Tara's G-Spot - 10 REASONS TO DATE A STARCRAFT PLAYER (or at least spend a night with one... for coaching, of course!) by Tara Babcock - www.impulsegamer.com

10 REASONS TO DATE A STARCRAFT PLAYER
(or at least spend a night with one... for coaching, of course!)
BY TARA BABCOCK

Real-time strategy games have been the bane(ling) of my existence since I attempted, unsuccessfully, to excel in Warcraft II on the PlayStation console in my pre-teens. The concept of controlling an army, both aggressively and defensively, while making sure you are furthering your multiple bases to support said endeavors, sounded far too difficult to me. Now, imagine doing all of this masterfully, in real-time, against a real player who has been practicing religiously for years! RTS progamers perform at such a heightened level of awareness, perfecting each calculated move they make. The thought-process that goes into each speedy, strategic mouse click, or button tap, is overwhelming, so much so that their heart rates can soar to cardiovascular levels. Those who are practiced in the art of RTS gaming have superior intelligence, hand-eye coordination, and elevated levels of cognitive thinking and information comprehension. It's awe-inspiring once you've seen them in action, and have tried to attempt it yourself! Playing video games not only makes you smarter... it makes you wholly better!

So perhaps you're thinking, why not the more general "RTS Players" for the title? Why StarCraft? Well, being the near-lifetime Blizzard Entertainment enthusiast that I am, hearing that they were releasing a new title in 1998 thrilled me. When the first StarCraft debuted, I scoffed. How the hell can they make such a Warcraft-similar game, only set in space!? Lame, I thought. This wasn't beautiful, rich and mystical, like the Warcraft sequel I yearned for! Oh, how gravely wrong I was!


I've yet to find words for how en-Thrall-ing (Hehe! Warcraft Humor FTW!) these Blizzard-concocted universes are! Let's not forget Diablo, either!

With the release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, and the not-so-gentle nudges from my gamer friends, I decided to play the campaign and some custom games from the older StarCraft: Brood War expansion. This, and coverage of the 2010 BlizzCon, are what initially introduced me to the deep, entrancing StarCraft community. The franchise is indefinitely the most massive eSports powerhouse in Korea, even scoring the title of the country's national sport. The release of StarCraft II not only brought Korean competitive gaming to a whole new level, with the release date declared a holiday, but it is also, arguably, the most popular eSport in North America and Europe as well. The individuals I have had the pleasure of befriending within the community are not only genuinely awesome, kind people, but they truly want to spread the word about eSports, and help gamers all over the world become proud of who they are! Embracing and furthering "nerd culture" on a mainstream level is something I am passionate about, and I will jump at any chance to inform the world of its pure magnetism!


How, other than obvious awesomeness, do StarCraft and its men hold the interest of such gorgeous girls!? Let's explore this topic!

Now that I've gotten the last of my StarCraft, Blizzard, eSports, and gamer gushing over with, let's get silly, and hopefully learn some basics, with my 10 Reasons to Date a StarCraft Player:

1. Micro and Macro: The innocent version!

The most basic step toward becoming a top-level StarCraft player, or any RTS legend, is to make sure your balance between micro and macro gameplay is solid, and that you are strong in both aspects. For instance, splitting your marines when banelings approach, and picking them off without losing units, would be an epic display of micro, but hopefully not at the cost of your economy. Ideally, production buildings are always in use, money is never hoarded, and expansions are created, fully saturated with harvesters. Putting all of that together, and doing it well, sounds impossible, right? Well, it's child's play for these gamer guys! They'll have rent paid, the location of the date picked out, and a car sent for you, all while leading brilliantly on the dance floor. Impressive, and tempting, no?


I doubt anyone wants to be nagged about keeping up with finances, tidying the house... or spawning more overlords. StarCraft players are pro at managing just such issues!

2. Micro and Macro: The naughty version!

Yeah, he'll be a great date, and a good boyfriend, but what about the real fun? Where do the macro and micro skills appear between the sheets? We've all had those inexperienced partners who aren't quite sure how to set any mood... other than awkward. They aren't good with their extremities, or their words. The good news is that you can assure yourself, with a SC progamer, it'll be nothing but smooth sailing.

Picture yourself in a dim, candle-lit bedroom, with satin sheets, and a never-ending playlist that he upkeeps just for the mood. Your macro will be perfected with any professional StarCraft gamer stud, but micro is what's really important on my map. For the sake of keeping this clean, I'll leave that topic to the imagination! We all know the pros are good with their hands!


After having dealt with the Queen of Blades, do you think any "normal" girl looks intimidating anymore!?

