These two things—video games and the romantic occasion of Valentine’s Day—may not seem to be the best combination, but Valve Software, the developer of Team Fortress 2, attempted to infuse some romance into their best-selling title. On February 14 of this year, Valve Software introduced a new addition to the sequel of Team Fortress: a special in-game engagement ring.
Some gamers might think that a special in-game engagement ring is basically useless—and somehow, Valve Software agrees. The engagement ring
is the developer’s cheeky attempt at some Valentine fun—which they likened to preparing for the occasion in real life. Valve Software says of Valentine’s Day: “that means that if you’re dating or married, you’re going to drop somewhere in the area of $600 tonight on flowers, dinner, babysitters, hot air balloon rides, a hospital bill for rain-related holding injuries. It adds up fast, and you might be asking yourself at the end of the night, “Was it all worth it?” The answer, empathically, is no. Happy Valentine’s Day, stupid.”
Valve Software came up with a good way to “waste as much 1/6 less money” for the occasion; even promising that their customers can get this romantically frivolous product without leaving the house. They called the in-game engagement ring as “Something Special for Someone Special,” which is basically a “ring-shaped,” “gift-wrapped,” “basically useless,” and “really expensive” Valentine’s Gift that players can get their significant others for a hundred dollars. The developers are calling this romantic feature as “the most accurate simulation of an actual Valentine’s Day gift ever made available to the public.”
The mechanics for “Something Special for Someone Special” is relatively simple. The ring is not tradable—which means that you can only give it as a gift and never as a barter piece for something that you want for another player. The ring will then show up in the player’s special someone’s backpack, which will offer the receiver to click on the item. A menu will pop up, prompting the receiver to accept the proposal.
Once the proposal has been accepted by the receiver, the Team Fortress 2 will announce the good news to the whole Team Fortress community. This announcement will include the virtual Romeo’s (or Juliet) name, the special someone’s name, and the custom name that the player has bestowed on the ring. And then this ring will turn into “two matching diamond bands you can wear in the rain while you smooch up a storm, you crazy kids.”
Reaction to the “Something Special for Someone Special” is mixed—there are plenty of people who were quite amused with the idea, while some believe that this is an advanced April Fool’s Day joke. However, the news was posted on the official Team Fortress blog. Needless to say, there are not many people who snapped up this offer—many preferred a chortle or two. If anything, this in-game engagement ring raised this question: “Are these developers serious?” which is immediately followed by, “Are these prices serious?”