Romance and Gaming

The mission statement of Games I Made My Girlfriend Play is sharing video games with the ones you love, whether they are rabid fans or complete neophytes. Our objective is to offer insight that this medium can deepen personal connections and to introduce games to those who might not enjoy them currently.  While this sentiment applies to friends and family, it can certainly apply to romantic relationships as well.

For many couples on Valentine’s Day, playing video games might be on their minds, but it is usually not found on the list of accepted activities (which is fixed price menus, buying roses, and eating too much chocolate).  In this post from April 2012, Laura explains how to introduce video games into your relationship and turn gaming into a romantically fun activity.


These days it is not that hard to get your girlfriend to play video games. Just look at the casual game revolution (smartphones games, motion control, and social network games) and you will find it is easier to turn your girlfriend towards gaming than ever before!

I decided to write about this because I don’t feel like many articles out there give the right impression about women.  Most people tend to herd us into one finite category. Generally this category isn’t an accurate representation of my gender, but more like a characterization of what a woman should be like. I wanted to write something that didn’t pigeon-hole us as unrealistic, unreasonable, and romantically obsessed. I don’t feel that representation does us justice or paints an accurate picture of what you’re going up against.

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You really don’t need to “trick” your girlfriend into playing video games with you by coating them with some romantic varnish or inventing imaginary friends. Many women, particularly more educated women, know their own minds. You are not going to pull a fast one on us like this, I’m sorry. So instead I’m going to help you out by addressing this:

How to Make Video Games Romantic
(or rather how to capitalize on the romantic elements of video games)

Romance is about intimacy. At it’s very core it is bonding experience. Most of us, both men and women, have a basic desire to interact and bond with each other. The things you want are the same things your girlfriend wants.

That being said, you might not want exactly the same things, but they are usually close enough for government work. She wants you to go dancing with her, you want her to play video games with you. At the heart of this is a genuine desire for your significant other to enjoy the things you like, or at least make an effort to appreciate the things you like. It’s a desire for bonding.  Understanding a few things and a bit of effort on both sides goes a LONG way in making a relationship more successful and less stressful.

So I will start by addressing this simple fact: Video games are not inherently romantic.

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Video games are not roses and Champagne, or a walk on the beach at sunset, or a trip to Paris for your anniversary. They just aren’t. They may be one day, but they aren’t right now. But video games are fun. And fun is certainly an important component of romance.  All the trips to Paris and strolls on the beach really don’t amount to much if no one is having any fun. And fun is enough to work with. So you can safely forgo the candle light and flower petals.

Here are some suggestions to make your video game experience a comfortable one:

Date night
Video games can be a wonderful part of a stay at home date night or a casual end to a night out. Order something from your favorite restaurant (or make your favorite meal at home), hop into your comfy pants, and plop yourselves down on the couch. Pretty much “movie night” without the movie.  If your lady love wants a fancier night (I would venture to say that most girls don’t get dressed up to sit on the couch), go out for dinner and/or drinks and end the evening a little early to relax at home with some games.

We now have category of posts called Date Night to give you some inspiration for just this type of thing. 

Relaxing mornings
Saturday (or any other day off) is a great time to play video games with the love of your life. For me, sleeping in (until the ungodly hour of 7:30am), followed by a bit of breakfast to eat on the couch while I play a game is very nostalgic. It’s pretty much the exact same ritual as the Saturday morning cartoons we all watched as kids, and trust me; that little oomph of familiarity definitely doesn’t hurt when it comes to getting your lady to join in. Cuddling up to each other on the couch to play together is a great carefree way to spend the morning.

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Co-op Games
With rare exceptions, I would venture to say co-op games are going to help you out the most in romance department. Watching your significant other putz around looking for treasure will get old quickly. Competitive games can start fights, especially if there are sore losers involved. Working on something together is far more gratifying and fun.

Now allow me to offer you a couple things to avoid:

Don’t schedule raid night on date night
If you want one surefire way to give your girlfriend a negative association with videogames, trust me, this is it. This is a good way to give the impression that video games are more important that her. Things will not go well. Have a set date night and a set raid night, and ensure they don’t overlap.

Don’t be an ass
I have found this to be the best rule to live by. Most of us tend to avoid things we are not good at, and you will only contribute to this aversion if you don’t behave. Play nice, be helpful and supportive, and just be considerate of your partners feelings.

Don’t be inconsiderate of her time or hobbies
If she has endeavored to be included in your hobbies, you should do the same. Either become more involved in her interests or pick up a new activity together. And never force or guilt her into playing games with you. Be respectful of her time.

There really isn’t much else to it. With a little common sense, gaming can become a fun and romantic activity that you can both enjoy. I plan to write more articles specifically addressing specific genres, as well as giving some recommendations on games to try.

gimmgp01

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