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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Get My Spouse To Start Gaming With Me?

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the time-to-play dept.

Games 550

x_IamSpartacus_x writes "I've been a gamer for a long time (started on Nibbles in MS-DOS) and enjoy pretty much any good game. I can enjoy side-scrolling relics (original Prince of Persia, Win 95), to modern MMORPGs (stopped playing my 85 lvl Mage on WoW just recently, read on to see why), to a good sports game (Madden series are a blast) and many more. I've been married for 4 years now and have hardly touched my games since being married and starting having kids. My wife and I are Americans but live overseas and have little access to new movies/entertainment and, from experience, I know that a good game can provide much more entertainment than a good movie. My question is, what are good ways/good games that I can use to get my wife into computer gaming? We both have good laptops that I'd love to get her interested in using to do co-op or combative games with me. Because of my long experience, gaming comes naturally to me and so even on a game I haven't played I would probably be much better than she. Is there a game or idea that would take away the embarrassing factor for her of being much worse than I am while still being enjoyable and worth spending a lot of time on with me? Do any other Slashdotters struggle getting their spouse to game with them?"

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Simple: (5, Insightful)

x0d (2506794) | about a year ago | (#42639179)

You don't.

Re:Simple: (-1, Troll)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#42639325)

Wouldn't it be more interesting to make it work rather than immediately take the most nihilistic approach?

Re:Simple: (4, Insightful)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | about a year ago | (#42639431)

Nope. Accept that she has the freedom to have other interests.
If my Significant Other started making demands like that, I'd have to wonder why she wanted us to break up.

Re:Simple: (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#42639627)

I'm in much the same boat looking for a game both my girlfriend and I would enjoy. She's open to the idea of it, we just haven't found a multiplayer game we're both into (although there are a lot of single player games we both enjoy, especially the Sim- and Sims series).

You don't.... (3, Insightful)

djsmiley (752149) | about a year ago | (#42639185)

Either she'll game differently/better than you and you'll regret it.

Or all your time becomes gaming time when your together and you don't end up enjoying it.

Re:You don't.... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639245)

Either she'll game differently/better than you and you'll regret it.

Or all your time becomes gaming time when your together and you don't end up enjoying it.

djsmiley know of what he speaks.

You will regret getting your spouse to game with you.

Oh, you've got kids too? You will DEEPLY regret getting your spouse to game with you.

Let Me Explain (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639469)

Let me explain a little bit more...

You know those hours that you spend alone, immersed in a game while you own n00bs in BF3 or while you wage some pathetic WoW or LoL quest? What is your wife doing while this is going on? Is she cleaning, making dinner, keeping the kids occupied or watching a movie, leaving you uninterrupted for your fun?

Now, imagine she's gaming, spending hours immersed in a WoW or LoL quest, or worse still some ridiculous hours long farming stint. Imagine she's as addicted to that crap as you are. Who's cleaning, making dinner, watching the kids? I can tell you who won't be playing games for long stretches. I can tell you who won't be enjoying the fact that their spouse is gaming. You won't.

The proper course of action is for you to spend a little less time gaming and a little more time doing group activities with your family. Then you can enjoy your uninterrupted game time.

Regret, thy name is x_IamSpartacus_x

Re:Let Me Explain (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639541)

I'm Spartacus!

Re:You don't.... (1)

CaptainLard (1902452) | about a year ago | (#42639567)

Hold on, you forgot to list the many many other scenarios that arise when it turns out she just doesn't like playing video games. Thats what you really need to be careful of.

Get a DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639187)

I got my girlfriend a DS and Animal Crossing. Haven't heard from her since. Except when she wants to come to my town to sell stuff.

married? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639189)

liar liar pants on fire

This is a box you dont want to open. (4, Insightful)

evil crash (739354) | about a year ago | (#42639193)

This is a decision you will soon regret. Go out and immerse yourself in the local culture, take the wife and kids. It's an experience you'll never have again, take advantage of that rather than cooped up at home.

Why game? (5, Insightful)

CoreDump (1715) | about a year ago | (#42639199)

Why not do something active?

Why not get out and explore the country that you are in with your wife and kids?

Start socially and cooperatively (5, Insightful)

sco08y (615665) | about a year ago | (#42639201)

Get friends together so she's not the only inexperienced person, and so she can take a break when she wants. Do stuff like Rock Band that is cooperative and easily adjusted for new players.

Re:Start socially and cooperatively (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#42639513)

I second that. MMOs have big cult followings among women.

Women are just different. They are social beings. They want to integrate people and technology into their already existing lives. Not use it to get away as a stress reliever like men. The fact you need downtime makes them resentful. However if sheis included like in Wow has an appeal.

