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Posted on June 1st, 2012

Rivalry

Girlfriends vs. Videogames

Many girls feel that this is a day to day drama. The truth? It isn’t. The girl herself is responsible for any drama that arises in regards to videogames with her boyfriend (for the most part). If it ever gets to the point where you find yourself saying “It’s me, or the games,” the war was lost ages ago. If the tension actually gets this high, then you can be sure that boyfriend will in fact name several reasons to choose the game over the girl:

  • doesn’t talk back or argue
  • provides a challenge that’s not entirely impossible to deal with
  • isn’t high maintenance
  • doesn’t complain
  • operates based on his actions
  • when he gets frustrated with it, he can turn it off and walk away without being followed
  • he can scream at it without any fear of consequences

and the list goes on. Of course, there’s the counter that technology can never replace a human in comforting and nurturing, but the point is it can still hurt when he rattles off this list. So do yourself a favor and don’t ever try to put that decision before him.

There are girls out there who claim to just not like videogames. This is a false claim. Everyone likes videogames. Generally what is meant to be said is that they do not approve of the idea of videogames, referring to the spending of hours playing through it and nothing is gained in real life except the satisfaction of being a winner. That in itself is a very different argument that I won’t touch upon. But my point is there is always some kind of electronic game that is liked by each and every person whether it’s Farmville, Angry Birds, Super Mario, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, or anything in between.

There are even some girls out there who try to get away with saying “I just don’t get videogames,” followed by an eye roll and some twirling of the hair. Well, that claim is just a total lie. You’re just not trying. A better explanation is that you’re playing dumb in order to get out of the videogame session, and that’s two mistakes you’re making all at once. Mistake number one: playing dumb is not pretty. It’s obnoxious. And you’re making the rest of us look bad. Guys like smart girls who know what they like doing, or those who try to make an effort at learning and doing new things. Mistake number two is attempting to avoid the videogame session. You are missing out on some serious bonding time. Make him feel special by allowing him to teach you something that he’s into. Don’t be his rival here, he his player two. Be his Luigi.

Once you’ve decided to join him instead of being a thorn in his side, you might find yourself asking, “What am I getting out of playing his games with him?” This goes right back to the point about bonding. It’s all about the quality time and team work, or the creation of some friendly competition. You drive places and go for hikes. You go out for lunch. You cook something together. You sit around and watch television shows and movies together. Add gaming into this mix and you, lady, are on the right track. Start off by playing your own game, something simple like Tetris. It’s a classic. But play this game whenever he’s preoccupied with his game, giving yourself a basic handle on some kind of game. Then give yourself the opportunity to get immersed the same way he does. Ask him about his game; the storyline, the controls, is it hard? (That’s what she said. And if it’s a great cut scene in the game, it probably is.) Comment on his play-style, whether you’re sure what that is or not. Once you’re able to get him to teach you about it, you then have the chance to get a controller of your very own. Once you have that in your possession, it’s up to you. I recommend embracing the experience and trying to be a good player. However, if you so choose, you can try it and be terrible and call it quits for gaming. He will accept your white flag of surrender and give you props for trying, and maybe even a little more respect, but the problem will only come back when his new game comes out, and the cycle starts all over again.

What really needs to be done here is to take full advantage. Play the game. Learn the game. Practice. Master the game. Unleash your inner gamer chick. Gamer chicks were once a very rare breed; some even believed them to be nonexistent. Fortunately they are becoming much more common and the world is a happier place for it. Becoming a gamer chick is like becoming a badass. You will feel this new power over other girls around you, a feeling like no other. It’s quite rewarding in the long run, and now there’s new common ground for you and guys to talk about that isn’t just sports.

The Girlfriend-Videogame War has a simple, classic solution: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Except this is more like, you can’t and won’t beat ‘em, so just make your life easier and join ‘em. With your new found ability to participate in gaming, you both will have a new found respect for each other and how each of you choose to spend your time. When you call him to do something and he needs to finish the level, you’ll understand. When he has to raid in twenty minutes you’ll get why he doesn’t have time for your chick flick. When he starts a game of League, you know you have a half an hour to forty five minutes to slap together some dinner and candles for the two of you. And it’s okay. You get it. You know what’s up. You know he’ll be giving you more of his undivided attention, like playing fewer games daily to spend more time with you, or asking to do things you’re into. So make him appreciate you! Cheer him on. Give him a kiss on the cheek before he puts his headphones on and is in the warzone with his buddies. Check in to see how well he’s playing. Celebrate when he tells you something exciting happened, or that he did really well whether you know what he’s talking about or not. I’m sure he’ll explain if you look a bit confused. But the important thing is to throw the confetti anyway. When you show how supportive and laid back you are, the tension melts away and he’ll feel even closer to you, with a tighter bond and a firmer trust.

It’s clear that this little bit of extra effort says a lot, and can ease many situations. The pros will always outweigh the cons when levels of happiness go up. But while you get into the world of gaming, I would like to gently remind you that it’s unnecessary to play eight hour marathons of games, or stay up until four in the morning every night. Those experiences are fun here and there, but they are not good on a daily and nightly basis.

So you see, there is no rivalry. It was never meant to be a competition. It was made for both sides to enjoy, not for one to pretend it didn’t exist. Embrace the system and all it has to offer. Make it fun. Dress up like your favorite female character for entertainment if you want to. Although, the majority of real women do not naturally have the properly pixilated curves to pull off those kinds of outfits. And by God they just keep getting bigger. But remember; play with him, not against him. Increase the population of the Gamer Chick, and end the war.

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