions" series at That Guy with the Glasses.
A series in which I take my own crack at the Video Game Confessions formula with Captain Gamer as the bartender. My style gives video game characters more relatable issues with generally positive outcomes. However, don't count out the occasional zany and tongue-in-cheek moments that the original is known for!
Cammy White - captain-gamer.deviantart.com/a…
Poison - captain-gamer.deviantart.com/a…
as always, a grand take on Mr. Walker's VGC-formula to tackle issues with game characters as the pivotal stone! this time, concerning the issue of one of the internet's most egregious truths= Rule 34 (if it exists, mostly in popular mass media, there WILL be pornographic renditions of it wether we like it or not... the more popular the subject, the more renditions there will be; NO EXCEPTIONS!)I wonder how other VG characters react being victims of this ruling... oh well. and the roundhouse to the head bit had me spitting soda in laughter the 1st time I read it! keep up the great work, Captain!