Re:Start socially and cooperatively (1)

SuilAmhain (2819677) | about a year ago | (#42639605)

The experience and wisdom behind your comment warrants a much higher score.

Clueless (5, Funny)

mspohr (589790) | about a year ago | (#42639211)

The cluelessness of the nerd knows no bounds.

Re:Clueless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639339)

This is a joke, right? Even the tone of this is utterly rediculous.

Because of my long experience, gaming comes naturally to me and so even on a game I haven't played I would probably be much better than she.

Yes, it's fair to say, you are probably superior to your wife in almost every way. She's probably used to that by now. Now go outside and try the game of Real Life; whilst it may not come naturally to you it can be very rewarding.

Re:Clueless (1)

sco08y (615665) | about a year ago | (#42639597)

This is a joke, right? Even the tone of this is utterly rediculous.

It's "ridiculous", from the verb ridicule. (Yes, I know, feeding the troll, but some people honestly don't know how to spell that word.)

Re:Clueless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639659)

the dude has a wife of 4 years and kids, pretty sure he's playing the game of real life better than you are.

Marry a man (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639215)

That ought to do it.

Re:Marry a man (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639281)

Why not go one step further and marry someone exactly like you in every possibly way. That's surely the best way persue the perfect relationship.

Let the Wookie win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639223)

Err, the wife. That'll boost her self-confidence.

Try Borderlands 2 (1)

ohms (728912) | about a year ago | (#42639227)

It has a very decent co-op mode, and adapts well to novice and hard-core gamers alike. Unlike many games, the storyline isn't repetitive/dull and is varied and engaging enough to keep at it for a while, with the main storyline missions and other optional missions to help build up cash and experience. So far, that's the only game that my girlfriend has played with me for more than 30 minutes (we play a lot of Borderlands, often at her insistence).

or Left for Dead (2)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about a year ago | (#42639493)

I'm not sure I'd be trying to push her into gaming unless she's actually interested in doing so. Surely it'd be better to just find a hobby / activity that you both have a common interest in?

But that aside, I found Left for Dead was a great co-op game that could be enjoyed by people with different skill sets. My girlfriend is a much better FPS gamer than me and she had to save my arse frequently in that game but we still both had a lot of fun.

Watch this video. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639229)

It never works out.

Make a trade... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639231)

...of time spent with one of her favorite hobbies. Spend some time doing something she likes or promise that you will in the future (and follow through of course if you ever want her to play again). Companionship isn't rocket science...

Been gaming for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639241)

My first game was Microsoft Olympic Decathlon for PC DOS 1.0 and I don't have an answer to your question. Funny enough, I bought that PC from a Computerland sales dude by the name of Don Mattrick. I play all sorts of games, and my wife plays Minesweeper. The only thing I've gotten her to play with me was some XBox Kinect games.

Good luck!

Grow up (-1, Troll)

dhaen (892570) | about a year ago | (#42639251)

I hate to break it to you but she grew up and you didn't.

Re:Grow up? (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year ago | (#42639397)

Surely, you jest.
I am the least grown up of nearly any man I know (Well- I do know a lot of musicians), and have never taken to video games. I spent many hours of my youth watching my friends play Donkey Kong, &c. but could not do it myself. Not everyone will enjoy it.

Re:Grow up (3, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | about a year ago | (#42639453)

I hate to break it to you but she grew up and you didn't.

I hate to break it to you, but it's not elementary kids feeding the gaming industry to the tune of a billion dollars a year. Adults game, and there's not a damn thing wrong with it unless you allow it to become one.

Hell, I'd rather find a fellow adult co-worker who games to blow off steam than wonder when that quiet shy guy in the corner cube is gonna suddenly snap one day and murder the entire office because he can't seem to find an outlet to deal with adult stress.

Gaming does have its benefits for all ages. True, it also has its downsides, especially for those who become addicted. But when is that not true for anything in life.

will let you know (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639253)

will let you soon as i get a wife - still working on getting a girlfriend first and leaving mom's house...

You view this as a problem that requires solving? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639255)

People have different interests, even your wife. Try taking an interest in the activities she's doing while you're gaming; maybe you'll like them.

Portal 2 - Co Op (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639269)

I've played through the entirety of the Portal 2 Co-op with my current girlfriend she had previously played one or two other games but wasn't all that big into gaming. She enjoyed in thoroughly.

Re:Portal 2 - Co Op (1)

kaiidth (104315) | about a year ago | (#42639631)

I second this. Portal 2 is insanely attractive to non-gamers. That said, it's not that much of a gateway drug in my experience, leading if anything to an interest in puzzle games. It seems easier to go from Portal 2 to Osmos than from Portal 2 to Left 4 Dead... much to my disappointment.

