Be My Player Two?
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day this past month, I wanted to focus on couple gamers and those who game with their significant other. What could be better than sharing your favorite hobby with your favorite person?! For me, this is a relatively new experience. In all my previous relationships I was the gamer and none of my past boyfriends expressed the slightest interest in gaming. Crazy-- I know! Which is why I love that in my current relationship I am able to share my love of gaming with my boyfriend, who’s just as a big of a gamer as me! Whether he’s eating my dust in Mario Kart or dragging me through Aperture Labs in Portal 2 at speed that would even make GLaDOS mildly amused, being able to share our love of gaming has allowed us to connect in a way I have never experienced before. Other than just helping me collect all the Wumpa fruit in Crash, playing together has strengthened our relationship in unexpected ways.
COUPLES WHO GAME TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER
There’s nothing like your partner seeing you buckle under the pressure of a group of Clickers barreling your way, but in the end you're better for it! Not only does your partner make you a better gamer, but you two bond over these shared experiences and learning how to fail in front of each other. No one is perfect at every game but playing together allows the opportunity to balance each others strengths and weaknesses. One of you may be the explorer, puzzle solver, and stealth master while the other has quicker reflexes and is a fantastic sharpshooter and gunzerker. Personally, I'm awful at driving in games (with exception of Mario Kart) and I immediately pass the controller when a driving mission comes up. You don't even want to know what the streets of Gotham looked like when i was behind the wheel of the Batmobile in Arkham Knight! I love the fact that every game offers something new to us that we can both work together as a team and excel at.
READY PLAYER ONE
With all the different game genres out there, there's many ways you can play with your significant other and you can change it up depending on your mood. MMO's are a great option especially if you're in a long-distance relationship. This gives you the opportunity to spend time together even when you're apart. I interviewed many couples who hailed online gaming as a means of staying connected in ways that solely talking on the phone couldn't provide while experiencing long distance.
You also have the option of playing against each other vs. together. If you and you're partner can handle some friendly competition then games like Super Smash Bros. can really turn up the heat on game night! While gaming can bring out the worst in some people, especially when it comes to competition, it can also bring out the best. And there's nothing like that feeling of triumph when you finally best your partner at that game that they're better at than you.
While I do enjoy a good couch co-op, my favorite games are actually single-player games.
I love a game with a great story behind it, but that also means there isn't a second player option for my boyfriend to play alongside me. So what do we do? Well this is where I feel like I've finally found my true gaming partner.... we still play together and just take turns! This creates memories of adventure for both of us and we turn it into our own story. Whether we are making decisions together like in Detroit Become Human or are alternating chapters in games like Uncharted, we still get to experience the game together.
In addition to getting to enjoy one of our favorite hobbies together, I have also discovered how gaming together has had unexpected benefits to our relationship. Couch co-op games like Overcooked and A Way Out require us to work together as a team toward a common goal. While this certainly has led to us yelling out the TV and each other to move faster under pressure, it has also taught how to better communicate to each other under pressure. Communicating is one of the most important facets in building a strong, stable relationship and it's amazing how video games are able to help facilitate that. If communication is something you want to work more on in your relationship then try adding a weekly game night into your routine and see if that helps cultivate a more communicative relationship.
Another added benefit that games teach you is patience and playing together will help you exhibit more more patience from your partner. Not everyone is an experience gamer and so you have to be willing to have the patience for your partner to not only learn the controls and rules of the game but to gain confidence in their own ability. Nothing is worse than feeling your not adequate enough to play with your significant other and be left feeling like you're holding them back.
Video games are meant to be fun, entertaining, and adventurous! Getting to experience that will your partner should be just as fun! Everyone games differently and finding what works best for you is key, but once that has been established you may find that it is one of your favorite things to do together.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Pharaoh’s Conclave (PCX)
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