You can save the princess together.
A lot of adults tend to fall into different categories when it comes to video games. Some of us love and swear by them, while others feel they’re just not interesting and don't want to try them. Some women feel that video games are more for guys, even though female video gamers are the larger portion of the group that plays them.
Others still insist that they’re “just for kids,” while there are many adults who feel that video games are a unique entertainment art form as good as any movie or television show. I grew up on video games, as did my husband. We are fairly active gamers and it's one of our favorite hobbies.
Why? Because video games can be more than just “games.” They can be incredible experiences to help people come together over them. They're stories with morals and characters you come to love, adore, or even sometimes hate. They teach you about cultures, relationships, and the world around you.
Anyone who’s ever played online or on a team in an MMORPG can tell you that online teammates — people you've never even met IRL — can end up being a lasting part of your life.
Games are not "just" anything. They can be more in-depth than many people give them credit for. And they can actually be really great for your relationship.
One of the first things that my husband I bonded over when we first met were video games. It was one of the main things we shared during a time when we were still testing the waters with each other to find out what we had in common. We’d talk about the titles we had in our own libraries, laughing with delight every time we found one that we both loved.
On our first date, we played a survival horror game, Silent Hill. We had dates that were entirely centered on having drinks and playing games for an evening (or several!), and even on the day we got married, I walked down the aisle to a song from Super Mario 3D World.
Even now, almost six years after we met for the first time, video games are still an important part of our lives. It’s one of the things that we still bond over, and is still one of our number one discussed topics. We play new and old titles together or watch each other play games that we were both excited about.
Video games aren’t just simple entertainment for us, and for other couples, they can be just as important.
Here are 5 surprising ways that video games can actually improve your relationship:
1. They bring you closer together.
Playing any game with your significant other can be a really fun experience, but did you know it can actually bring you closer together? Video gamer couples may not realize it, but they’re actually working for a common goal, which can increase communication and bonding and give you something to focus on together — and have a great time doing it!
2. They can help you work together as a couple and a team.
Since you both have a common goal to work together, it gives you the opportunity to experience the sweet feelings of elation when you achieve those goals. This can help you both feel like you’re on an actual “team,” and bring you closer as a couple.
Of course, we know that not every battle ends in a victory, and getting through a loss together can also help you bond, whether you’re trying to defeat Bowser or help Master Chief fight the Covenant. And even if you're playing against each other, you'll still be having fun and competing, which can both challenge one another and build a fun, good old-fashioned rivalry.
3. Games can help you learn to problem-solve and communicate better.
One of the most important parts of a relationship is communication. Nothing will build the strength of your partnership like the ability to speak freely, openly, and honestly with each other.
Well, when you’re playing a video game, you’re both on the same “team.” You’re both working to get to the same goal, and you’re celebrating victories and mourning losses. When your partner is screaming at the screen to tell you there’s a bad guy on your left, or helping you figure out a tough door to unlock a puzzle, or even where to hit the boss in its third transformation, they’re trying to communicate with you.
You’re trading information back and forth and coming to a logical conclusion. They’re helping you along and problem-solving right alongside you, which means that you’re building your communication and problem-solving skills while working together. It’s a win, win, win!
4. It teaches you how to have each other’s backs.
Regardless of whether you experience victory or defeat, you and your partner or spouse are going to be encouraging one other through the process. When you get fed up with a difficult part of the course, they’re going to offer verbal support and tell you it’s OK. They’ll encourage you to continue, celebrate your wins, and support you through the tough parts that are really challenging.
You’ll get to take turns encouraging one another and building your sense of camaraderie. Regular arguments are going to seem so stupid by comparison when you spend so much time together building one another up, even if it’s just in commiserating how “unfair” or “broken” the targeting system or AI awareness level is.
5. You’re creating memories of adventure.
You’ve just been on an adventure together! Maybe you were in the fields of some distant, Earth-like realm, hunting down a wolf with six legs, or maybe you were aboard a spaceship piloting through the stars to an alien planet where mechanical demon men are hunting you down. You could be a cop in Hollywood in the 50s, or playing as a cute little yarn ball running through a little yarn world.
You can be a fantastical beast or a sexy assassin. You can be a magic-wielding champion, or take down a mammoth with brute force. You’ll get to go-kart, and sword fight, shoot “bad guys,” and operate awesome spy equipment.
You’ll experience shock and happiness, and cry through the loss of key characters together. No matter what you’re doing, you’re experiencing something awesome and building memories together that you can share later on. You’ll be able to laugh, cry, and be scared half to death through these moments, and it’s only going to make your relationship stronger for it.
So whether you've been gaming for ten years or ten days, go out there and try something new with your partner. You'll have fun, work together, and have something really entertaining to talk about later on.
Have fun exploring worlds and strengthening your relationship with one another!