Portal 2 then _____ (2)

peon_a-z,A-Z,0-9$_+! (2743031) | about a year ago | (#42639275)

I think its as simple as playing a game that is very *fun* and then playing another game that is very *fun* and there you have it. Start with Portal 2 (great co-op for any skill level) and then continue looking for good Co-Op games.

It's in the wiring... (3, Interesting)

gatorBYTE (93755) | about a year ago | (#42639277)

Dude, I've been married for over thirty years and have never been able to get my wife into gaming... unless it was "Bubbles" on her iPhone or a simple solitary type game. She just has no desire to play and/or sees it as too much work. It is not fun for her at all; needless to say I am the exact opposite.

Re:It's in the wiring... (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year ago | (#42639655)

She just has no desire to play and/or sees it as too much work. It is not fun for her at all... I am the exact opposite.

Before video games were invented, I found I was quite indifferent to the charms of pinball, foosball, and all that. Once my son started, against my advice, to play games, then I found an awful lot of enjoyment keeping him upgraded with all the latest system busses and chipsets. As I have aged, it's gotten to where cards and chess seem tedious and laborious.
Lots of mutually exclusive activities in my spousal relations and I prefer that. Stone age societies have taboos to keep the women off on their own things, there's probably some reason back of it.

I enjoy Star Wars Podracer, and that's it for me. YMMV.

Do your part (1)

nierdal (928455) | about a year ago | (#42639279)

1st step : Trash those year old Doritos bags and keep your gaming room clean.

Portal (2, Interesting)

lattyware (934246) | about a year ago | (#42639285)

Not only is Portal a great game, but I have lots of non-gamer friends who enjoyed it, plus there is a sequel with co-op. It's also extremely good at training people to play the game, and teaching it's core mechanics. New gamers often find starting off hard as most games presume so much knowledge of general gaming. Portal lowers that barrier to entry significantly.

Re:Portal (1)

lattyware (934246) | about a year ago | (#42639301)

As a note, that's not to imply I am advocating evangelising gaming - gaming is great, and if she is (even slightly) interested herself, great. If she has truly no interest, then don't try and force her to get into it. It might just not be her thing.

Re:Portal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639471)

My wife gets sick playing portal unfortunately. FPS navigation is something I think a lot of gamers take for granted.

Re:Portal (1)

lattyware (934246) | about a year ago | (#42639571)

Definitely - a few of the friends who have tried Portal have fallen at the first hurdle - gamers don't think of character movement as a skill, as it's so heavily ingrained after playing a few games, but I've seen people try to play Portal and have issues running into walls and stuff, just unable to figure out movement with a stick (weirdly, a lot of people I know actually do better with WASD than a controller, which seems counter-intuitive to me). Another thing that really gets people is moving and looking around at the same time, which is vital in many games. The upside is, that if you can get past that, Portal eases you in pretty gently.

same as with anal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639293)


Portal 2 (5, Interesting)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#42639309)

Portal 2 has a nice co-op mode (video [] ), you solve the puzzles together. It could be fun.

Re:Portal 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639599)

I wish I had mod points. That LP is great, Kikoskia and Necro's attitudes fit the game perfectly.

Get a life dude (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639319)

Are you that much of a loser that you would take the time to write to a forum such as this asking for help in turning someone into as big a nerd as you are? Just be grateful you were able to dupe a female into marrying you and don't push it.

Reddit you are drunk! Go Home! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639321)

This place is looking more like Reddit everyday.

Prince of Persia a relic? (1)

bikin (1113139) | about a year ago | (#42639327)

Hunt the Wumpus and Zork are relics, and Super Mario Bros. and Gianna Sisters are scrollers. Now, get off my lawn!

Lego Franchise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639329)

Try the Lego game franchise. Not only they are VERY casual friendly, they are coop and fun. She is bound to enjoy one of the franchises so get that one, they are all equally good (except the Indiana Jones one).

Get the whole family involved. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639335)

Seriously, if you can get others involved, do so. It makes the competition a little easier on them when they are ganging up on the pro gamer with 2 on 1 or even 3 on 1 matches.

The kids tend to like it to when they "get" Dad.

Just be forewarned. Your kids will eventually get better than you are. It's inevitable. Trust me.

The settlersonline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639341) is pretty freaking addictive. My brother had the same sort of issue with his wife. He wanted her to start gaming, as well. He looked at a bunch of different games and settled on that one. She's been playing it pretty religiously since. It's not exactly something you could do together, but it's close. It could possibly serve as a gateway drug to other games.

Offer to cuddle afterwards (0)

hduff (570443) | about a year ago | (#42639351)

Chicks dig that.

