Gamers aren’t born. They’re made. If you walk back down your own gaming road, eventually you’ll come across a cool older brother, a best friend, a significant other. Maybe it was your mom or dad who bought you your first console. Maybe Santa got you hooked. But somewhere along the way somebody taught you about the wonderful world of video games.
And now it’s time to pay it forward.
You think the Wii Fit Girl just appeared out of the blue? Oh no, my friend. Someone taught that super-girlfriend to love gaming. And with these 10 tips you can teach your girlfriend to love gaming too. Note that you don’t simply push her play DOTA and you can’t lure her with fantastic boostmmr as well.
1) Make Gaming Social
There ain’t no party like a Rock Band party cause a Rock Band party don’t stop! Let your girlfriend see that gaming doesn’t just mean watching you play Starcraft 2 in your boxer shorts while you ignore her all weekend. Invite over a group of friends for a Rock Band jam, or round up all the couples you know and have a full-fledged game night.
2) Start Simple
If your girlfriend is brand spanking new to gaming, start her off easy. Games with intuitive controls are way more fun for beginners. Motion control systems like the Wii or the upcoming Kinect are a great place to start. Pretty much anyone can paw the air for a boxing game, swing an imaginary tennis racket, or hula hoop their way to victory in a game like Wii Sports or Wii Fit.
3) Rock Star
Games with fun peripherals like guitars, microphones, drums, or dance pads are always a good bet. Deep down everbody wants to be a superstar. Make sure to stay away from games with a steep learning curve. The object is for her to have fun.
Just because your girlfriend doesn’t play games now, that doesn’t mean she’s a total noob. Many girls grew up playing video games but lost their love of the game as they got older. Rekindle the fond memories of her gaming youth by finding out what her favorite games were growing up. Then go find them!
I don’t care if you have to dust off an old 8-bit console or find the games on eBay – this is a surefire way to get a controller into your girlfriend’s hands. (And don’t you dare make fun of her for playing Bubble Bobble. That game is awesome.)
5) Gamer Chic
An entire subsect of the fashion industry exists just for gamers. Does a Nintendo controller belt seem like a silly reason to start gaming? So says you. Never discount the power of a really cute 1-Up Mushroom tee.
6) Set Time Limits
The idea of spending a whole night playing video games can sound pretty dull to a new gamer. Introducing time limits is a good way to keep your girl from dreading the console.
Heading out to meet people in an hour? See if she’s up for a few frames of Wii Sports bowling before you set out. The reverse can work just as well. When you come home from a night out, see if she’s up for playing a Guitar Hero song or two before going to bed.
7) Give Her Space
Don’t crowd her while she’s learning how to game. You’ll have a dozen tips you want to give her circling around in your head, but just fight the urge, shut up, and let her play. If she wants help she’ll ask you! Grrr.
8) Buy Games She’ll Like
Yes every girl is a unique delicate snowflake, and completely special, and unlike anyone else in the world. Having said that – every single girl on earth loves The Sims. Yep. That’s science talking.
The Sims is a great gateway game to get your girl hooked. Other likely candidates include Angry Birds, Bejeweled, and World of Warcraft. Careful with WoW though, once that game grabs her she might never play anything else.
9) No Means No
Never ever push your girlfriend to play video games longer than she wants. When she’s had enough gaming let her bow out gracefully. Don’t get annoyed or pester her to play more. The last thing in the world you want is for her to associate gaming with negative feelings.
10) Know Your Audience
The Sims notwithstanding, you should make an effort to gear the games to her personality. Here’s where all those hours you spent listening to her come in handy. (You were listening, right?)
If your girlfriend is a big zombie fan, don’t be afraid to let her try out a game like Resident Evil or Left 4 Dead. If she’s into sports, count your lucky stars on the way down to the Gamestop to pick up the new Madden or UFC Undisputed.
The Gaming Girlfriend
Recruiting your girlfriend to the gamer army might seem tricky at first, but time is on your side playa. Remember that games are designed to be fun. Games are designed to be addictive. All you need to do is get her playing a handful of times and then sit back and let the sweet sweet brainwashing do its work.