Let’s discuss gaming with your significant other. Gaming together has long been a bonding process with siblings and friends. But, it can be even stronger when done with your partner. When we grew up playing with our friends and family, we learned how to work together, take turns, and learned from one another’s mistakes. How often do we really get to do that in a safe environment with our mate of choice?
I’ve been gaming as long as I can remember. I can put it this way; I remember the old wood laminate Atari 2600 and long nights spent next to a TV with real dials. I gamed with my family, got my female friends into gaming, and traded games with male friends as well. So, in many ways, my husband is extremely lucky in that he’s never had to bribe me to pick a controller. What can you do, though, when your mate isn’t a full fledged gamer?
Do they have gaming system or do you need to invite them over for some split screen action? Of course, if you can get a potential partner to come over, that is always a good opportunity to get a little closer and doubles as a date. However, traditional gaming food is not recommended yet. Also, clean the gunk out of your controller or keyboard so they aren’t afraid to touch it. (I got a very thorough berating from my husband on this. So, it counts if they are huge gaming fans as well.
If they have their own system, online play is just a quick invite away and will build your communication skills. There is also the bonus not having to clean up your place. If you live with them, however, chances are they already know your late night dirty habits of carb loading and soda chugging. Just use your natural charm.
Have a couple of games in mind and ready. Don’t get upset if they don’t enjoy your first choice. There is a reason so many games are made. If they are new to gaming, I fully recommend BattleBlock Theater available on Xbox Live Arcade ( http://marketplace.xbox.
You might also have some success with Kinect/Wii games. The Dance Central series (www.dancecentral.com) can be a hit if you have the right partner. Harmonix managed to include nearly every type of music in the games and DLC. You will easily find something you both enjoy. They have ever so generously even included a mode where you can dance as a team and place the focus on the game itself. You can work up a sweat together and possibly end up entangled on the floor.
If you have a semi-experienced mate on your hands, try Borderlands 2 (www.borderlands2.com). I can’t say enough good things about co-op in this game. Your partner will be able to customize their character and take a more active role in developing it. (Hint – more commitment means they will be coming back for seconds.) This is where you can show off your superior skills and protect them or let them make some choices and lead the way. Either way, you will be learning to rely on one another and making decisions as a duo.
The biggest thing to remember is that they are new to this and, likely, very unsure of themselves. Trust me, nothing is more demoralizing than sighing or groaning at their performance. Make them feel needed and let them know when they do well. You’ll have an addict before you know it.