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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me? 550

x_IamSpartacus_x writes "I've been a gamer for a long time (started on Nibbles in MS-DOS) and enjoy pretty much any good game. I can enjoy side-scrolling relics (original Prince of Persia, Win 95), to modern MMORPGs (stopped playing my 85 lvl Mage on WoW just recently, read on to see why), to a good sports game (Madden series are a blast) and many more. I've been married for 4 years now and have hardly touched my games since being married and starting having kids. My wife and I are Americans but live overseas and have little access to new movies/entertainment and, from experience, I know that a good game can provide much more entertainment than a good movie. My question is, what are good ways/good games that I can use to get my wife into computer gaming? We both have good laptops that I'd love to get her interested in using to do co-op or combative games with me. Because of my long experience, gaming comes naturally to me and so even on a game I haven't played I would probably be much better than she. Is there a game or idea that would take away the embarrassing factor for her of being much worse than I am while still being enjoyable and worth spending a lot of time on with me? Do any other Slashdotters struggle getting their spouse to game with them?"
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?

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  • by gatorBYTE ( 93755 ) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:47AM (#42639277)

    Dude, I've been married for over thirty years and have never been able to get my wife into gaming... unless it was "Bubbles" on her iPhone or a simple solitary type game. She just has no desire to play and/or sees it as too much work. It is not fun for her at all; needless to say I am the exact opposite.

  • Portal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lattyware ( 934246 ) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:48AM (#42639285) Homepage Journal
    Not only is Portal a great game, but I have lots of non-gamer friends who enjoyed it, plus there is a sequel with co-op. It's also extremely good at training people to play the game, and teaching it's core mechanics. New gamers often find starting off hard as most games presume so much knowledge of general gaming. Portal lowers that barrier to entry significantly.
  • Portal 2 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:51AM (#42639309)
    Portal 2 has a nice co-op mode (video [youtube.com]), you solve the puzzles together. It could be fun.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:10PM (#42639507)

    I've been gaming with my husband fairly regularly since we got married nearly 20 years ago (although our gaming did drop off dramatically when our oldest was born until our youngest child was 5--little ones require lots of time!). As far as I can tell, his strategy was to figure out what type of game *I* responded to best, and then play those with me. Sometimes he'd play them solo first to get through the learning curve and be able to coach me when I needed it (though he was also kind enough NOT to coach me when I wanted to figure things out solo). I realize I slowed him way, way down, but it was "together" time that we both enjoyed, and he played his own games separately as well (a much wider range of games, and at much higher difficulty levels).

    Initially I preferred those silly fantasy quest / adventure games where you figure out puzzles (Kings Quest and the like--really juvenile, but I liked it, and it was ultimately my gateway into other games). He'd hang out while I played, offering me advice when I asked for it, and generally just being supportive and interested (like a parent at a young child's soccer game - hah). Later we played strategy games like MOO 1 and XCOM 1 (I did say this was 20 years ago!), and he'd help me through the learning curve until I was addicted as well. Somewhere along the way we stumbled onto Daggerfall/Oblivion/Skyrim, so we played those as well. Sims is another fantastic game line for pulling someone into gaming--I have a few friends who've said they never understood my enjoyment of games until they played that. On rare occasions we'd play a collaborative multiplayer game in which he'd be way, WAY further ahead than I was, and sometimes I didn't mind, but other times it was annoying. So most of the time I play the game and he coaches/hangs out with me... and then when I'm done he plays his own game. That's probably not the ideal you're aiming for, but the bottom line is that if you're wanting to help her learn to like gaming, you have to find something she likes to serve as her initial "hook" and then be fully supportive as she does make her way up the learning curve.

    So that's what worked for us. It might work for you. Something else might work for you. Or you might decide to have a different interest in common with her, and let gaming just be your thing (especially when your little ones are young! most moms I know would refuse to waste even 90 minutes watching a movie they didn't like in those first couple of years, where 90 minutes of downtime is absurdly luxurious and not something one can waste... so if that's the case, give her 3 years and then try again).

  • Re:Simple: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by madseal ( 916186 ) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @01:54PM (#42640309)
    I am a gamer, my wife (who is awesome!) is not I enjoy everything for Galaga, and Nethack to Diablo 3 and Call of Duty. For a while I have asked myself the same question, and maybe some of this will help folks. When my wife and I started dating she considered Arcades “One of the seven levels of Dante’s Inferno” I am still looking to find more games that she can enjoy with me, but we’ve found quite a few ways that we can have fun together playing games. Here’s a few of the things that have worked for us: 1) Find ways to play together as a team even if you are doing 1 player games (Find a way that you can switch off rapidly who is playing after one of you beats a level or gets stuck or looses a life and be affectionate as you’re playing – high fives and kisses as you switch the controller). 2) Recognize that your spouse my not have good reflexes and coordination that took you years to build (A lesson we learned playing minecraft, my wife found it frustrating because she could not react to monsters and she would die, so instead we put it on the no monster setting and just focused on building a house together) 3) Set a time limit on how long you are going to play and stick to it 4) Make gaming quality time, make sure you are interacting with your spouse both inside the game and outside random hugs and kisses after good or bad luck are always a good thing. 5) Mind your spouse’s tastes (my wife gets a bit creped out by zombies and the like, She’d play Resident Evil with me if I asked, but I’d be up all night hugging her as she was terrified to go to sleep) 6) Find something you both enjoy, ask your wife to keep you company and read or Facebook on the couch while you play one of your favorite games (My wife and I recently had a great time as she helped me design a new Skyrim character when she had only agreed to sit and read while I played for a while).
  • Re:Why game? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by x_IamSpartacus_x ( 1232932 ) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @02:45PM (#42640647)
    Submitter here.
    Yes, it is very weird. I don't really hang out with other expats who have that mentality. I live here and I'm happy to be here. It's my home, my kids were born here, they are citizens of this country and I don't want to create an American bubble around myself and my family. I'm actually a missionary and, let me assure you, I spend a LOT of time with the culture I'm in. I'm not trying to avoid spending time with Mozambicans. I'm trying to find an interactive activity I can do with my wife in the evenings after our kids go down. We don't have many board games, we can't go out (they kids are asleep in the house) and we are often sitting around without many options for evening entertainment except movies or TV shows on DVD. I want to invite her to join something I really enjoy doing (computer gaming) and find a lot of value in. It's nothing to do with avoiding local culture or neglecting my kids (as other posters have assumed).
  • Re:Why game? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @03:16PM (#42640851)
    That's a weird generalization. Have you ever been an expat? The initial excitement lasts maybe a few weeks, you're still in vacation mode. Eventually though, you crave familiarity your R&R. Going out and sampling the local culture doesn't occupy the same space as leisure, it's just not relaxing.

    When I was living overseas, I spent every weekend going out and seeing as much as I could. Evenings during weekdays, on the other hand, I wanted to relax. I played a lot of CivIII and spent a lot of time IMing with friends back home. Working all day and then being a tourist or trying to have cultural experiences got exhausting to the point where neither was any fun.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982