As the only lazygamer crew member with lady parts (although some of you might debate this), I’m often (read: at least weekly) asked how gamers can get their partners interested in gaming. So, here’s a one stop guide for anyone who has ever asked, or might ever ask, this question.
Why are you doing this?
Why are you desperate to get your lady friend (most people who ask are male, so going with this gender example) involved in gaming? Do you have dreams of playing co-op with your missus late into the night? Well, stop it. As I’ve already explored, the gamer couple is generally a myth. Even if you get your wife into gaming, she probably won’t want to play with you. While there may be the odd exceptions to the rule, such as Diablo III or MMOs, the truth is that most gaming couples I know end up playing different games.
Also, remember that gaming is an expensive hobby. If you want to get your girlfriend involved in gaming, that might also mean dishing out for a gaming rig, or a new console, or an extra TV. My husband and I are generally quite good at sharing the TV for console gaming, and we each have a computer for PC gaming. However, not all couples are as good at sharing and your wish might come true in an unhappy way when your wife falls in love with Dragon Age and you don’t get to play COD on Xbox anymore.
What types of games?
The Dragon Age vs COD example brings me to my next point. There are many different types of games for many different types of gamers. Perhaps you just want to get your wife into any kind of gaming, but I think you should think about your lady’s personality. A lot of ladies seem to enjoy management simulators on tablets. First of all, please recognize this as a valid form of gaming and if you can get your partner interested in this you’ve already shown her the appeal of this hobby. However, if she likes this and you think she might like something more in-depth even more, it could be worthwhile to introduce her to the Civilization franchise, or The Sims, or Cook, Serve, Delicious!
Gaming is just like any hobby, it might not appeal to all people, and certain aspects of it might be more interesting than others. Shooting games might not be as interesting to your lady as RPGs – she might want more character and plot. That said, she might love some Dead Rising – she’ll get to take out frustration by killing all the things, and express creativity by changing outfits and crafting bizarre weaponry. You might be lucky if your interests in games match up with hers, resulting in hours of Mortal Kombat tournaments, but if not you should still recognize and accept the games she does enjoy.
Not everyone will be excited to play the new Call of Duty, and not everyone is as amped as I am for the new Civilization. Hopefully you know your partner well enough to have a sense of the types of games she might enjoy, and still be open to the surprise when she beats your high score in your favorite racing game.
We know spectating is a big deal for eSports, but it also has its place in the home. I absolutely adore being the navigator for my husband – opening up maps on my tablet while he plays Dark Souls. I don’t even have to be navigator to enjoy things – it’s great for me to sit with my feet in his lap while he plays the Witcher; as long as I get to experience the story and characters, I don’t always need to hold the controller. While playing Mass Effect I soon got tired of scanning planets, often opting to go for a pee break in those moments while he could do the scanning for me. I’m not as generous with other games, preferring complete control while playing Final Fantasy or Dragon Age. However, he will happily sit next to me while I play, either looking at guides for weird quests, or just playing his own games on 3DS or Wii U.
Getting your lady involved doesn’t necessary only mean having her hold the controller. It might mean letting her make gameplay decisions or giving her the companion app for the game you’re playing. There are so many ways to play together, it’s important to be open the way it works out.
Accept the things you cannot change
Finally, it’s important to realize that you really might not share the same hobbies with your partner. Do you want to get involved with her fascination with crafts? How about her dream of going scuba diving all over the world? Are you about to co-op with her entomology experiments? Perhaps she will never like your hobby, and that’s okay as long as you both have things that you enjoy and can appreciate those things that make each other happy.
In the end, it comes down to each individual relationship. Having a partner with different interests might open you up to a whole new range of ideas and activities. It might be wonderful for your partner to join you in gaming, but as long as you can both be interested and excited for each other, regardless of your various pass times, it shouldn’t really matter if you game together.
Now, please stop asking me how to get your partners into gaming. If you still need advice, I don’t think gaming is the issue.
Last Updated: September 10, 2014