So things are getting pretty serious with your gal and she wants to move in with you or vice versa. You know two things: Life is better with this beautiful wonderful girl and second; how will I play my video games as much if I have to share the TV with this special someone. Well, you’re in luck, since I have celebrated my 1 year anniversary not that long ago and am still playing video games. I am not in the ‘business’ and work a regular 9-5 job. so it is strictly a hobby that i love. i came up with 3 tips,for now, to ease your other half into living with what the world calls a “gamer”
Before I begin, let me mention that it helps if you have not kept your gaming hobby a secret in hopes of not scaring her away. If you have been honest from the beginning instead of saying the vague statement of “oh I play a little you know, I’m not one of those guys though” as you rub your calloused thumb, then it shouldn’t be too hard to keep your hobby, just maybe a little less of it.
So here we go, some ways to make life easier for you and your girl.
1. Try to involve her: if it’s a story driven game then maybe try and see if she would be interested and watching you play it. I know this sounds like a long shot, but try it. It worked with Uncharted 3 and my wife. I would only play when she was in the room and within a few play sessions she was helping me solve puzzles. Which really made it work since I truthfully told her I could not have solved it without her. that made her feel like she was a part of the experience and ‘we’ beat the game together and she found herself emotionally involved. If your girl likes scary movies, maybe place a survival horror game with her. try a dead space or even a simple Slender to test the waters. Girls like to be wanted and be involved. And if she feels like you are letting her in your hobby you might find positive results. I wont give an exhaustive list, but try games that have a strong narrative thrust. and maybe steer clear of sports and open world games. I’m not saying these will never work but i am thinking not the best way to start
this may be cheating, and you can decide, but my wife really enjoys Lego games and most racing games especially Mario kart. so i suppose i have an advantage over most. but let me be clear, just because she enjoys those games, does not mean that she is excited when i tell her about the steam sale and games about simulated surgery. does your wife love Harry Potter? try the Lego games. or Lord of the Rings. or Batman. these are great games for new gamers and have enough for the experienced gamer to sit though. and they are all coop which fits in perfectly to try and involve her.
UPDATE: I wrote this before I played The Last of Us, which is an excellent game for your significant other to watch. My wife has brought that game up at parties and raved about the story and gameplay. she even recommended it to my gamer brother-in-law. that has not happened before nor will it ever happen again.
2. Time management: we can agree that any hobby can be taken overboard. Yes, I know you might not want to hear it, but playing video games for 4-8hrs straight every night is not healthy, just the same as watching TV and movies every night is not either. They are the same (well, I don’t think they are, but I won’t get into to that so for now ,I’ll just leave it). But we all know that V-games have a negative stigma attached to it, and you will have to work harder than ever to make people even come close to understanding. Remember, you are not living alone or with roommates anymore, you have someone who cares about you and you care about as well. This person just might want to feel valued at some point throughout the night (I hope), so just communicate and after you have had dinner and talked or whatever your schedule/routine is mention that you want to play for an hour while she watches her show (if you have separate tvs or she has a laptop) use head phones if sharing the same space, which leads me to
3. Location: this one is more tricky for some. It depends on a few things, one is your gaming setup and the space in your home. For my wife and I, we only have a 1 bedroom apartment so all our entertainment is in our living room. We have a PS3 and I have a pretty descent gaming machine. So 95 percent of all my gaming is done on there. which actually worked out for me pretty nicley. I would have loved a little office I could have crafted into my gaming station, I shouldn’t tell you that I prenamed it the Escape Pod. although we have to share the same space, my gaming time has not suffered and I still get to spend time with my wife. Our couch is in the middle of the room because we have a weird shaped space. At first my desk was against the wall with my back to here, but I just hate that set up in general (especially with head phones on) so I put my desk right behind the couch facing the TV. So I can play games and still interact with her, whether she is reading or watching a show. This way, when it is “video game time” I don’t disappear altogether and make her dread it. This might not work for everyone, it depends on the games i suppose, but sometimes i will play a game on mute that really doesn’t need sound, say the incredibly addictive Euro Truck Sim 2. I end up playing a lot of games on silent, even if they are games that are obviously better. It’s the preferred way, but its a way that I can still play games without completely ignoring my wife.
So there are some things to consider. I understand that if your other half has made it clear she hates it when you play video games and you share 1 TV…well then my advice is probably not for you. But always communicate, be honest and always always always remember that these are just video games. To some people these are just ‘toys for kids’. so whatever you do, do not make her feel less valued then that. But this is still a hobby that is important to you and you should not have to be ashamed or hide from that either. try not to be defensive and let her know you care and play in moderation and hopefully things will go smooth(er) for you.