At some point in time, “gamers” got a bad rap. Let’s stop stereotyping the “gamer” world as a place exclusively for basement dwelling social pariahs in dingy underwear who subsist on Hot Pockets microwaves with love by mom. Those of us — yes, women game too! — who play video games also enjoy socializing with friends (outdoors even!) during the daylight hours and have other hobbies besides completing the “Braaaaaaaaaaaaains!” mission in Borderlands. In fact, we even date!
I have to admit, I was not an avid “gamer” before I played Xbox with my boyfriend. He brought one home one day and instead of complaining that he wasn’t paying attention to me, I decided to join him. A year later, I wait for him to get home from work with the patience of a puppy so we can finish the next level of TK. He goes out of his way to find games we can play together and, as a result of this thoughtfulness and a shared activity, we get along better than ever. Here are seven reasons why playing video games can actually be great for your relationship.
1. For starters, it’s damn fun. There is a huge variety of video games available. You may not enjoy a first person shooter game like “Gears Of War,” but there are tons of other games that may spark your interest. There are games for racing (“DiRT 3″), sports (“Madden NFL 12″), and puzzles (“The Adventures Of Shuggy”), not to mention many others. And no one can resist the addictive challenge of Portal 2.
2. It’s important to care about each other’s interests. Relationships are a two-way street. If you want him to give “Bridesmaids” a chance, come out for drinks with the girls, or go see “Swan Lake” during the holidays, you should be open to his favorite activities as well. Even if you do it only once and you don’t enjoy it, he will appreciate that you tried.
3. It’s an easy way to spend time together. It’s totally cool to have separate interests, but having something you both enjoy doing together is quality time well spent and can only improve your relationship all around. It doesn’t have to be video games, but if you both enjoy playing, why not?
4. It’s a cheap date. Going out every night of the week gets expensive. Why not take advantage of the free entertainment once a week?
5. You’ll get to know his friends. If he likes video games, chances are his friends do too. If you can debate whether the best way to kill worms is with flying sheep, holy hand grenades, buffalos, banana bombs, or a cement donkeys, you will always have something to talk about. They will love that you’re not stereotyping them as losers and you’ll be less likely to be annoying when they take up room on the couch for four hours and eat all the chips and salsa.
6. You’ll get some insight into your relationship. If he leaves the safe room to save you from a zombie witch (“Left 4 Dead 2″), you know he is a man who will stick by you no matter what.
7. It’s an adrenalin rush. Killing five Rakk in under 10 seconds is a great form of foreplay. When you reach The Vault and kill The Destroyer, there is more than one way to celebrate. Plus, a little competition does a body good, if you know what I mean…