The Couple Who Plays Together
I am so very sick of hearing about girlfriends/wives interfering with their bf/husband’s videogaming.* Either your lady is simply a whiny and needy person, in which case, have fun with that, or you’re not taking responsibility for how you prioritize and communicate.
If you’re interested in problem-solving, rather than resigning to mutual frustration and non-fulfillment, you likely have two options:
1.) Treat your lady well so she doesn’t feel neglected when you are gaming.
2.) Try to include her in your gaming.
I’m quite partial to the latter, so I’ll start with that.
The stereotype that females don’t play video games is as inaccurate as it is offensive (funny thing about stereotypes … ); some women have zero interest in video games, yes, but so do some men. In some cases, people aren’t interested in video games because they haven’t found one that appeals to them. There’s a whole world of gateway games out there, and if you get them into Eternal Sonata or Professor Layton it’s much easier to get them to try Left 4 Dead. If you don’t know their taste then ask some questions and show some interest—that alone is a meaningful gesture.
Possibly the best way to start their journey is with a co-op game. Hopefully your beloved is willing to at least try playing with you; remember to be supportive and encouraging, not whiny or demanding. Don’t make it a competition, unless that’s fun for her. Definitely don’t belittle or patronize her for her inexperience, just help her if she asks for it. There’s no shame in playing on Easy; it’s just a matter of playing for the experience, not the challenge.
Hopefully you find some fun games to play together, and if you pick some of the more well-written titles maybe she won’t mind watching you play them. Or if she takes to DS games she could do that while you tear it up with your Xbox Live party. In any case, make sure to show gratitude for her efforts. Worst case: she doesn’t get into video games but you put forth effort into sharing an interest and becoming closer. Best case: you two can now have loads of fun gaming your butts off.
- Rock Band
- Castle Crashers
- Eternal Sonata
- any Mario title
- Professor Layton
- Phoenix Wright
- any Lego game
- any Spyro game (I favor Year of the Dragon)
- Scott Pilgrim
- Donkey Kong (I favor DK3, though all are available to download for the Wii—not sure about the Wii U)
- Final Fantasy VII or maybe XIII-2
- Portal 2
- Costume Quest
- Cooking Mama
- Fable II
- Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix
- Beyond Good and Evil
- Chrono Cross or Chrono Trigger
- Civilization V
And If They’re Up For It
- Gears of War 3
- Bioshock (my all-time favorite video game)
- Left 4 Dead
- Alice: Madness Returns
- Guild Wars 2
Whether she becomes interested in gaming or not, there are times when you’ll want to play a single-player title or do some multiplayer with your friends, and she may feel left out. Take the initiative to think of something special you can do together at a later time. For example, “tonight I’m going to play Xbox with my friends, but tomorrow I’m taking you out to lunch and then [I’m trying to think of what stereotypical couples do together and I’m drawing a blank, but whatever you guys enjoy together, do that].” Or when you’re playing take two seconds while the map is loading to smile at her or kiss or something. You shouldn’t be denied something you enjoy, even if it does exclude her, so if you communicate that to her, and then both acknowledge and address the exclusion, she then has no legitimate reason to be whiny. (Unless you’re playing video games on your anniversary or her birthday or something, in which case, set a damn calendar reminder.)
It’s really not that complicated, and it doesn’t just apply to this specific situation.
*Obviously this is not exclusive to same-sex couples, but for the sake of this stereotype, I shall address it thusly.