How to Play and Enjoy Video Games with a Non-Gamer
Benefits of Gaming with Your Lover:
- It's a bonding experience
- You two can laugh at inside jokes
- You'll both have better reflexes and reaction time
- Whenever you're bored there are always fun games to play
- They teach you things about yourselves
- Saves you both money since video games are cheaper than a pair of theme park tickets or an expensive dinner
- After a long day, video games provide a way to relax
How Can I Get My Girlfriend, Wife, Boyfriend or Husband to Play Video Games?
You're absolutely rabid about video games and have been since you were old enough to hold a controller. Your significant other on the other hand rolls his or her eyes at you when you gush about your favorite game or openly weep during an emotional part of the story.
"If you just PLAYED it, you would understand," you say, but you two don't ever see eye to eye on the matter. Afterwards, you both retreat to your isolated corners, and you're sitting around wishing you could share this very passionate part of yourself with your other half.
Why Does It Matter?
While some people see playing video games as a distraction or a bad habit, it can also be very beneficial to a person's health, social life and mind. Just like people who are passionate about fitness, cooking or sports, gaming is also something that people put a lot of effort and heart into.
Not being able to share such an important piece of yourself with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with can make you feel alone.
Getting your partner to enjoy video games can either be an extremely easy process or a tedious one. But, even if you've tried to make it work in the past or if you didn't try for fear of wasting your time, start off today with a blank mental slate. Everyday is a new chance for new experiences!
Level Up Together
The best place to start is, of course, at ZERO. The number zero doesn't mean that someone amounts to nothing; it means that the possibilities are endless and you both can only build up from there.
Do you remember a time when you didn't play video games? This situation is the same as when you were really young and you had never seen a gaming console or held a controller before.
Imagine your partner as an absolute beginner or, as I like to think of it, a level one character (or s/he's still on the tutorial sequence!). When you feel yourself getting carried away, remind yourself that you've leveled up a bit more than s/he has.
Don't Be Mean
This seems like simple enough advice, but "just joking" isn't an excuse to put someone down for getting a game over. Confidence tends to be paper-thin for those just starting out playing video games, and their main goal should be to have fun, not impress someone else.
Avoid saying things like:
- "You fell in that hole! That was so cute!" (I'm sure s/he saw.)
- "You fell in that hole! Did you not see it?!" (I'm sure s/he didn't do it on purpose.)
- "DON'T FALL IN THE HOLE DON'T FALL IN THE HOLE!" (Backseat gamers are never pleasant.)
- "Ha ha! You fell in the hole! That was funny." (No need to be rude.)
- "There's a hole up ahead. Try not to fall in it!" (No need to spoil the experience.)
- "You fell in that hole! THAT WAS AWESOME!" (I bet it wasn't.)
Most importantly, don't be a one-upper.
Play a Game based on a Show or Movie
Even though playing the video game version of Grey's Anatomy or Hell's Kitchen may cause you to roll your eyes, your partner may really enjoy them. This experience will go a long way toward helping him or her get used to where the buttons are on the controller, and could spark a desire to play even more games.
Although these games may not be your favorites, don't underestimate the power of experiencing them together. You never know--playing awful games may steer him or her toward games that are better (AKA games you like)!
Do you and your girl/guy play video games together?
Don't Be Overconfident
You think your lover is amazing, so overestimating his or her ability with video games is pretty easy to do.
Try to strike a balance between ego-boosting and just quietly watching so that there isn't any pressure.
Playing video games for five years and playing them for twenty years is a huge gap in experience. Someone who is great at Mario Kart may not be great at games like Borderlands or Demon's Souls.
Taking the controller from someone else kills confidence and ruins any chance of learning anything. Even if it takes 3,000 tries, you absolutely need to relax and let your partner learn to play the game just as you did.
Everyone learns at different rates, so something you picked up in two seconds may be a bit hard to grasp for someone else. Don't nag, grab the controller, insult or show you're frustrated (even if you are). Nothing will shut down progress faster than taking things too seriously. Calmly impart your wisdom when asked, showing that it's not bad to be curious and to grow.
Take all the time you need and enjoy the experience together.
Meet in the Middle
Sometimes people just don't enjoy a certain kind of game. Fortunately, there are genre-blending titles that can keep two people with different tastes entertained. If you're a fan of slow strategy games but your partner gets bored watching hour-long battles, try to meet somewhere in the middle with a game that satisfies you both. Find a strategy game with deep and engaging characters, flashy magic sequences and great music.
Play a Game That'll Make You Cry
You know that feeling when you watch a movie together and it's just very forgettable? Don't let that happen with your video games. Choose titles that have characters you can get attached to and a story that'll keep you both hooked.
Don't just sit there in silence! Discuss things like:
- The story
- Battle strategy
- Any characters who may have secrets
- Your feelings about music, scenery, characters and romance
- The inventory
- Experience to level up
- Weapons and magic
- Improvements your characters are making as they happen and what your ultimate goals are for them
Let your partner know that s/he's needed and really important to the journey. You may end up learning something, as well!
Let It Come Naturally
You will be absolutely overcome with joy when your lover says, "I really like this game!" and it's also one of your favorites. However, don't get carried away with heaping your ideas and tastes on top of him or her. A suggestion here or there is a great thing, but it can easily turn into smothering and nagging.
Also, avoid bragging about it to others. While it seems like a nice thing to do, impressing you might take priority over discovering what s/he truly enjoys.