When you’re a gamer and you have a girlfriend, you can never anticipate just how much your worlds will collide. I remember when it happened all too vividly, telling my girlfriend that I was an addict. It wasn’t an easy thing to say. At first she was oddly accepting, though she did approach the subject with extreme caution. Since I never played games (hardcore games mind you) around her, she did not know the extent of my usage. I mean I may play some Mario Kart or a round of Mario Party with her, but those are so common that it’s more like playing a board game where everyone knows how those games play. Her concerns finally surfaced during social situations.
When most were playing beer pong or flip cup, my fellow brotatoes were critiquing Metal Gear Solid 4, discussing whether or not we believed the game was blatant fan service or a “masterpiece”, a title that IGN and Shane Bettenhausen have so aptly bestowed upon it. It must have been the 3rd or 4th time that I up and abandoned her for a discussion about our last verbally abusive, alcohol-induced trip on Xbox Live when she pulled me aside. She seemed almost in tears as she poured out complaints of how I always neglect her at parties to debate semantics about interactive adventures still on the horizon. At first I outright denied the fact, but the circumstantial evidence became too staggering for the jury to hand out a sentence of anything but guilty. That was the night when I came up with the worst idea in history: to make my girlfriend a hardcore gamer.
Now, as all addicts know, the way one gets addicted is through a gateway drug. So, I decided to peer pressure her into taking a hit of Endless Ocean. First off as every gamer knows, everyone loves the Wii (with the only exception being…well gamers). Even my mother wanted to get Wii Fit, or rather asked me why I did not buy it for her. It only took until the title screen appeared for me to realize I had made a huge mistake. Try having someone hear this and then try to make them take the game seriously at all. I feel kind of ashamed when I try to show anyone the game, they have all seen enough at the title screen to pass judgment and call me a doucheosaurus. It’s like getting caught watching One Night in Paris on mute, Yankee candles spread strategically around you desktop and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” flowing sensually from your Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. Just imagine trying to play that off like it ain’t no thang. Luckily my girlfriend is so into seeing creatures that it didn’t phaze her.
Everything she saw she was enamored with. Everything I saw was boring and repetitive. She loved the basic exploration; finding new sea life, petting exotic fish, and seeing the penguins gather in bulk on the back of your boat. The 15 to 30 minutes that we played at a time were completely fulfilling for her. So after a while of getting her hooked on that I decided to skip coke and meth, and go straight to the opiates of gaming. That’s right; I made her play a JRPG.
I knew if I was to keep her interested in the game it had to be co-operative and it’s mechanics had to be easy enough to understand, but deep enough to keep her interest for long periods of play. The main obstacle was the extreme length of JRPGs. I made it clear to her that it was going to be a long time investment and that it would take constant playing during our holiday break from college. It did not take much deliberation to decide upon playing Tales of Vesperia. The Tales series is rather welcoming and I knew that I could fill in things she didn’t understand.
The anime styling’s were the first things that piqued her interest, but she was just as quickly turned off by the game. It takes a little over an hour to get your first party member. This made her antsy for the co-op portions. After two sittings of trying to convince her that the fun would come soon enough, it finally did arrive. Once we were both battling together she got attached to the characters and the story they were a part of. We must have played eight hours over a two day period. I thought I had indeed accomplished the impossible. I spoke far too soon.
As days went by she wanted to play less and less. She said she really enjoyed the game; she just wanted to do other things. Then vacation ended; she went back to her college and I went to mine. Now I only see her on weekends. Can you imagine how long a JRPG would take when playing for only a couple of hours every weekend? So now I feel obligated to play it with her, even though I can see the likely prospect that we will never finish the game. I am forever trapped, ten hours into a game I quite enjoy. And women think that men can’t commit, I am kidding of course. So in conclusion, if your girlfriend plays games, that’s great, but never, ever try to convert your girlfriend into a gamer. It will just leave you brokenhearted and ten hours into a 60 hour RPG.
Pierce Arrow Blogger