In Defense of Video Games: The Couple That Games Together, Stays Together

Me? I'm a child of the 80's...and a little sister to a big brother. Also a bit of a tomboy. I fancy technology and having fun on the cheap. I enjoy adventure and sometimes wish I could break things to relieve my stress, but know that would be irresponsible &, what does this mean? It means...

Shocked? Don't be. It's all very logical. It started when I was a wee thing, growing up in suburban New Jersey...when we got a Tandy (I'm really dating myself here) and my brother got his hands on this game series called King's Quest. (III - To Heir is Human & IV - The Perils of Rosella, if you want to get specific.)

Maybe it was being in suburban NJ with not much to do or having an older brother who so thoroughly enjoyed gaming, but I was hooked early on (say 5 or so) and I never really stopped. It went from the Tandy to the Atari, the Famicom, the Sega Master System, the Nintendo...the Sega Genesis, the Gameboy, the Sega Saturn, the Playstation, the Dreamcast...the PS2, the XBox, the Gamecube, the Nintendo DS, the XBox 360, the Wii, the PS3...

I'm not afraid to admit that Husband Charles and I currently have 3 gaming consoles. After working our strenuous full-time jobs all day, we like to kick back post-dinner with a drink and some gaming. I highly recommend it and, I found, it can be a great test of one's relationship with their significant well as a great excuse for copious high-fiving.

Don't think you'll enjoy it? Think your too girly to play? Too manly to not give a virtual romp a try?Well, if your other half games (but not sports games...I have no idea how to get into those), the sheer mention of you considering gaming might send her or him into a dizzying vertigo of joy. They're guaranteed to be willing to work with you. For me, I was overjoyed to have found someone who already enjoyed gaming as much as I did.

But if you find the world of gaming scary or odd, don't...and begin your tumble down the enlightening rabbit hole of gaming. Here are my top 3 games to get you started (you can find any of these on most popular gaming consoles):

Like little, plastic relationship therapists...

Get the rundown of these games and why they'll get your other half to throw a ring on it or profess their undying love for you...(this goes for both men & women)...

Portal & Portal 2

Portal is a puzzle game...the first iteration was one player and part of a box set called "The Orange Box." It's a truly great way to see if you & yours can help each other by taking turns controlling and working together to solve the boards.

If you survive the first game without ripping each others' jugulars out, then you've graduated to Portal 2, where you have the option of playing together to solve the puzzles. Be warned, I found myself saying things like "what are you doing?" without even realizing it. Be ready to hurt each other's feelings or be aware that this can bring out the best & the worst in your relationship.

If you successfully complete both of these games together, you're probably guaranteed to 1) get married if you aren't already or 2) stay married forever.

Oblivion & Skyrim

Do you enjoy the great outdoors, but don't like the possibility of hypothermia, wild animals, lost cell reception and death? And, yet, you still want to have adventure and the feeling of accomplishment?

Welcome to my two all-time favorite role playing games...ever...let me repeat...EVER. Oblivion and Skyrim are both part of the Elder Scrolls series of games. Imagine a world where you can design your own character to look exactly like you (or your significant other...or your favorite celebrity...or the security guy in your office because you think it would be amusing). You can choose their race (including feline and amphibian races - yes, I totally designed the cat version of me), what your specialties are (in this case, weapons or magic), and all kinds of other things!

Both of these games will allow for hundreds of hours of gameplay, giving you the perfect lump-on-a-log afternoon with the one you love. Take turns battling everything from mud crabs (nasty little things) to dragons (only in Skyrim) and go on so many side quests you won't know what hit you. Or if you feel like just relaxing, buy a horse and go ride around the gorgeous countryside and talk to random people (that may try to kill you...but may not.)

I can honestly say, I finished every quest in Oblivion...including the quests in the expansion packs...both when I was a bachelorette and after I was engaged. (As in, I did it all at least twice.) I've never regretted those hundreds of hours of gameplay.

If you and the one you love finish both of these games together...I have a feeling you'll be married in several lifetimes to come, so intense your bond will be.

Call of Duty Series

Alright, you've graduated to the most serious of games to play with the one you love. The Call of Duty series of games are FPS's. This stands for "First Person Shooter" and are pretty violent, but if you've made it through the Portal series and the Elder Scrolls series, not only am I insanely impressed, but also have complete faith in your relationship/marriage. You two will be together through everything...including, but not limited to, the standard apocalypse, the zombie apocalypse, and every family holiday dinner & event from here to infinity.

You have a few options with these games:
  • Co-op: This will either be the most relationship-securing or may be the reason you break-up and I ended up being wrong about your strong bond. With this option, you have to work together to finish boards...and these are violent boards. They are not the cute, "oops, I died" boards a la Portal. If you die, you'll probably be shot to death and you have your partner to blame.
  • Campaign: This is the word for the actual story of the game that was designed for the player who doesn't have a girlfriend or wife...but, oh, there are two players. You can take turns to watch the story unravel or, if you're feeling lazy, watch them play and help them finish things up by warning them of enemy locations, etc.
  • Online: Should you be so lucky that you have two consoles, two games, two televisions, and a great internet connection, you can play online...against each other (or together, if you're lucky enough to be on the same team.) Online playing is where these games rule. Be warned, this takes a lot of practice. Expect to be killed numerous times by 12 year olds...there may also be some major sh*t-talking, so if you don't want to get distracted, there's an option to turn off people's mics. If you two are madly in love, get yourselves some headsets and conspire together to take everyone down. Suddenly, you'll be like Mr. & Mrs. Smith (on the couch.)
If you're at the point where you can play Call of Duty, then, baby, you're a true-blue gamer and have probably improved your hand-eye coordination, increased your appreciation for the graphic arts, and saved a ton of money not going out. I mean, true, you can probably do a lot of relationship building by going to special couple camps & getaways where you can rock-wall climb together, do trust falls, and couples yoga...but, hello, didn't we just discuss the whole "budget-conscious option" thing?

Save your gas, save your money, and save your relationship. There's nothing as romantic as defeating evil robots, saving medieval lands, and taking down a bunch of 12 year olds together...and if you end up not liking it...nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of other hobbies in the sea...? If hobbies were fish. You get what I'm saying. 

I'm sure your other half will love you no matter what. Just thought it might be fun to come clean about my gaming habits and also show you that gaming isn't just for pre-pubescent boys as some people may think. They can be for lovely ladies too!

To be honest, I know that Charles would probably not have cared if I didn't game...but me? I don't know if I would've ended up with someone who doesn't. Am I horrible for thinking that?

Hope you give it a chance! And if you're already a gamer girl, cheers! xo!

Note: In-game running, jumping, combat, acrobatics, magic, and defeating monsters, terrorists, and super-computers do not replace real life. I am, by no means, suggesting that gaming should replace all other activity in a relationship. In fact, Husband Charles and I have found that anything over 4 hours of straight gameplay can cause something eerily close to, what I like to refer to as, Scrabbitis.*

*Scrabbitis: The depression that sets in after 8 hours of playing Scrabble. Darkness and weeping may occur.

Additional Suggestions: According to my friend, Kristin, Mario Kart is also a great couples game...after she mentioned that, I would also like to tack on the entire Super Mario series.


  1. Playing is one amongst the foremost vital elements of growing up. Even kittens and puppies play. Through enjoying, we tend to learn basic motor skills, we tend to find out how things work, we tend to learn to use our imagination, to build, to operate in everyday life, and, we tend to learn to share.

  2. Children who experience music in this way develop strong neural pathways (brain development) linked to later academic success.