They like it of you talk to them too.

So talk about cuddling.

Your perspective is wrong. (5, Insightful)

cheddarlump (834186) | about a year ago | (#42639359)

Speaking as a gamer who got married and had kids, as well as somebody who lived overseas: Spend the time meeting your wife and kids in activities that THEY like,and explore the huge world around you IRL. The gaming will wait a few years, your wife won't feel abandoned in a foreign land, and when the kids get older, they'll love gaming with you (can be your "thing" with them). I have a gaming rig that I haven't even turned on in 2 months.. Sad, but time with the family is priority one for me, and I'll be honest in saying that there were many times I had to CHOOSE to make it that way, as my selfish feelings told me to sit in the basement many times. If your wife IS interested, I agree with above that Portal would be a good start, in coop mode.

Re:Your perspective is wrong. (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about a year ago | (#42639413)

I've been reading through these comments and most of them are either entirely negaitive or only partially helpful. You seem to have hit on the correct answer here, cheddarlump. Go out and see more of the local area, if you have done that then Portal is the usual recommendation to introduce non-gamers to gaming. There's always board and card games too, a gamer by heart doesn't fuss too much about the medium. :)

Torchlight 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639363)

I was in a similar situation to you. I got my spouse into gaming by playing Torchlight 2 with her and some friends. It is simple enough that anyone can play it, but it has several addictive features that will keep her coming back for more. What is more, by playing with some of her friends besides me, she feels that it is a social experience and not a "waste of time".

Try Minecraft (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639365)

I think Minecraft would be a good way to start. You can build things together and your spouse has no "he is better than me"-pressure. Start with a peaceful world and some times later you can turn on mobs and be her guardian while she adapts to the new aspect. My wife and I are playing games together since we know each other and MC became one of our alltime-favorites :)

Board games (1)

AarYar (2819663) | about a year ago | (#42639371)

My wife doesn't do much gaming with me but she will play Catan, Carcassonne and Acquire with me. It's a compromise I'm happy with.

Go buy some Skylanders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639373)

Although Skylanders is a kids game, it is actually a fun, RPG-lite with a respectable co-op mode. Even more important for mixed marriages like your own, you choose characters using real monster toys, which makes the whole experience a bit more light-hearted AND allows for fun together in the real world, buying your next Skylander. Or just download The Ur-Quan Masters, since I hear there will be a high res version delivered soon through Steam.

you can't get your spouse to do anything. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639375)

Don't try to change your partner. accept the differences and don't try to force them to sharing your interests. Same with your kids, as techies/geeks, it's an appealing thought that we can program people as we would a python script, to see the world our way.

the reality is that enjoying modern gaming relies on the player being trained by previous generations of games.
I would love for my wife to experience games like Portal or Dear Esther, but I know since she never played any 3rd person shooter the controls are way too complex. Remember when Quake came out? and you had to worry for the first time about actually having to look up to shoot something?.
I asked her what games she did play as a kid. she said "super mario!" I said "cool..." (thinking supermeatboy/braid etc.) "...did you have a NES or a SNES?", she said "no supermario on the battery LCD pocket game", That said I plan to play the double fine adventure with her when it comes out.

Start small (1)

Evelas (1531407) | about a year ago | (#42639385)

Take it a step at a time, our interests in gaming didn't appear overnight. Start with board/card games like Settlers of Catan or Munchkin. Play those with mutual friends, it may help build up her interest. Settlers of Catan is only a step away from Civilization games. If she has any friends that play Magic the Gathering, that can be a good start too, and the artwork may draw her in, or the collecting. Use these to bring out her interest, then try straightforward, shorter, but good games, like Portal. But don't just recommend your favorite games, ask what she's interested in. If she isn't sure, slowly try out a genre at a time. Avoid first person shooters at all cost unless you are positive she's interested in them.

Re:Start small (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639421)

You'll be able to trick her into gaming in no time at all.

I have had some success (2)

sheetsda (230887) | about a year ago | (#42639391)

Same situation here. I'm a hardcore gamer, she is not. In PC terms I have had success with Orcs Must Die 2 and Portal 2. I also tried Magicka but that didn't seem to be her to tastes. All are available on Steam. Portal 2's level editor provides a lot of replayability and we're currently working our way through Nightmare difficulty on Orcs Must Die 2. I got her to try these when we started doing "His/Hers nights" where each of us has 1 weeknight to totally dictate what activities we do that night (with the intent that whatever we do will be together). OMD2 has been so successful we've played it on a few of her nights or nights that or not either of ours.

On the Wii the Lego series of games has been a huge hit, especially since she's a Harry Potter fan. Replayability is limited after you 100% each of them (number of hours varies, typically 20-40).