3. Early Rush or Late Game Win: They've conquered both!

Are you the kind of lover that wants to take it slow, or fast-forward high-speed into a full-on commitment? Maybe you just want the quick "rush" to the bedroom. Whichever you desire, there's a SC pro player out there who can fit both requirements effortlessly! You’ll never need to look elsewhere for one-night adventures, or lifelong companionship, than the elites of the StarCraft community. Think about it, being a top-ranked professional means knowing how to decimate an opponent with an early push, or defend and expand long enough to infiltrate with a capped army. Be warned, however, they also know how to defend against these types of unwanted attacks, for those of you who are a little too pushy!

4. Fast Expand: They're always hitting new "bases"!

Going economical and capturing more bases early in the game can get you a big lead, not only in the resource count, but by gaining a competitive edge in map vision and control as well. When it comes to professional StarCraft players, this is just another small bump in the road to success that's easily breezed over without a second thought. I'm painfully aware that, for me, transitioning to new bases, and defending my decision to do so, is an excessively formidable challenge. I will often turtle at first, too traumatized to press on. Although I am not certain whether I had the StarCraft game, or a dating scenario in mind for this paragraph, it really is interchangeable! SC boys are so practiced with this technique that they'll know exactly which actions to take to have a girl's bra on the floor, or a fourth base right outside their enemy's home, in a matter of minutes! Of course, be wary of the Zerg players... they plough through bases the swiftest!

I think anyone who grabs a fourth expand in StarCraft II should now affectionately refer to it as "home".


I'd like to take a second to mention that Tychus Findlay, from StarCraft II, also took 6th place in my 20 Sexiest Video Game Studs article! Tychus is the king of micro, what with being an uber-marine and all!

5. Map Control: All over the "map", yet focused!

If you haven't yet, go to Twitch.tv and watch the progamers' practice streams. Not only is this a serious tip regarding your healthy progression as a player, but it is also a relevant transition to where I'm leading! Watching the agility and multitasking that goes into Grandmaster-level StarCraft play from a pro's point of view is astonishing. Harassing the enemy, making sure that he or she is crippled economically, and being a bunch of different places at once is not a simple undertaking. The amazing thing, though, is that they make it look easy. After witnessing this, it'll be no mystery how these superhuman gamers can achieve similar control all over your "map"! Hyper-threaded multitasking doesn't fumble up a StarCraft player! He can be kissing your neck, serenading you, tying you up and, at the same time, already finished putting his clothes back on. Just try to catch your breath!


That map vision is creepy good! Get it!? Heh! Whether you're in the dark or in the know makes a world of difference, in both fields.

6. Scouting: They're careful with "engagements"!

Scouting the opponent is a crucial tactic used throughout each match in order to maintain the knowledge needed to make educated, strategic decisions. Whether it's checking for early game build orders, or testing the waters to see if a love interest is ready to go all the way (or popping that infamous question), progamers are golden! That totally gives you a whole new visual when you hear "just poking in a bit to scout", huh? After learning to fly into a base at just the right angle to check it out, avoiding turrets, or stealthing into an un-walled base to check for a spire, tiptoeing around bases and topics with a cute girl seems easy as pie... or supply!

7. Strategic Pushes: This point doesn't need a subtitle!

A successful "push" needs to come from the right angle, with the right amount of force… after all, no one wants to lose a "unit" (hah!), right? A persistent challenge I have come across is deciding when it's the smartest time to move out, and strike. You never know when you’ll run into a larger army than yours, a group of sieged tanks, or when you're leaving your base too vulnerable to attacks while you're away. A base trade is never the ideal outcome, and neither is disappointing someone in bed! You never connected the two skills, did you?


Terran Ghost babe, Nova, also made my 20 Hottest Video Game Babes! StarCraft is full of hotties! It's not just the players, casters, and community that bring the heat!

8. More Minerals: "Diamonds are a girl's best friend!"

A large part of optimizing your SC game is always excelling in macro. Ensuring that money is low and allocated to the correct production endeavors is key, along with training enough workers per base as soon as possible. Always building harvesters, and never saving too many resources, is a great fundamental to practice on your road to becoming a StarCraft superstar!

Every girl wants a man with a surplus of shiny baubles, diamonds and... crystals! Girls, are your men broke, lazy, and unable to provide you with all the trinkets your heart desires? Snag yourself a StarCraft player! Not only do they accumulate thousands of crystals per game, they even know how to spend them intelligently! A gamer who rocks StarCraft will never be a scrub; in game or in "real life". Again, be wary of those pesky Zerg players who like to save up, and spend it all in one place!


"Oh wow, so... sparkly!" Yeah, and he's got minions to mine that crap for you all day, and all night! You'd better spend that as fast as they mine it to help him keep up his macro, it's the least you can do!

