Sometimes the best way to beat boredom is with some video games. But being married to a “gamer” can be a challenge! Video games are so much fun and so addictive that sometimes a non-gamer spouse can feel left out when a gamer plays. But instead of feeling left out and alone, why not join your spouse or partner? Some video games are perfect for couples to play together!
Pick a Platform
The hardware can sometimes be the biggest obstacle to gaming with a group. Computer gaming can be amazingly fun, but playing multi-player with a partner can require some technical skill and hardware that not everyone has. If you’re in a long-distance relationship or are separated by business travel, multi-player gaming can be a great way to spend time together despite the distance. If you’re in the same home, you may want to set up a game that can be played privately with only two of you; this used to require setting up a private LAN, but if the home has a good wireless connection, it can be done pretty easily with modern games over Wi-Fi.
Console games are usually the best games to play multi-player, as you can sit on the couch next to one another while playing. Nintendo Wii has many games specifically designed for multi-player, and as their games are easy for non-gamers to play, it tends to level the playing field when playing with a hardcore gamer! PlayStation usually has a pretty good selection of multi-player games, and Xbox doesn’t always have a great selection of multi-player games, especially for a casual gamer.
Pick a Game Type
Ideally, you can both agree on a game style. Non-gamers will usually want to stay away from a first-person shooter (FPS), as those games can be more difficult to master. Role-playing games (RPGs) are a good option for most new gamers, and platformers can be a fun choice for the casual gamer but may bore some more advanced gamers.
Fable 3 (Lionhead Games) is a great RPG for gamers who enjoy lots of options, a light-hearted feel, and a good storyline. Multiplayer games require the same set of characters for the entire game.
Diablo 3 (Blizzard Entertainment) is an RPG with a dark storyline, lots of loot, and a robust multiplayer experience. It’s available on computer, PS3, and Xbox, and the multiplayer experience is beautiful, allowing you to move characters in and out of the multiplayer mode while retaining their experience and skills.
For a fun distraction rather than a regular campaign, try Mario (Nintendo)! MarioKart is a great casual racing game, and Super Mario World and Super Mario Galaxy are both great games to play as a couple or as a family.
If you’re looking for a first-person shooter with lots of multiplayer options, try Gears of War 3 (Epic Games). This game is a hit with men and women, and there are many different multiplayer options, from co-op play to versus games or horde mode, to accommodate a quick game as well as a long chapter. Borderlands 2 (Gearbox) is another great multiplayer experience with a quirky, light-hearted storyline and a good mixture of RPG and FPS elements. Be forewarned that in Borderlands 2, the difficulty level will adjust to the level of the highest-ranked player, so it’s best not to play an advanced character with a new one.