All of these games are specifically 2 player coop.

Re:I have had some success (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639457)

>> each of us has 1 weeknight to totally dictate what activities we do that night (with the intent that whatever we do will be together)

A three-way?

Point and Click Adventures, No Mouselook! (1)

tstrunk (2562139) | about a year ago | (#42639395)

First of all: If your wife never played games in her life, forget everything with Mouselook / Dual-Stick for the moment. It won't work. Forget WoW, because also that requires mouselook. It will frustrate her.

Try games, where reaction time is not required, games which are story driven similar to a movie.
My vote goes to something like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Played it together with the girlfriend on the wii and we both had a blast puzzling and solving cases. General Point & Click Adventures can provide a similar experience.

If you want to try something new with coop, which quite probably will not require so many skills, try The Cave, which will be out on the 23rd.

Simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639403)

Get a Wii, 2 Wiimotes and Mario Galaxy. You play the main game, she just has to point the Wiimote at different crystals on the screen to help you out. No button pushing required, and you get that feeling of "working together" without her having to deal with the fact that gaming is a dumb thing to spend years learning the nuances of.

Does she like pinball? or other stuff like gun gam (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#42639411)

Does she like pinball? or other stuff like gun games?

liquidwar (1)

10am-bedtime (11106) | about a year ago | (#42639415)

First of all, congrats on focusing on life outside of computers. Good on you.

Next, to answer your question. How about liquidwar [] ?

Does she want to? (1)

CaptainLard (1902452) | about a year ago | (#42639437)

If she's willing to give it a shot then it probably doesn't matter what you start with or if you beat her every time (btw why play competitive games against her?). But if you are just "getting her to game" you're headed for disaster. Before I was married I tried to "get her to autocross" (driving your car in a timed run around cones in a parking lot) because whats more fun than throwing your car around in a safe environment with a bunch of other gearheads right? Disaster. She is not a speed freak. Right after the inspection she was too upset to do anything and ended up leaving. I had ruined BOTH of our days trying to get her to have what I consider fun. I'm glad I learned that lesson before we got married (and yes we did in fact get married). The moral is: the most important thing you gotta think of is how is she enjoying it. If she's not into it after a few honest attempts you best drop it.


Why not just sneak in a little gaming on your own in what little free time you might have? You probably didn't game with her before you got married, you maybe you just need to find a new way to game thats still fun if your buddies aren't around. I realize this may be impossible with kids (which we don't have yet) but my wife is totally cool with all of my car hobbies. I went to a race track the weekend after we got back from our honeymoon and there were no complaints (visible or otherwise...I hope). Just because you're married doesn't mean you must have all the same hobbies. She doesn't try to get me into nail polish or knitting either. I just make sure we spend a good bit of the rest of our free time together.

Divorce her and marry a gamer. (2, Funny)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about a year ago | (#42639439)

Divorce her and marry a gamer.

The Lego Series (1)

dlamming (152302) | about a year ago | (#42639445)

Made for Wi and PS and Xbox, although I mainly have played on Wii.

Very good for cooperative gaming (up to 4 simulataneously), you can die an infinite number of times and all it does is lower your score (you res in-place). Versions based on popular movie series (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc) are available for relatively cheap (if you wait until a year has passed). Great fun with my non-gamer wife!

It's a dick in a box! (1)

NetNinja (469346) | about a year ago | (#42639449)

First! You get a Box
Two Cut a hole in it
Three but your dick in a box.

Guess it depends on the girl (4, Insightful)

zifn4b (1040588) | about a year ago | (#42639451)

Some girls don't like games but here are some to try that the female population seems to be more receptive to in my experience:

Party Games: Guitar Hero, Mario Party, Wii Party, Scene It, Monopoly Streets
Multiplayer Platformers: Mario Kart, New Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong Country, Little Big Planet
Puzzle Games: Bejeweled, Peggle, Hidden Object Games like Mystery Case Files
Adventure Games: Back to the Future (big hit with my fiancee, we played through the whole thing)

For the more girly girls, you might need to go with something with the "cute" factor. Little Big Planet is especially good at this one. You can put stickers on stuff and dress your sack boy/girl. It's also multiplayer. Co-op is usually a plus.

Lure her with a nice story! (1)

Isperion (444767) | about a year ago | (#42639459)

I suggest that you first try to present her games with a nice story, that she can watch while you play - and even suggest interactions. Games like Heavy Rain would do the trick. Later, she couls be presented to games with puzzles - and try to solve them with you (the Uncharted serie would do this trick). You can even just do this - believe in me, having your wife watching you play and even helping you out is as nice as her being your player 2...
After seing games as a media for interesting stories and started to interact with them, she would be ready to take the joystick, maybe with coop games like Little Big Planet.
This approach really worked for me - in fact, it was my wife that asked me to answer this.

