—Quote from the game. Chris believes this will get him many sweethearts.
Sprung is a Ubisoft video game for the Nintendo DS that's a hybrid of adventure and dating sim. The game was panned by critics, but Chris, purchasing the game when he bought his DS, thought that it would give him lessons on "what to say to, or do for, a girl" (in other words, a vidya version of Dating Education). In a letter Chris sent via the Internet to the magazine Nintendo Power, he states that the game gave him confidence and helped him cope with his noviophobia.
The Nintendo Power letter
Chris dedicates his March/April 2004 [sic] issue to his Nintendo Power letter, describing it as a "free personal ad", saying:
"I, Christian Weston Chandler, have sent an E-Mail to Nintendo Power’s “Players’ Pulse” section on January 9, 2005, in response to Nintendo DS’s Sprung game (scanned pages shown above). After receiving my copy of the April, 2005 issue, I was pleasantly surprised to find my E-Mail printed in the “Players’ Pulse” section, with the screen shot (shown to the bottom-right), which I find very appropriate to my current situation. The girl on top says, “YOU BETTER GET OUT OF HERE BEFORE MY BOYFRIEND KICKS YOUR ***!” Although, there are a couple of fixes to mend in their print out: the fear I was referring to should be “NOVIOPHOBIA,” not “NOIOPHOBIA.” Also, since February 24, 2005, I am now 23-years old, and I am looking for an 18-23-year old, Boyfiend-free, Datable Girl whom I can love and trust. Also, a little time after using the teachings of Sprung, my fear came back like a boomerang."
The text of the letter reads as follows:
“I recently purchased a Nintendo DS and a copy of Sprung. I originally bought the game, because I needed some lessons on what to say to, or do for, a girl. To make a long story short, I developed a fear that all the pretty girls are already paired up with a boyfriend. I’ve dubbed this social phobia, Noviophobia, after the Spanish word for boyfriend. Anyway, before Sprung, I was afraid to approach most women (FYI, I’m 22-years old). I tried to silently attract a boyfriend-free girl, mostly with signs, for over one year and four months. Then Sprung provided me with general things to say and do, so I felt more confident. When I tried my new-found expressions from the dating simulator, I forgot my fear of the infinitely high boyfriend factor, and I met a couple of lady friends with whom I feel more comfortable. So thank you, Nintendo and Ubisoft, for the dating advice that this frustrated virgin needed."
Via the Internet
- Technically, it was 2005 but Chris never noticed that he had been getting the year wrong until Sonichu's News Dash #10, in May/June 2005.