Gaming is a fantastic way to bond with a significant other. The teamwork and joint problem-solving skills necessary to progress through many of today’s fantastic video games can only improve communication and cooperation skills as a couple.
There are certain types of games that are more appropriate for couples than others. Highly-competitive games do little to foster an environment of tranquility in a relationship. Highly-cooperative games, on the other hand, are a fantastic way for couples to spend time together doing something they can both enjoy without sowing discord in the relationship.
Stephen Spielberg’s Boom Blox for the Nintendo Wii is a puzzle game with some excellent cooperative features and modes. Often described as “Jenga with explosions,” Boom Blox takes the traditional puzzle-solving action from the classic party game and adds several innovative twists.
For couples, the game’s cooperative modes are an excellent way to enjoy video games together. Working as a team to solve the game’s many block-pulling, tower-smashing, and explosion-causing puzzles is a very nice way to spend an evening together. The satisfaction of cooperatively planning out a series of blocks to remove and then watching the tower a couple has worked so hard to destroy finally come crashing down is like nothing else in the video game world.
Best Games for Couples: Mario Kart Series
The Mario Kart series is one of video games’ true classics. Every iteration is fun and innovative and they all stand the test of time. For those unfamiliar with the games, Mario Kart is the original kart-racing series. Various colorful characters race around fantastical tracks while attacking one another with banana peels, turtle shells, and the like.
Technically, the human players are competing against one another, but all it takes is a few simple ground rules established early on (“You don’t shoot me with any turtle shells and I won’t throw any peels at you.”) and the game becomes a unique “two vs. the world” type competition. Working together with to dominate the competition is a very entertaining way to keep both players in the top spots at the end of each race.
Best Games for Couples: Rock Band
Rock Band is the consummate rhythm-action game. Players can choose from four different instruments (bass, guitar, drums, and microphone) and play along with the game’s multitude of pre-recorded tracks by some of the rock world’s most famous artists. There’s something for everyone in this game, from the aspiring Eddie Van Halen to the Tommy Lee hopeful.
The amazing thing about Rock Band is that once players get a handle on the game’s instruments they actually start to feel like they’re playing real music. The feeling of cooperatively shredding through a favorite rock anthem with a significant other is like nothing else in a relationship.
Rock Band is also loaded with customization options. Players can customize their on-screen character’s instrument, hair and clothing, even design custom artwork for the band. The realistic-feeling instruments and multitude of customization options work together to create a very immersive experience.
One more amazing thing about Rock Band? It’s an up to four-player gig. Couples can invite other gaming pairs along for the ride and take on the world tour mode together.
Traditionally, females and video games have been roughly as amenable as caviar and Coors Light.
Today, however, more females are playing video games than ever before. The recent explosion of casual games along with accessible consoles like the Nintendo Wii have created the possibility for gamers to spend time with their girlfriends and their Playstations simultaneously.
It’s in every male gamer’s best interest to introduce his girlfriend to his favorite hobby. Gaming can be a fantastic way to spend time together.
Here are the four simple steps that gamers can follow in order to finally bring their significant other and significant hobby together.
Step 1: Nostalgia.
Nearly everyone has some experience with video games, whether it’s a furious round of Pac-Man on an old Atari console or fond memories of repeatedly saving the princess as Mario. Find out her past with video games and tap into it.
If she was a big Donkey Kong Country fan, for example, then make a trip to a local pawn shop and pick up a Super Nintendo and a copy of the game for her to play. It’s a thoughtful gift that shows that you pay attention when she talks (always a good idea) while simultaneously opening her mind up to the possibility of playing video games again.
To many women, modern games appear to be needlessly-complicated kill fests. Remind her that games exist first and foremost because they are fun. Classic games are easy to pick up and play and that never changes.
Get Your Girlfriend to Play Video Games, Step 2: Casual Games.
Chances are, your girlfriend doesn’t think that shotgunning a guy in the face is half as fun as you do. Once you’ve successfully reminded her of the golden days of gaming, it’s time to move on to more modern fare. The key, however, is proper game selection.
Try puzzle or rhythm games. Women are less into games requiring homicidal impulses and more into those that take concentration and intelligence. The Nintendo DS and Wii are both loaded with games that fit the bill perfectly.
Show her your skills at Guitar Hero or introduce her to a puzzle game like Professor Layton and the Curious Village. She probably won’t jump in right away, but chances are if you show you the right type of game, you’ll at least pique her interest.
Get Your Girlfriend to Play Video Games, Step 3: Leave her Alone.
Trying new things is intimidating. You wouldn’t want to learn to putt with Tiger Woods leaning over your shoulder and chances are your girlfriend doesn’t want to take her first awkward steps into the strange new world of video gaming with someone who has been playing for 20 years critiquing her every move. Make your video games accessible to her, then leave her alone.
Let her get started in private, and when she feels like she’s got a handle on gaming, move on to step 4.
Get Your Girlfriend to Play Video Games, Step 4: The Couple that Games Together…
Start with games that feature cooperative gameplay. Tekken may be your favorite game, but you’re definitely not going to win your girlfriend over by repeatedly pounding her face in every time you play together. Play a game that gives you both a sense of accomplishment.