How to Get Your Girlfriend Interested in Video Games
Regardless of how many girls you see on G4 talking about gaming, video game culture is a boy’s club. Sure, there’s the occasional sexy girl gamer with a penchant for first person shooters, but most men will eventually be forced to relinquish their video game controller at the urging of their girlfriend. The best way to keep your girlfriend and your games around is to use the social aspect of gaming along with a few “girl friendly” game ideas to slowly but surely numb your girlfriend to the idea that video games are a part of your life. Your girlfriend may never be a part of your Resident Evil marathon, but with a little luck she could end up sitting next to you playing along at least some of the time.
1. The first step on the long road to developing your hot girlfriend into a hot gamer is to figure out what (if any) gaming experience she has. You can just come out and ask her if she’s ever played video games before. Remember that there are many game hobbyists who play an occasional game but don’t leave a butt imprint on the ground in front of the console like you do. Whether she played Mario games as a child or dabbles with Java games on the Internet, any foundation in gaming will help you figure out what kind of games she may enjoy.
2. Use the old “quality time” argument. Tell your girlfriend that if she joins you in your pursuit of gaming, the two of you will naturally spend more time together. The tough part is that to enjoy this time together, she has to be having fun as well. This is treacherous ground, and if she doesn’t go for this argument, you need to back off and try another tactic.
3. Finding a game that your non-gamer girlfriend will like is pretty tough. You’ve spent your lifetime building a taste for specific games and you know what you like. This is where game rental becomes important — rather than buying the first “girl oriented” game you see on the shelves (let me know if you find one), rent a few games and let her try them out. Remember that your mission is to get her to play games along with you, so you may want to introduce her to the style of games you like. Don’t rent games for her that you’d never play, otherwise you won’t be spending any time together at all. While we’re on the subject, remember that lots of people are intimidated by a game’s complex controls. Try to introduce games to your girlfriend on “easy” setting and using games with basic controls.
Since we’re trying to convince your girlfriend to waste hours and hours with you tapping buttons, you should look for games that are multi-player or co-operative. Sure, the two of you can go back and forth playing single player rounds, but (again) that’s not exactly quality time.
4. Don’t assume that all girls will like the games that are aimed their way. Yes, many girls will enjoy “all-ages” games like Katamari Damacy, or the Lego Star Wars series, but allow your girlfriend to name her own preference. Just because some girls hate gore doesn’t mean that your girlfriend will hate Resident Evil or Grand Theft Auto. What we can say about female preferences is that females tend toward games with complex plotlines and well developed characters — the good news is that most games today are designed that way these days. The point is that you give your girlfriend the freedom to make her own choices — this doesn’t just work in video games either. Unless your girl has a good sense of humor or a dark streak, you may want to avoid games with lots of sex and violence.
5. Now that you’ve helped her pick out some games she may like, remember to have fun. Anything the two of you do together that gets you laughing and having fun will be a positive thing in her eyes. Joking, being goofy, and generally doing anything you can to make her laugh will impress the idea on her that video games are fun. Make the point of your gaming time together to spend that elusive ‘quality time’ with her, not on winning a game or improving your gaming prowess. You may also need to prepare to assist her if she has difficulty with a particular game. All of us gamers get stuck in a game at one time or another, but you have to build a good balance of helping her and letting her learn on her own.
6. Teaching your girl to love video games is a time to show off your ability to be “Mr. Supportive”. You’ve already told her that learning to game is easy,and that she will eventually catch on to the controls, right? Now it may be time to let her win. The easiest way to hang a dark cloud over your relationship is to get frustrated because your girl can’t beat the simplest of levels. Remember that you didn’t become the awesome gamer you are today overnight.
7. Give your girlfriend some time alone to practice if she wants it. This not only shows your willingness to spend a little time away from her, it also makes her a better gamer. How many times did you have someone standing over you shouting instructions at you? That’s what I thought.
Once your girlfriend masters the basic button combinations and controls, make sure and let her sink or swim on her own. You can help if she wants the help, but telling her every little thing she did wrong during that one really hard Legend of Zelda level will make you seem like a self-involved jerk. Video games aren’t fun when they are mandatory or when you have a teacher hanging on your every move, so give her some breathing room.
Gaming is fast becoming a big part of our culture. As video game enthusiasts get older (and new generations of gamers are born), the percentage of gamers to non-gamers becomes more favorable. It is highly likely that your next girlfriend enjoys playing the Wii or already has an interest in computer games like the Sims. Build on those interests, introduce new games that she may be into, and clear a space on your filthy carpet for your new gaming friend.