How To Get Your Significant Other Hooked On Gaming

Being the only gamer in a relationship can be rough stuff. The guilt of monopolizing the good television, the sadness of spending time apart to level up, and the deep compulsion to rejoin your digital friends instead of maintaining your actual relationship are just a few of the struggles lone gamers face...but it doesn't always have to be that way! There are some basic steps that almost anyone can take to get their loved ones into gaming. Slow and steady wins the race, so read on if you want to be a gaming couple, and not just a neglectful companion.

Start small

There probably isn't a human alive today under the age of 40 who hasn't played a game on their phone, and as dissimilar as mobile games and console games might seem, Candy Crush is a pretty sweet gateway drug. Part of why people play video games is for the release of endorphins, and the brain's reaction to matching five peppermints isn't too far off from how it feels when it scores a perfect headshot in Destiny, so let them have their mobile games for now. It's just a matter of time before Jujubees become bullet wounds.

Find a clone

If you catch your significant other playing a specific game on their phone regularly, see if there's a match available on your preferred console. If it's a popular game, it's likely that there will be a version that uses the big TV in the living room, and seeing that action on the 40" screen is simply nicer than see it on any display that you can hold in your hand. Transitioning from mobile to the TV is one step closer to gaming unity—even if it's also a few more hours between you and your Far Cry missions. Sacrifices must be made.

Find a theme

One of the most important and ignored aspects of getting someone into a game is picking the right theme. If you're not sure which genre to go for, it helps to know a little bit about the person you've decided to spend your life with. If they like history, there are plenty of games that focus on specific periods, like Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty. If they like nature, there's nothing better than the forests of Endor in Star Wars Battlefront or Far Cry Primal. Favorite movie? There's probably a half-decent game based on it—unless it's You've Got Mail or something, at which point you just go with Heavy Rain. As long as it's not Imagine: Party Babyz, you're good.

Keep it simple

The PlayStation controller has a lot of buttons, and unless you're used to playing it like a piano virtuoso, it's not that easy to wrangle. Consider engaging in games that have relatively simple control schemes, even if it starts with emulating three-button retro games and slowly working your way up to the 18-button monstrosity that is the modern controller. There's no shame in playing a simple game in order to break into gaming, like Disney Infinity or any number of Lego titles.

Don't get frustrated

You know when you're watching Twitch and you see the dude miss the same jump like 25 times and you just want to reach through the screen? Don't let that happen in person. This is, above all else, an exercise in diplomacy. Alleviate stress by starting another save state or online account in case any grievous errors are made, and don't forget to instruct, but not command. If it's an open-world game, let them explore and get comfortable before forcing them to hop into the next mission. We all respawned for a reason.

Be a well-rounded person

When there's not a lot left to do on a boring Saturday afternoon, video games can start looking pretty appealing, but don't be the dude that sits in front of the system for hours on end while your relationship suffers and you create a general atmosphere of neglect, sweat, and boredom. When that happens, video games will only seem like a poison to those around you, and no one will want to touch them. In other words, get a life. When video games are a fun aside that don't cause damage to your real life, more people around you will want to engage along with you.

Make it a together thing

The typical image of a gamer is a dude sitting alone in a room surrounded by food cartons and darkness, but that doesn't have to be the case. While video games will never be the family get-together activity that the Wii wants us to believe, games can very comfortably be a fun two-person activity, even if it's just passing the controller back and forth through different portions of the same game. Don't be a joystick hog and remember to share—though two-player is king.

Don't grief

It's easy to let that competitive gaming edge leak over into real-life situations, but it can be incredibly harmful when trying to get your companion into gaming. If you can't put your competitiveness aside, just don't play. You know how you feel when you get killed the moment you respawn, ten times in a row? It's not funny to do that to your girlfriend either. If you can avoid online griefers altogether for now, it'll be a better experience for all.

Don't force it

Of course, some brains just aren't wired to care about the insignificant victories that come from gaming. They're more concerned with the perils and pleasures of the real world, or don't have the time to enjoy a little bit of imagination, or they already have their own hobbies, and that's okay. You can't force someone to love video games, just like you can't force them to like Third Eye Blind, mackerel, or roller coasters. Hopefully, your hobbies can at least share the same room.