Dating a gamer can be a bit different than an average, run-of-the-mill relationship. Gamers can be a handful, so here’s some tips and tricks.
Learning the Lingo
The world of gaming is multifaceted, intriguing and immersive – to a gamer. Those on the outside or with less experience may find the multitude of consoles, games, computer parts and handhelds quite confusing, especially when the object of their affection seems to be speaking a different language altogether.
Learning the lingo is an essential part of getting to know the hobby of a potential significant other, and gaming is no different. Take some time and learn the difference between the PlayStation, Xbox and Wii. It’ll garner some love and gratitude because the gamer’s mother still likely calls them all “the Nintendo”.
Games as Art
Many gamers will defend their objects of interest as art and ascribe it status akin to classic movies. You may disagree, but at least give it the benefit of the doubt. Many modern games (and even older ones) have powerful narratives and sweeping stories that put many Hollywood blockbusters to shame. Games are a great storytelling medium and can be a wonderful vehicle for character development along many different paths.
Sitting down and watching the gamer play can be a great experience for both people. The gamer can share their experience and help describe convoluted or strange parts of the story, and the watcher gets to essentially watch a very compelling movie, depending on the game.
Watching a game can be immersive and instructive, but actually playing can be even better. Even for those with poor hand-eye coordination or an aversion to the complicated rules of different games, it can be a fun experience. The gamer will probably attempt to initiate this fairly early on, most likely because they want to be inclusive and share their hobby. If you have uncertainty, go back to the last tip and just watch until the mechanics of the game are more apparent. The gamer will understand the frustration that comes with being thrown into a game that’s difficult or has convoluted controls or rules.
However, don’t let the gamer’s hobbies encroach on your own. Gamers can be obsessive about certain aspects of games, like kill/death ratios, collecting items, levelling, win/loss ratios, etc. and might not want to do other things. This is not to say every gamer is this way, but you should always encourage learning about your hobbies as well. Once you’ve sat down and learned theirs, it’s only fair. Make sure to set time limits as well – it’s okay to give 10 minutes for them to finish a quest or mission, but don’t let the 10 stretch into an hour. Your interests deserve time too.
Getting involved in another person’s passions can be intimidating, especially if that person is a gamer. However, it can also be a great learning experience for both people involved. Make sure you know terminology (or try to learn!), show an interest in their specific gaming interests, and remember that they’ll always try to sneak in 10 more minutes.
Shawn M. is a prolific gamer and writer. He has written a number of articles for personal use and for this site here.
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