Easy: you don't. (4, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year ago | (#42639461)

You make time for gaming, and for doing stuff both of you like.

I don't know what he/she likes that you don't, but what would it take for you to take THAT up ? Nothing doing, right ? same here...

Given that she isn't a gamer already (1)

Mordaximus (566304) | about a year ago | (#42639463)

I think your goal of playing co-op or combative games with her is a huge stretch for two reasons:

1) Your wife isn't a gamer now
2) Not every gamer likes co-op games or combative ones.

You may be able to introduce her to gaming and get her started, and if you do manage to do that, she's going to need time to discover which genres she enjoys. Your experience will help her there, since you can introduce her to a little bit of everything. At the end of the day, even IF she does pick up gaming, you might have to be happy that she finds a genre of games she likes and plays them, while you get to enjoy yours.

By the way: While I'm posting this my wife has been hogging the 360 all morning. I love it, and it's one of the reasons we're together in the first place; we've both been avid gamers since the 80s. Even though we both put in roughly the same amount of time gaming, it's very rare we play together, co-op or otherwise. Keep that in mind.

The Walking Dead? (1)

npuzzle (1875242) | about a year ago | (#42639475)

Try the like of "The Walking Dead" by Telltale Games... It's an adventure game in which your decisions (mainly conversational) affect the course of the story. Put that in a post-apocalyptic world where zombies outnumber us and it'll keep you both on edge. I got my girlfriend who is the most anti-gaming person on the planet to play and she demands for more!

Get an Xbox360 with Kinect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639483)

Using your body instead of a controller tends to break down barriers.

Long term process (1)

CmdrEdem (2229572) | about a year ago | (#42639489)

Sure your wife has interests in certain themes that are explored in games. In my experience with women (that is not much by any stretch at all) they are not compelled by being a hero or combat like men are. Try more "mundane" experiences first, like The Sims or Harvest Moon for instance. You may not find it very fun but she may. When she gets used to controls (keyboard/mouse or gamepad) and knows that there are games that she may enjoy, introduce co-op games that you can enjoy together. She will already be used to how controls work and should be easier to explore other games, specially with you doing it together. Pick games you never played to start playing with her, so you are both learning together and teaching each other.

Google it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639497)

For gods sake, this question has been asked hundreds of thousands of times since the dawn of the internet. A simple google search would tell you the same things everyone has been saying for decades now.

And lets not forget the simple fact, she may not want to. What is it with people who think that because they love something they need to get others on board also and assume they will love it also if they just try it?

Its your spouse, surely by now you have some freaking idea of what they like or dont like, or have the courage at this point to just ask them to try it with you. Stop being a pussy and ask them and if they dont like it then just leave it alone.

Games for newbies (1)

macaddict (91085) | about a year ago | (#42639505)

It's not clear if she's already a gamer, but if you just want something to get her into gaming, I'd recommend games like Portal, Dragon Age: Origins, Skyrim, Neverwinter Nights, Diablo, and Starcraft. They are fairly easy to learn and play, and I think the heavy story components of DA:O and Skyrim make them newbie friendly (it's engaging and not constant combat, just make sure to start her on the lowest difficulty level). And you can do multi-player together on Portal 2, NWN, Diablo and Starcraft.

If you want MMOs, maybe try something like LOTR Online if she is a fan of Tolkien, since it would be a familiar world.

If she's not into combat games, there are also many casual games and computer versions of board games that have multiplayer. My husband and I play Ticket to Ride, and I play Carcassonne with a friend who lives in another country.

figure out what style of games she likes; do those (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639507)

I've been gaming with my husband fairly regularly since we got married nearly 20 years ago (although our gaming did drop off dramatically when our oldest was born until our youngest child was 5--little ones require lots of time!). As far as I can tell, his strategy was to figure out what type of game *I* responded to best, and then play those with me. Sometimes he'd play them solo first to get through the learning curve and be able to coach me when I needed it (though he was also kind enough NOT to coach me when I wanted to figure things out solo). I realize I slowed him way, way down, but it was "together" time that we both enjoyed, and he played his own games separately as well (a much wider range of games, and at much higher difficulty levels).

