The following article was published anonymously in Aincrad's leading newspaper:

How to pick up girls

Finding love in Aincrad can be difficult. The females among us are few in number and let's face it – not all of us were exactly Casanovas in the real life, either.

But what better time to find love than now? MMORPGs are all about forging new social connections and strengthening the bonds with those you already know under a new, exotic environment, and Sword Art Online is no different.

So without further ado, I present a fool-proof guide to winning girls in an MMORPG setting:

1. Shun them

The less you seek to interact with women the more they will flock to you. Do not let them into your lives. Become a solo player and enjoy your own company and unending loneliness.

2. Develop a terrible fashion sense

Promote your deep, dark, brooding personage by wearing nothing but black. Badass longcoats help. If you do have to wear white, complain like hell and try to duel your guild leader to get out of it.

3. Lie about your level

Nothing draws in the girls like a sense of mystery! Sure, it might get them accidentally killed in a raid, but look on the bright side: you can use your grief and guilt to develop further layers of mystery in your character. After hearing about your depressing backstory, no girl will resist giving you a well-deserved hug.

4. Neglect your little sister

Not only can you win girls' favour by telling them they resemble your sister, your beloved imouto-chan in real life might fall madly and passionately in love with your comatose body.

5. Use your love interest to lure out PKers

Girls do not mind being used and put in danger. Of course, make sure you have a high level and a HP regenerating skill equipped so you don't look like a total noob when you solo the entire PK guild.

6. Take naps instead of clearing dungeons

It's okay to take a sickie from work every once in a while so that you can sit on your arse and do nothing about your terrible situation in life. Try sleeping out in the open where you can get easily PK'ed and when you wake up, you will find a girl sleeping next to you. As soon as she wakes up, she will offer you lunch.

7. Break the girl's best equipment

Bonus points if you blame her for it afterwards. She will get mad, but she's just being a tsundere, of course.

8. Collect faeces for her

It's romantic.

9. Grope her

Despite the fact that no game mechanics in the world should permit this, be sure to conveniently fall over and slip your hands underneath her chest plate armour. Be warned that she will beat you up, but the feeling of squeezing polygons is well worth it, trust me.

10. Murder someone

While it is preferable to murder someone who is trying to kill you both, the best thing to do is take advantage of the confusion and then kiss her without asking to. Play your cards right and you'll be a married man by the end of the day.

A young fourteen-year-old boy put down the newspaper, a thoughtful expression on his face. He had found the new principles to live his life by.