Married for five years, my wife and I share everything. The one thing she has never shared is my passion for gaming….until now! My key battle was getting my partner into gaming in a way which was not to overly enthusiastic but not too discouraging.
So we set out on a journey (quest sounded a little too nerdy for my wife) to show her the world of gaming. Firstly a disclaimer, I am a male gamer with a wife so my experience will be based on showing my wife the world of games. Therefore please don’t take offence if I am referring to your partner as she, your partner who you are getting into gaming could be or identify she, a he, an gender fluid non binary transpecies stick insect. It does not matter, gaming can be endorsed and loved by all.
The Plan to get my partner into gaming.
Find some games that peak their interest.
“Play Persona 5, God of War and Resident Evil!” was completely the wrong thing for me to be pushing when my wife started gaming last month. I know these are amazing games that I have a huge interest in. My wife is not dripping with enthusiasm to start a 100+ hours JRPG with a Niche (yet beautiful style). Not even a hack and slash adventure heavy on violence or survival horror that leaves my wife as dead as the shambling corpses among it.
How to pick?
There are several things to look at here. I have chosen Difficulty, shared interests and achievable goals to focus on. Starting with difficulty, Imagine the the first time you pick up your console’s respective control pad and play Dark Souls or Bloodborne? The chances are you may mot have gamed for long and may have dismissed gaming entirely. The first game I remember playing was Sonic on the Sega Megadrive, easy to play and everyone knows it, from there I played Croc and Crash Bandicoot on the PS1, then Final Fantasy VII, Resident Evil and the rest is history. Had I started on the latter games it is possible I would not have enjoyed them as much due to lacking the fundamentals to really embrace and get the best of them.
My wife starts her gaming experience with South Park: The Stick of Truth. An odd choice granted but my wife really enjoys South Park (especially Randy). The action is slow paced and the combat easy to grasp. As she says it is like watching one long episode of South Park where you are involved. She finds some parts difficult but the her overriding interest in the South Park TV Series maintains her enthusiasm despite more challenging areas.
As well as this the game is easy to dip in and out, my wife is currently studying Physics at university as well as being a Mother to our beautiful princess, so may only have an hour free at night to enjoy a bit of down time. Finally the game has lots of small quests, achievements and rewards. This means after a few minutes she has finds new equipment or completes a small side quest to give her something to show for her play-through.
Build a community.
My wife loves Instagram, like many modern girls she is really into social media, she will spend a whole evening on the platform and consider it time well spent. If we can combine this with gaming she will have an additional tool to maintain her interest.
The most obvious platform is Twitch meaning she can have the social experience whilst she games and by making it clear she is new to gaming she can rely on the assistance on people following her on her journey, We all love a journey! Many gamers make a successful career on Twitch and YouTube and whilst my wife and I do not expect this to be the case for us, the achievement of a new follower or encouraging comment is as rewarding as the in-game achievements.
By combining her Instagram with gaming on twitch she can not only experience both at the same time but also use one to superpower the other and even she admits she is starting to appreciate gaming posts, memes and GIFs more than she ever thought she would. Learn how to get started on twitch here.
Play with them.
At the moment whenever we play we will take turns. She watches me to see how I do things but also we are both involved in the action. This is prevents either one of us becoming bored along. By gaming together I share something you have enjoyed since my childhood very close to your interests. It is much more personal that watching a TV show together or a film together.
Encourage your partner into gaming solo.
There are times when you need to take a step back. It is difficult for my wife to be fully engrossed in a story we are taking turns to play. Long term my wife will eventually want to game by herself and make her own stories, mistakes and successes. Encourage them to try a hour or two gaming whilst you are out the house but most importantly allow them to game when they feel comfortable. Your partner will not always want to and they may have other things to do. Getting your partner into gaming is recreational and should not feel like a job unless you want it to.
Resist the urge to backseat game.
To watch a less experienced gamer is the most frustrating thing in the world. The amount of times I inwardly died watching my wife attempt to use the D-Pad as opposed to the analogue stick was beyond me This results in her death more than once similar to Sean Bean in modern cinema. You must however, resist the urge to take over or “help them this once”. This takes away their achievement, I know I would feel demotivated and less inclined to want to game more. My wife is headstrong and independent. She doesn’t need me to do any parts of the game, the only thing she needs is experience and support.
Let them go their own way.
Much like the first point gaming is an experience unique to every gamer. Your partner will see certain things that they like that will not interest you in the slightest. Things you enjoy in game will seem as dull as Fallout 76 to them. Inevitably gamers are wild beasts that always start off in captivity and will eventually be set free to form their own stories. These are just a respected and appreciated as yours. The next article I write could be my wife introducing and educating me on something I never thought to get into. Your partner will never get into gaming been dragged down the same path as you.
If you want to follow my partner into gaming click here.