girl-gamer

How to convert your girlfriend to gaming: a guide How to get your better half hooked...

Girlfriends: they can be awesome. Making sandwiches, looking ‘hawt’, doing ‘stuff’ – yep, your missus can do all that good stuff and more, but when it comes to gaming there’s a blind spot in the brain of ‘planet woman’.

Sure there are a select few who have dared to go where no girl has gone before, joining their man for a quick game to humour you, but for the most part we’re suspecting that when it comes to gaming your girlfriend is wagging that finger, ripping the PlayStation out of the wall in a premenstrual rage, just so she can watch Desperate Housewives, or worse, Grey’s Anatomy (shudder…).

But relax… we’re here to rescue you. No longer will you have to suffer, waiting patiently for Eva Longoria’s five pitiful minutes of screen time, wishing you could punch Dr ‘McDreamy’ until his face is a crimson mass of pulped flesh. We’re here to help convert your missus into a gaming machine. Dr Phil is our bitch: follow our advice and reap the benefits…

Ease in Gently…

First off, stop what you’re doing and think. Picking up a SIXAXIS, and shouting “think fast” before launching the controller at your better half is not going to work. Neither is chucking Metal Gear Solid 3 in your PS2 and asking your girlfriend to memorise the complicated controls, while you watch over her with a clenched iron fist. As with all undertakings of this magnitude, you need a plan…

But before you do anything, ask yourself how well you know your girlfriend. Think objectively about what games she might enjoy playing. Despite what you may think, not all members of the fairer sex are going to love Barbie Horse Adventure. Some might actually want to bust out some Resistance multiplayer, or duke it out on Tekken – you just don’t know. Our advice, however, is tread carefully.

In general girls tend not to like overly violent or overly complicated games, especially if they are new to gaming. The first title you introduce is key: your missus needs time to get used to the controller in a forgiving environment that is both stimulating and geared towards her needs. In other words your girlfriend isn’t likely to jump headfirst into Ultimate Mortal Kombat and start busting out fatalities the first time she plays. Try something a little more slow paced, and easy going, like The Sims. Something that will allow her to work through the mistakes she will inevitably make.

The Secret Weapon…

But, you know, some girls, despite how easy and tailored to their needs a game is, will still baulk at the idea of gaming. The traditional controller, with its dual analogue set up and prodigious range of buttons can be a bit intimidating. But never fear, help is at hand, quite literally, in the form of your ultimate secret weapon: the game peripheral.

Yep, one of the main reasons that the PS2 continues to outsell its rivals is its slow move from hardcore games machine to party starter. It always seemed strange that despite the fact almost everyone we know owns a PS2, those little buggers continue to sell. Why? Because people who normally wouldn’t touch games with 40 foot barge pole, are interested in the kind of interactive entertainment you don’t need a control pad for…

Games like Guitar Hero, BUZZ! and SingStar, with their range of peripherals, are perfect for gently introducing your girlfriend to the world of gaming.

For starters we recommend you splash out on the SingStar microphones, set the difficulty to ‘easy’, then let the game do all the work for you. All girls like to think they can blast out a note or two, and having some videogame tell them they are a ‘rising star’, ‘lead singer’ or even better, a ‘SingStar’, will only increase you missus’ attachment to your console of choice.

Better yet, once you’ve ‘eased in’ with the mics you can be more brazen about plunking a proper controller in her dainty hands without getting kneed in the balls. Congratulations: you have broken the barrier between woman and control pad.

Removing Obstacles…

All right troops – give yourself a firm, manly pat on the back, the first major step is over, but the journey has just begun and there are difficult times ahead. Now that your little chick-a-dee is a bit more confident about plugging in the console it is your sworn duty to encourage this kind of behaviour. We cannot stress this enough – never, and we mean never, take the piss out of your girlfriend regarding her attempts to play.

No matter how crap her skills are she must believe that she is the games master. This is a sensitive time, you need to reinforce her constantly, tell her how good she is. Sacrifice your ego by telling her that she is even better than you. Chicks totally dig that…

Okay. So listen up fellas, this is the difficult part. During the early stages of her conversion, your girlfriend will most likely prefer to do anything rather than play games. That includes things like watching TV, reading, or possibly even doing housework. Yep, it may sound sexist, but girls are, in general, a bit more responsible than us sweathogs.

It’s hard to believe, but some girls actually put cleanliness and hygiene before gaming (gasp!) so it is your duty to help her through this difficult time; meaning you must push past all your natural, manly instincts and do some cleaning. We know, it feels so wrong, but if you help remove all the distractions she might be more inclined to spend that time gaming. In addition you can earn some brownie points for doing some extra work around the house. Booya!

The Consequences…

So now you’ve got your gorgeous spouse playing games. Now you’ve got your senorita to the stage where she will independently seek pleasure from the awesome world of videogaming, and possibly partake in titles that you never thought possible. Now is a good time to kick back, reflect on your success, and give yourself a well deserved break. But sooner or later you will find your soul struggling with this single question: was it worth all the effort?

