As RPS' only painfully single person at the moment, I'm happy to inform you that Valentine's Day is cancelled. A pox on all happy couples, literally and figuratively. Return to your empty, silent houses with the biggest bag of sweets you can, turn off the lights, and spend the evening sobbing until the sweet, sweet chocolate oozes out of your eyes and anus.
...or alternatively, jump into one of the many Valentine's Day events taking place this week in assorted games. Almost anything with a cash shop will be running a sale, but many are running special events. (Though not all. DC Universe Online for instance scrapped the Valentine's content it tried last year in favour of waiting until the team has the time to do something good instead.) Jump in with a loved one, or just celebrate Aching Solitude Awareness Day by ganking any of those pesky doting sweethearts who get too close. Like I care. Sob.
Valentine Indie Royale - The latest Bundle, though the connection between the games and everyone's favourite canonised avatar of overpriced cards and icky-poo sentiment seems somewhat tenuous at best. Zeno Clash for example. "Start with a series of punches, kicks, and grabs, follow up with a knee to the enemy's face, and hit him with a finishing move to send him flying yards away," enthuses the site. Whatever happened to cuddling? Anyway. If you decide to spend your money on this instead of another round of oysters for the one who seems to willingly tolerate your presence, you'll get that, Hoard, Lume, and two Soulcaster games.
APB Reloaded: Valentine's Week Massacre - Hmmm. Somewhat in poor taste, no? Those poor mobsters, dying so that one day their deaths could be immortalised in a not-very-good shooter. Oh well. Sign into this rebooted, F2P version and you'll get free bright pink weapons like the Star Love-Gun, with the option to murder your way to extra prizes like "Sexy Symbols" and a "Big Chopper". Which is a firearm, pervy fans of the customisation system.
World of Warcraft: Love Is In The Air - A series of definitely-not-Valentine related quests for you to hack and slash your way through, plus the more social joys of flowers to stick into your hair/between straggly head maggots (delete according to current vitalistic status), rose petals to throw, and being killed by perfume. Looks the same as most years from a quick glance, right down to the big prize being a giant pink Big Love Rocket to stick between your legs as you ride around shouting "I may have no life, but my mage is fricking AWESOME!"
Rift: World Marriage Record - It's been at least five minutes since a game last set a pointless Guinness World Record for marketing reasons. Now Trion wants to do it too! On Valentine's Day, you can help it by finding a loved one whose real-life gender is irrelevant to True Roleplayers to tie the virtual knot in style. There's a special in-game Title on offer, and scripted ceremonies for up to 200 of your 'friends' to come see it happen. Alternatively, contact Guinness and ask if they'd be up for you setting the bar for Most Bullets Fired In An FPS. Worth a shot!
Clone Wars Adventures - A set of seasonal items for the other Star Wars online game. You'll have to cough up to get loved up, but can acquire a range of cutesy toys including a Cupid Clone Trooper armour set, pink-painted astromech called H3-4RT (the sequel to Thi4f), and a candy-dispensing mouse droid. You can also buy a 'friendly Gungan' called Jynx, though to do so does mean signing away any right to complain about Jar-Jar or claim a Star Destroyer could blow up the USS Enterprise ever, ever again. Unless you can kill him. Then it's probably okay.
League of Legends: Valentine's Sale - A set of cut-price skins to help (un)dress your favourite heroes in style, as long as your favourite heroes are Morgana, Taric or Twisted Fate. There's also a brand new one coming for Vayne, which doesn't seem to have been posted officially, but people on the forums are assuming is this. Verdict? "Needs more boobs," apparently.
Everquest II: Erollisi Day - Named for the Norrathian goddess of pounding randomly on keyboards, this looks like a similar deal to Warcraft's - a quest chain to follow, plus some special crafting components, recipes and drops. Somewhat disturbingly, it looks like murdering sentient characters will make them drop love notes, reminding you that they too had both plans and someone eagerly waiting for them to return home. Good or evil, you have become a murderer of hope and the killer of dreams. On the plus side, free loot! Yaaaaay!
Free Realms: Festival of Hearts - Sony's kid-friendly mix of munchkins and mini-games has its own event too, set in the insulin-is-not-provided world of Merry Vale. "The Festival of Hearts celebrates an ancient tale of love between Rylan and Arianna," we're informed. "These two young pixies met long ago in what would later become Merry Vale, but were separated by magic." Good. In lighter news, their break-up caused the creation of an malevolent force called Stone Heart, who sounds like a fun guy to hang with. Wonder if he's got a sister.
City of Heroes: Valentine's Card Creator - Alternatively, say you love them by creating a stylish e-card featuring a super-you, choice of background, and a witty quip. In surveys, 8/10 partners say they prefer this to a romantic meal, impromptu weekend in Paris, public proposal, sex with the lights on, or the still beating heart of a sacrificial deer. There's also the yearly Spring Fling event, featuring some temporary powers, questlines from the Pocket D bar, and special buffs that try to bridge the gap between heroes and villains by working much better on your opposing number. Which they will then go and commit crimes/charity with, proving that no good deed goes unpunished, sentiment is naive, and that you are a complete arse.
Aion: Couples Contest - Finally, give the gift of loving love by working your way through a ridiculously long contract in order to win... I quote... "Three (3) Felicitous Socketing Supplements for Fabled Items." Good practice for making a pre-nup, I suppose...
There are more out there too, but that's enough. All this lovey-dovey stuff sickens me. I'm off to buy a beautiful bouquet of red, red roses, and burn them with fire.