I received an email today from a gamer.

He wanted to give me some helpful tips about MARS:

“I just wanted to mention something about Mars, the roleplaying game of planetary romance. For a long time I didn’t really take it seriously as a game I might like to play. The reason? The name suggests that it is a RPG equivalent of a so called “chick flick” because of the reference to “planetary romance”. I have a feeling lots of other men may have the same first impression. I know a lot of other men aren’t particularly interested in that theme.

I noticed you’ve been promoting it a lot and, I infer, that it hasn’t sold terribly well. This might be the reason why.”

I pointed out to this chucklehead that Planetary Romance is the established name of the genre; that MARS is selling quite well (our best-selling product this year and its only been out for 2 months); that publishers promote products — that’s what we do; and lastly, that his aversion to the word “romance” is somewhat immature, and really doesn’t speak well of him.

Naturally, I’ve received the expected reply that he was “only trying to help”, that I’m a big old Meanie-head, and that he’s going to have “nothing to do with me or my products ever again.”

I don’t think he quite grasps the fact that a customer who has problems with the word “romance” because it reminds him of OMG ICKY GROSS GIRL STUFF EWWWWW!!!1!!1! is really not the sort of customer that I want.

Then, of course, I’m struck by the realization that there are probably more gamers that are like him than ones who aren’t.