Someone great somewhere in some cartoon once said, "If ya can't beam 'em, join 'em!". Most girls, they grew up playing with Barbie and her hair and their own hair and Ken and their marriage and all that. So it is logical that they will not immediately take to blowing zombie heads off or bust a cap in them gangstas. It is also logical that once two of you hook up, there will be a time when you will have to wave farewell to your PlayStation. Treating your girlfriend like a Tomahawk and aim her at the controller will get you a broken controller. Simple enough. That said, playing video games with your girlfriend is what I believe one of the best ways to get closer to her. A lot of knowing the other comes out of walking a mile in their shoes, even if the shoes are virtual.
Getting your girlfriend to play video games may be treated like a first date - a lot of wooing, a lot of mush. But this first date starts where most guys hope the date ends - the couch. For girls to like something totally new (and in most cases, something they have protested against), it is essential for them to feel at total ease. Ease comes from a combination of a lot of stuff - food, music, a movie, and well, talking. Do all this right (by now I think you should already have a hang of all this) and she smiles and laughs. All in all, do things you know she likes, within the confines of your home, as comfort is the need of the hour! Move to the next stage when you think she's ready to 'take the plunge'.
Other stuff you can try out is buying her cool things related to your favorite games, like earrings from Mario Bros. or bracelets from Zelda. It is also a good thing to keep your gaming sessions with her a secret from others. One, because she might be a little shy of admitting she likes them (and like them, she shall! No one can stay away from a good game!) and two, because it will feel like a special thing that just the two of you are doing.
The Right Games
Selecting the right games is what will decide how the remainder fares. Like I already said, do not go to games of excessive brutality (games that we think are great, but frowned upon by censor boards and, well, girls...).
Get out the games that can keep the evening fun and girl friendly. The better choices would be games related to music and dance, like Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Just Dance. They are games that she will instantly relate to and will definitely have fun at. There are a number of arcade style games that you'd want to try out. You can try games like Portal 2, Little Big Planet 2, Prince of Persia series, etc.
An easy way to get her to like tougher games is to get split co-op games that have a split difficulty mode. This means that both of you play on the same game at the same time with different difficulty levels. Same goes for split co-ops with split open cheats. This is good because girls that have never played a video game before will tend to be bad at them for quite some time. It will take time for her to get a hold on the console, then game, then the levels. There are two things to remember while selecting a good game. One is the level of difficulty and the other is the level of addiction. The former, when higher, will put her off and eventually you too. Sites referring to the best video games may also be using a wider feedback database that can also include a larger number of girls. Check the ones that do.
Hard to play games are to be avoided when she has just started out with gaming. Eventually, when she gets the hang of it, you can try more complicated games. Maybe in time, she may actually get into the world of PC MMORPGs like World of Warcraft. MMOs generally have an expansive learning curve, so they keep you hooked for a long time, if you know what you're doing. Another good series is the Kingdom Heart. If she's into Disney, she will like this one. And if all fails, there's always the comical mushroom hating plumber, Mario. Try to figure her style and get the right kind of game out of the enormous Mario enterprise. If it's racing, then go for Mario Karts, or stick to the original Super Mario Bros.
If your girlfriend is into all the cute stuff, stay from games like Fight Night or Smackdown Vs. RAW. Also stay away from long RPGs like Final Fantasy or strategy games like Warcraft. I'm not saying she will hate these games, in fact chances are she might end up loving them too much and then start hogging them all night long (another possibility to avoid). I'm just saying they will take time to grow on her, so be patient. Try not to get frustrated if her choice of games turns out to be different from yours.
The Right Moves
- You need to be encouraging where she stumbles, convince her that the character can indeed do the seemingly impossible, tell her all the good hiding places in the map that only good walkthroughs will tell you.
- It can also be the case that your girlfriend may actually get better than you in some games. Face the fact and move on. Don't keep throwing open challenges at her all the time.
- Gaming time can also mean intimate time. It's one of the few things you can do to get close and really comfortable without having to wait for any signals. Help her with the controller by letting her hold it and you guiding her hand over it.
- Once she gets to know the gaming world, you can go shopping for CDs (or rent them if you're still undecided over her choices).
- Bottom line is; if she wins, you win. If you win, she loses, which means you lose. Don't make it a display of your gaming prowess by beating her at all the games. Times like these; her completing a level in 12 hours that you can in 12 minutes, may not earn you an "I told you so!" moment. Do not, by any means, be her coach. It will only end in you mad over her inabilities and her mad at you.
- Assume nothing. If you're in doubt, you can ask her what she wants, nicely. You can also get to know her fantasies and find the closest linked game out there (caution: you should really be close or a good talker to do this). No means no (wow, of all the clichés in the world). Some girls are just not meant to be gamers.
On a personal note, at this time and age, it's more likely we come across girl gamers all around, than ones that don't like video games at all (there are more girls in the online gaming world than you think). Sure they still prefer reading girly magazines to head-shotting zombies, but that doesn't mean they can't. At the end of the day, gaming is what it's meant to be, pure awesome entertainment. So keep it at that.