Saturday, May 25Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Super Seducer

With the suffocating presence of the pandemic refusing to retreat into the ether, the month of love has turned out to be even more painful than it usually is. Couples have had to go months and months without seeing their significant others, settling for impromptu long-distance (a famously difficult set-up even before the pandemic), without any real idea about how long this will go on, living in fear that a breach in the rules may result in punishment or, worse, their partner catching the virus. Meanwhile, as if the holiday wasn’t sad enough for single people, now dating has become even more complicated, since meeting people in person is literally prohibited by law until further notice, online dating is as tragic as it always was, and all the events that might help distract from your overbearing loneliness are closed. 

I don’t know, but you’re not going to find out in the Science and Gaming section of a university magazine, so let’s just rip a terrible dating sim to shreds instead!

Super Seducer (a title I imagine is meant to be announced with the fervour of a Mario brother) is a trilogy of live-action dating simulators, created by your “friendly neighbourhood seduction guru” Richard La Ruina, a man whose name can literally be translated to ‘Dick of Ruin’, which, as you’re about to find out, is extremely appropriate.

In Super Seducer, your goal is to watch La Ruina navigate encounters with women, and guide him towards getting a date, a telephone number, or maybe even a kiss. You’ll accomplish this by selecting multiple options for how Richard should approach a situation; for example, if you’re on a date, should you a) give her lots of compliments, or b) ask her if she’s ever had sex on a horse?  Y’know, normal stuff.

Now. Forget the fact these games are sleazy excuses for La Ruina to hang around with women in their underwear, kiss them and overall present himself as an ultimate sex god. Forget the fact that each game cost over £10 on Steam, and has DLC sold separately for £3.99 each. Forget the fact that it’s painfully clear that we’re just watching a man play out his fantasies to an audience of thousands, as evidenced by the fact that you can’t play as anyone other than La Ruina himself, and can only seduce women, not men. Forget the fact that the correct answer in most situations is to invade a woman’s personal space and harass them until they do what you want. FORGET THE FACT that all the female characters talk and act like they’re in a porn parody of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Even forgetting all that…these games are weird, man.

Let me just describe some of the weird shenanigans that La Ruina does in these games; 

  • Walks directly into a woman on the streets, pretending to be blind.
  • Sneaks up behind a pair of women sitting on a couch and sniffs them
  • Hangs his pinkie finger through his fly like a penis and then tells the player off for choosing it (hey man, you put it in the game, not me)
  • Ditches the girl he was on a date with to follow another girl, then ditches her because she was talking too much.
  • Enters a scenario in a TANK
  • Sits in a throne holding a flare
  • Describes Fortnite in detail until the girl is forced to leave. 
  • Goes to the gym and does the “you son of a b***h’ from Predator
  • Enters a women’s dressing room shirtless with the greeting “wagwan”

The Super Seducer games are both incredibly funny and horrendously worrying. While it delights me to no end watching La Ruina berate the player for eating a kumquat, it’s one of the very few games where women were physically placed in uncomfortable circumstances by a man with far too much money and time. It’s advertised as an educational tool, and while I’m naïve enough to hope that no one would practice these “techniques” in reality, there’s every chance that I’m wrong.So Happy Valentine’s Day. Stay safe. And don’t play Super Seducer.