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Week of Love: How to Get Your Non-Gaming Partner Interested in Video Games
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and love is heavy in the air. Some of us lucky gamers have found partners out there
gullible discerning enough to share their lives with us. But even as in love as you obviously are, every one of us has our own personal passions and pastimes that are near and dear to our hearts. As you are here, visiting this site, yours is no doubt video games. Of course, you want nothing more than to share your undying love for interactive media with your special someone. Some gamers are lucky. They already have a significant other that loves playing games with them. You may be thinking, “I want to be one of those people!! Why can’t I have someone who loves games as much as me?” I’ll tell you why… Because you have yet to finish reading this article and follow these simple instructions on how to convince your prince or princess that sharing gaming time together can be a fun and fulfilling couples activity that both of you can enjoy.
- Take baby steps.
Video games aren’t a new thing. They’ve been around for a long time. If your soul mate had any interest in them, he or she probably would have started playing by now. Don’t think you’re going to change that overnight. You need to work at it slowly. Rather than shoving a controller in your partner’s hand right away and playing simple games together, take a trip through something more substantial. That way, your partner can passively take in the story, scenery and other aspects of great games while you enjoy doing what you do best. The goal here is to prove to your non-gaming partner that games have something to offer. They aren’t just high score counters and 1-ups anymore, and they can be much more sophisticated than the box of explosions your lover may think they are. With any luck, your partner will soon be looking forward to share gaming time with your favorite game.
- Find something your partner is interested in.
Just as when you’re trying to find a good movie to enjoy with your hunny, do your best to consider the tastes and interests of your partner when it comes time to share gaming. Consider things like the setting, subject, characters, maturity level, and others. For example, if you have a big fan of Disney movies, you might consider the Kingdom Hearts series. Does your partner enjoy a good crime drama? Give L.A. Noire a shot. Into music? Try Rez or E4 (both on Xbox Live Arcade) or enjoy some Child of Eden with your Kinect or Move. Even something thats just aesthetically strange or beautiful can be fun to watch. Think Beautiful Katamari or Journey. Considering your partner’s preferences will go a long way in keeping his or her interest.
- Let your partner help design the character.
ZZ Top said it best…. “Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.” A lot of guys are too! So use that to your advantage when trying to convince your partner to game with you. Games in the Mass Effect and Saint’s Row series (pictured below), among many, many others, offer super deep character customization options. If you feel your partner’s interest in your exploits dwindling, take full advantage of the undying urge in all of us to properly accessorize . By adding his or her personal touch to the character’s look and style, your partner should feel more invested in the experience and will be able to instantly see his or her contribution to the game with just a glance at the screen.
- Shy away from games with heavy inventory management and grinding.
Many RPG’s can take hundreds of hours to get through. That’s why you love them. Skyrim, for instance, boasts a beautiful, engaging world, and an epic story, but also requires hours and hours of tedious inventory shuffling. If you do choose to play an RPG, try to slog through some of the grind on your own time while your better half is away and save up the juicy action and story bits for when you share gaming time.
- Talk while playing.
Joking, laughing, and having a good time is key to developing your partner’s interest in games. Many uninformed non-gamers still see our hobby as a loner-y, loser’s pastime. Make your gaming time into a topic of conversation. Discuss the plot and characters. Ask about your partner’s favorite aspects of the game. Show that game time together can still be ‘quality time’. Also, keep the game-related talk going while you aren’t playing (within reason). Get your partner anticipating your next romp through the story.
- Make your partner think you are watching TV together.
As technology progresses and our home boxes become more powerful, the line between film and video games is getting more and more blurred. Many games nowadays play out more like movies or an episode of a particularly awesome TV drama. Telltalle Games two most recent episodic titles, The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us release a chapter at a time every two or three months. While its a bummer having to wait so long for the subsequent episodes to release, these games are so good, you’ll both be eagerly waiting to get to the next chapter.
- Find an appropriate jump off point when your partner is ready to take the plunge.
Huzzah! You’ve done it! You’ve created your very own gamer and he or she is ready to join you in gaming matrimony. But before you saddle your partner up beside you, consider this. Many of us gamers have been at it since we were young. We’re able to jump between many kinds of games with little difficulty. Keep in mind that picking up a modern game controller for the first time is like taking hold of your first musical instrument. You want to teach your partner some ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ before expecting to take on ‘Free Bird’. If Microsoft has their way, I’ll soon be suggesting you start out with a completely voice controlled game. But alas, that day has yet to come. Get your partner started with an easy to control game and work up from there. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons offers a great mix of relatively simple controls and fantastic story that could help catapult your ex-non-gamer into gaming alongside you on a regular basis.