Now your girlfriend bogarts the PlayStation, she may deal you the sort of ego crushing defeats that cause you to recoil in horror, as she gets all up in your face trash-talking about how you ‘just got served’. Is this what you envisioned? Your girlfriend slowly encroaching on your game-space, chopping your balls off with defeat after defeat in Soul Calibur III? You may laugh now at the absurdity of it all, but it’s a stark possibility, and one you must consider before an undertaking of this magnitude. These are questions that must be considered.

But despite our completely ignorant views about girl gamers, we thoroughly recommend the joys of playing videogames with your better half. And the fact of the matter is more girls are gravitating to videogames every day; developers are making huge strides towards creating the sort of gaming experiences that females are interested in. There is a stark possibility it’s something she is already interested in. Go on give it a go, we promise you won’t regret it… that much…

Some Warnings…

If you try to get your girlfriend into something she’s never been particularly interested in and succeed, she may feel inclined to do the same to you. Don’t be surprised if she wants to show you the joys of netball. Or Ugly Betty. At this point you need to do what all men do – suck it up and smile.

Assume nothing.

The fact of the matter is it’s 2009 and, unless she’s Amish (or 70), she’ll have played a videogame or two in her time. Consider that before you address her like a puppy you’re training how to sit. Chicks hate that.

Not all women are the same.

If they were, we would’ve figured them out long ago. As such, light and fun games may not always be the answer. Some girls like lion cubs, bright colours and Belinda Carlisle. Some girls like aliens, zombies and alien zombies. Take note.

– With BUZZ!, go easy.

We all know that women and general knowledge go together like Britney Spears and hair clippers, so play dumb – let her win a couple of rounds, or lose her forever.

First things first I'm the realest.

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ReiSilver
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ReiSilver

it may be tongue and cheek but it’s still annoying as hell for female gamers to be talked about like some mythical creature. I’m a woman and I game, just about all of my female friends game and it’s not the ‘girly’ games… I’m sick and tired of that marketing too. It would be nice to have the game industry acknowledge that we exist once in a while.
Now I’m going off to play more Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines, Eternal Sonata, Fallout 3, Mirror’s Edge, LOTRO, Crisis Core, Okami, No More Heroes, Ratchet and Clank etc….

blinky
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blinky

I must say I’m honestly suprised that there was absolutly no mention of anything Nintendo at all. No wii? no DS? sure, they arent really GAMING gaming, but what better way to step into it? I must say personally, i went from minesweeper to sims to WoW in 3 little steps, which i dont think is common, but if you want your girl to do something gamey, start with ds, like nintendogs or some crap, then sneak in some more interesting games like tomb raider or something. then BAM! gamer girl for life.
Make your own damn sandwiches.

crazytwish
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crazytwish

Yeah, I can understand games that are aimed at females to get them to play, but the games like Singstar/Lips and all the cutesy games are just a very small portion of the gaming market.

Finding actual gamers that are female IS a rare thing, as PSIress says. Then again, it’s just a matter of whether you actually ask or not. For some reason, I meet females who play games who are actually afraid to say that they use a console! Whereas I’m the type to just get out there and say it. No use hiding what I like to do in my spare time.

Oh, and how’s this for a non-girly game… I just picked up Devil May Cry 4 for $30. It’s an awesome game! The kind of game that I would call work and say I was sick for a couple of days…

PSIress
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PSIress

I have to admit, outside of this forum I have never met a girl into gaming like myself. We had a couple in the games course but they were all into the girly games like singstar etc and only played now and then.

crazytwish
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crazytwish

Sandwiches?! Making sandwiches?! The boys can make their own sandwiches, I’ve got some gaming to do!

I find it interesting that the beginning of this article is based upon stereotypes that are so old-fashioned that it’s insane! What girlfriend in their right mind is there to make sandwiches?

As for the games that you’ve suggested: Yuck! I play Madden, Burnout, Lego franchise, Soulcalibur, Guitar Hero, and other games that might be stereotyped as being ‘male oriented’. Well, excepting the Lego stuff, that’s for kids mostly. I’m even going out early this morning to try and grab a copy of Devil May Cry 4, because I just played a demo and loved it! I found a place where I can get it for really cheap.

So, stick with looser generalisations. There are many more female gamers out there than you give credit for. I’ve even found one at the same school that I work at, and she is a teacher! So, THERE! Now, let me go and play some Guitar Hero some more…

sidawg2
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sidawg2

you know that this is completely tongue in cheek right?

i remember this from the Playstation mag from Wayyyy back.

Toddski
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Toddski

My regular StarCraft team mate is a girl. She doesn’t really play games, but is now addicted to StarCraft.

Getting non-gaming girls to play SingStar is too easy, try an RTS 😛