Initially I preferred those silly fantasy quest / adventure games where you figure out puzzles (Kings Quest and the like--really juvenile, but I liked it, and it was ultimately my gateway into other games). He'd hang out while I played, offering me advice when I asked for it, and generally just being supportive and interested (like a parent at a young child's soccer game - hah). Later we played strategy games like MOO 1 and XCOM 1 (I did say this was 20 years ago!), and he'd help me through the learning curve until I was addicted as well. Somewhere along the way we stumbled onto Daggerfall/Oblivion/Skyrim, so we played those as well. Sims is another fantastic game line for pulling someone into gaming--I have a few friends who've said they never understood my enjoyment of games until they played that. On rare occasions we'd play a collaborative multiplayer game in which he'd be way, WAY further ahead than I was, and sometimes I didn't mind, but other times it was annoying. So most of the time I play the game and he coaches/hangs out with me... and then when I'm done he plays his own game. That's probably not the ideal you're aiming for, but the bottom line is that if you're wanting to help her learn to like gaming, you have to find something she likes to serve as her initial "hook" and then be fully supportive as she does make her way up the learning curve.

So that's what worked for us. It might work for you. Something else might work for you. Or you might decide to have a different interest in common with her, and let gaming just be your thing (especially when your little ones are young! most moms I know would refuse to waste even 90 minutes watching a movie they didn't like in those first couple of years, where 90 minutes of downtime is absurdly luxurious and not something one can waste... so if that's the case, give her 3 years and then try again).

GF is a gamer (4, Insightful)

slaker (53818) | about a year ago | (#42639509)

My SO is a gamer, but a different sort from me. She likes Xbox games, mostly shooters and RPG titles. The only PC game she'll play is The Sims 2. I primarily play role playing and real time strategy games.
We found our crossover points in a couple different ways:
1. We compete on silly casual games on our phones and tablets. Superiority in Bubble Shooter or figuring out a new way to make pictures of dicks relevant in Draw Something is treasured gaming experience.
2. The PC gaming experience for games like Skyrim, Fallout 3 and Dragon Age is better, so we kind of play and make decisions together. I'm more of an explorer and she's more of an action junkie, but in practice this means that if one of us can't do something with our normal approach, it's time for the other to take a crack at it.
3. Sometimes I suck it up and let her kick my ass in some kind of console shooter or Kinect title. I'll also sit out with her and read while she leans on me and plays Borderlands or something. It's kind of passive/introvert together time.
4. We experimented with MMO-playing, but the MMO I actually like closed and she's not into WoW any more, so the motivation for that just evaporated. That actually worked pretty well.

Mostly, though, we play different games and it's FINE. I do my thing and she does hers.

What does she like? (2)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#42639527)

You have a post about what you like, but what does she like? Does she play video games? Does she play any non video games, like board games, sports? Is she competitive?

It's not like video games are new, if she hasn't gotten into video games by now, she's probably not interested.

I suggest you find something she likes, if she's into dancing, maybe a dancing game, or if she likes to rock out without real instruments, a guitar hero like game.

Another question, do you do things she likes? Do you try to do the activities she's into?

Don't Push It Too Much (1)

Kenshin (43036) | about a year ago | (#42639535)

Play something she may find interesting, and see if she lingers watching, showing interest, then offer. Or maybe she'll even ask to try. But if you push it too hard, she'll end up resenting gaming.

I can get my girl to play Mario Kart sometimes, but other than that I just let her enjoy her own thing.

Have to be computer? (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42639545)

Does it have to be computer games? Especially "real gaming" which is usually defined as boring WWII FPS sequels?

You're overseas? Invite friends over to place some kind of euro board/physical game. Yes yes agricola takes 45 minutes to set up all the counters but there's plenty of lighter fare. Settlers of catan? Carcassonee? How about Dominion (a euro-card game)? Or strip-Dominion? Pretty much anything in the Rio Grande catalog?

How about paper and pencil RPG? Yeah if you're overseas in Saudi Arabia they might get nervous about "magic" or whatever fictional religious aspects, but if you're in a civilized part of the world it should be no problem. Pathfinder or classic DnD?

Plain ole card games? You're overseas so invite several locals over for poker night. Better yet if it works out rotate to each players house.

There's a certain theme to the above... yes you can play all of the above "on a computer" but it works just as well in person and that's probably the way to pivot into "computer" gaming if you're the type where the UI matters more than the gameplay or if its occasionally just more convenient to play on a tablet while traveling or whatever. Example: if she likes playing euro-resource-type-games in person using cardboard like "powerline" or WTF its called, its a pretty short jump to Civilization / Simcity.

Be honest (1)

theRunicBard (2662581) | about a year ago | (#42639561)

Was the purpose of your post to say, "Oooh, look at me, I have a spouse!"

Step 1 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639575)

If your wife is resistant to trying out any games, I would suggest trying out what she wants to do first. Whether it is going to the opera, taking dance lessons, or setting up a social empire in your neighborhood (to name a few extreme cases), most people are more willing to try something new when they see someone making an effort for them. Beyond that, start with the classics. Even a non-gamer probably grew up watching super mario or other games and would be interested in playing it for the nostalgia.