9. Metagame: They plan carefully and think "outside the game"!

Liquipedia defines metagame eloquently as thinking "beyond the game" with, "...any planning, preparation, or maneuvering that a player does outside of actual gameplay to gain an advantage." Anything strategic that exploits a map and race combination, the typical play or skill-level of a particular opponent, or even their psychology, is considered part of the metagame. This, in part, comes naturally as you watch stream games, play ladder matches, and study your common opponents. However, StarCraft players who make a living being amazing at the game, and securing successful tournament outcomes, are masters of this sort of manipulation. Expect to be amazed when he comes bearing gifts filled with your favorite things, and sets up the dinner you’ve always dreamed of. How did he manage such a feat? He's obtained information from outside sources, or your closest friends. Only SC players can accomplish such charming metadates! 

10. APM: They're super quick!

From the action per minute levels of Brood War, that elevated to an arbitrary three-hundred and fifty plus, to the more genuine one-to-two hundred of today's patched game, progamers do things fast. They're so used to thinking at such a boosted rate, and adept to producing the ideal reaction times, hand-eye coordination, precision mouse clicks, and many other elements of perfection, that they're never going to give you that dreaded, fumbling first kiss! In fact, think of all of the things they can accomplish in record time with that kind of skill! Any progamer will tell you that APM is not what makes the player, but it certainly helps make the lover, I say! Now just mix that with some epic love micro and you've got yourself a good time! 


They can take this guy down in one swift targeting motion. I bet they can disarm a gun-accompanied robber, or easily maneuver out of an impending car crash!

As a conclusive thought, I'd like to pressure all of my readers and fans to watch one of my StarCraft II matchup favorites. StarCraft is so badass, and generates such a large crowd of layperson viewers, because it plays like a football game, but with added allure! You don't need to know the specifics of the game to feel the tension, see the destruction, emotion, and incredible climaxes that each game inevitably provides! See for yourself:

Video courtesy of MLG.tv, featuring commentary by Darnoc.

Now that I’ve gotten your attention turned toward the RTS community with the temptation of becoming a sex god (or dating one!), and with the divulging of some starter knowledge tidbits, I want to share one more immensely helpful video with you all. Although you shouldn't try to adopt all of the overwhelming tricks that the pros use from the start, developing good habits can give you a great jumpstart regardless of experience!

Video courtesy of Day[9]tv. Check out the rest of his super awesome, funny, and ultra-helpful dailies at Day9.tv! He's the best, and I'm not just saying that because he's super cute, either!

ALL IS FAIR IN LOVE AND... STARCRAFT!

MEANWHILE, IN TARA LAND...

I'll start this article's Tara Land off with the Ask Tara question! "Tara, hi, how's it going? I wanted to ask your opinion on Batman: Arkham City. Have you played it and would you consider dressing up as Catwoman?"

I would absolutely love to dress up as Catwoman! I've always found the black latex catsuit very sexy, and Catwoman's lust/hate relationship with Batman is so intriguing... but wouldn't you rather see me dressed as Harley Quinn!? As for Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, I have not yet gotten a chance to play them, but they are topping my list of console games to play! It's hard to juggle a busy schedule with my MMO and console play! 

I've decided (although it feels more like I've been coerced!) that I will start streaming my gaming adventures in the near future. Knowing me, though, I won't go live until everything is perfect. My set up, overlay, Twitch.tv profile, and all of the other specifics must be on par with the rest of my perfectionistic career. Most importantly, I want to reach a more respectable league in the StarCraft II ladder. I don't think a Silver ranking is terrible for a new player, I just don't want to portray myself as that girl; the "hot" poser groupie whose only goal is to gain attention. At the same time, I would like to be able to document and share my struggles during my rise in rank. I feel that I am the type of open, honest, don't-give-a-crap type of person who can pull that off decently.  


I am currently awful, but I feel I'm getting better! Practice makes perfect, and I know that better than most!

I also recently attended a BarCraft in Seattle with Evil Geniuses' progamer Geoff "iNcontroL" Robinson, his gorgeous girlfriend (eSports professional and Miss Oregon 2011, even!) Anna Prosser, popular female streamer Julia "Ailuj" Childress, and a few of her CheckSix teammates. It was lots of fun, and they are the sweetest people! Here are a few of my favorite snapshots from the night. I encourage you all to support your local BarCrafts!


Evil Genius' progamer Geoff "iNcontroL" Robinson and myself drunkenly playing a match at Seattle BarCraft on the "eve" of New Year's Eve!

Want to explore more eSports? See those referenced in my article here:

Blizzard Entertainment

Twitch.tv

Team Liquid's Liquipedia

Major League Gaming

Seattle BarCraft

Evil Geniuses

CheckSix Gaming

Sean "Day[9]" Plott on Twitter

Geoff "iNcontroL" Robinson on Twitter

Anna Prosser on Twitter

Julia “Ailuj” Childress on Twitter

Connor "Darnoc" Milem on Twitter


SNEAK PEAK AT TARA'S AMAZING "NERD" PHOTO SHOOT!

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