I'll cop to the fact that Peter Chiykowski is only a local man if you, like him, live somewhere in Scotland, and on top of that, I actually suspect Peter may be having a little joke with us. But still, I found this tale of love and loss in Stardew Valley quite heartwarming. It all began back in February, when Chiykowski's wife discovered the inescapable Sarlacc pit that is Concerned Ape's lovely farming/life sim, and he documented her first hours of it on Twitter. Chiykowsky grew increasingly desperate, especially after her response to being given a dog, and began to tweet directly to Eric 'ConcernedApe' Barone himself. "I want to understand what your game has done to my wife," he pleaded. Now, months later, it seems the situation has developed. Chiykowski reports that his wife has wooed and married town doctor Harvey, and had two children with him. "Stardew Valley consumed my wife," he said, in another tweet to Barone. "But I finally figured out what to do."
"I am Harvey now."
It's a good likeness, right?? Although I suspect he is being hyperbolic, and that he may in fact have regular contact with his wife, it's a fine effort. And with that being the case, this is then a story about a man doing something sweet for his wife, and I absolutely support that.
Chiykowski has elaborated on his plight in the Stardew Valley subreddit, and the details are even more adorable than his spousal cosplay. After one reddit user suggested that she had in fact married Harvey because he reminded her of Chiykowski, and not the other way round, the Harvey-man hybrid responded: "My wife said this comment made her so happy and is so true. She shows me bits of his dialogue sometimes, and a lot of it is how we talk to each other." Gawwwwwwwwww!
That's probably my favourite bit of the whole story, actually. I think it's something that we all do without realising it: seeing bits of people we love in the game characters we love, and vice versa.
I think it's easier to do that with video game characters than characters in other media, too. When you watch an Avengers, for example, you're watching Captain America interact with someone else, whereas a lot of the time in games, the characters are having a conversation with you. If even a bit of effort has been put into the dialogue, Dr. Harvey can easily feel like a real person. Sort of, obviously. I mean, it's not like he'll pass the Turing test, but you know what I'm getting at.
Chiykowski, who writes stories that fit on postcards, shares computer access with his wife, which is why he hasn't been able to play co-op with her, but he has played a couple of hours of Stardew. His wife has been encouraging him to start his own farm, which I think is charming. She loves this thing, so she wants to share it with him. And he maybe doesn't get it as much as she does, but he gets her. It made me think of that phrase, you know the one, "I don't love it, but I love how you love it." Top marriage work all round.
I dunno. Maybe I got too excited about what is essentially some nice cosplay. It is quite early in the morning. But this is a cute thing I wanted other people to see too. So there.
Stardew Valley is a favourite here at RPS. You can find it on our lists of best RPGs, best co-op games and best management games for pc. If you've just started playing and want a cheeky head start, check out our Stardew Valley cheats and console commands, and we can keep you up to date with Stardew Valley news on the latest free updates and mods.