Wii (1)

mseeger (40923) | about a year ago | (#42639579)

I had the best sucess using Wii Sports Games where she would usually outclass me :-).

easy (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#42639583)

By getting a new spouse.

Dear, Dear, Projection, Anyone? (2)

reallocate (142797) | about a year ago | (#42639595)


If your spouse enjoyed gaming, your spouse would already be playing games.

If you convince/cajole/annoy your spouse into playing games, your spouse will, more than likely, do it just to please you and/or to shut you up on the topic.

*You* think games are more interesting than movies. Others may not. (I watch few movies and think games are mind-numbingly boring.)

If your spouse is bored and you are looking to help with that, good for you. But, expand your search.

Wii? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639617)

I know you've asked specifically about computer gaming. But, why not consider starting her out with Wii (Or Wii U) games that tend to be less casual. I'm not talking Wii Dance here or anything, but the Mario Galaxy series, Mario Kart, Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario. All of these are fun and visually pleasing games (some co-op/versus) and allow for a good introduction to more complex gaming later on. Just a thought!

uhm... should have thought of that sooner? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639619)

If you wanted a spouse who likes gaming with you.. you probably should have married someone who was into gaming. If they're not into it.. they're probably not going to get into it.

A few options (1)

OneirosSD (2819679) | about a year ago | (#42639625)

First, you will have to accept that if she simply doesn't like video games, you shouldn't try to force her into playing with you. My wife generally doesn't like video games but she's happy to let me play while she does her own thing most nights.

However, my wife does enjoy playing a few games with me. One is You Don't Know Jack, a humorous trivia game. The most recent version is available on consoles and Steam and has plenty of content. She enjoys playing New Super Mario Bros Wii in co-op mode as well.

We recently got a Kinect and now my wife wants to play that more than I do. The game that comes with it, Kinect Adventures, is fun, and she also enjoys an exercise "game" (Your Shape I think). We have Dance Central 3 but both of us are horrible dancers so I'm not sure how much use it will get (I also can't stand pretty much any song in the setlist). Anyway, the point is that these games are different enough from your standard controller-based ones that people who normally don't like video games may be more willing to play them.

Another option is board games. There are a lot of great European-style board games out there that can be played with 2 players. Some of them are co-operative as well which can help avoid your wife being turned off by the competition. Carcassone is a great competitive game for 2 (or more) players, and if she likes that, there's a downloadable console version that seems to be very faithful to the original game (as well as being a lot cheaper). Which would be another way to help her accept video games a bit more--video game versions of board games she already enjoys.

Give more sex or withhold it... (1)

eksith (2776419) | about a year ago | (#42639637)

... Depends on which is preferred. A relationship is basically an act of prolonged negotiation and it's not good to let it break down. Negotiations (whether by kind words or bullets), involve some form of bartering. Not unlike most games either.

But, seriously, just get together and talk about games for a start. If she loves you, she'll want to share that part of your life since it's clearly a significant part of your life. Start easy, and be aware of the difference in experience (important! Soundly defeating your opponent should be saved for later when she's good enough), and you can gradually start to enjoy games together even with the limited selection. I'd probably start looking for games playable with a simple download first since you did mention trouble finding good titles. There are lots of places online (flash games to start) and if you have two computers, you can compare scores even without multiplayer.

If she picks MindJack though, hand her the divorce papers.

Wait, what? (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about a year ago | (#42639639)

You are married? Can you plz post some pseudocode on how to do that. thnx.

Facebook and Google plus games (1)

SuilAmhain (2819677) | about a year ago | (#42639661)

IMHO,games on those two platforms are very heavily geared towards females Start of slow with some cooperative farmville or bubble witch saga and move towards Sim City (online coming) and WOW. Violent confrontational games are feasibly going to cause you a headache if you push them too fast or strongly on your good lady wife. Actually what ever happened to chess and snakes & ladders...?

This reminds me of another article (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | about a year ago | (#42639665)

Back in the 70's A popular motorcycle magazine had a column written by "Miraculous Mutha". I remember some one writing in asking advice on how to get his wife not to pull away when she was giving him head, and he was about to come. The answer was simple and elegant. MM wrote, it's easy, just make sure the back of her head was against the fool.

Seems analogous to this.

You can't force or co-erse someone into anything. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42639669)

I'm not going to bother reading your entire post. (I know I'm a dick).

Just to answer your title question. You cannot co-erse someone into something they do not want to do. Why don't you just continue to play video games, if she is truly interested she will eventually ask to play. The most you can do now is maybe say "Hey Would you like to play this game with me?"

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