Gaming can be a difficult hobby to maintain if your new or existing partner does not share your passion. I recently spoke with some of my female friends about what they really thought of gamers. I wrote about my findings in the post, What Do Girls Really Think About Gamers. I thought I would expand on the topic and investigate just what it would take for gaming to appeal to someone who’s never been previously interested.
In a survey of 126 women, 72% told StreamScheme that they would try gaming if it was something their partner was passionate about.
My advice on the steps to introducing your significant other to gaming are as follows:
- Start by sacrificing your own time to do something your partner enjoys.
- Suggest playing a game you think she would like as a means to spend time together.
- Pick a carefully selected casual game based on your partner’s interests
- Don’t be overly competitive! Let her win some.
Do Something She Wants to Do First
If she isn’t at all interested in playing a game with you, the first step is all about compromise. You need to offer your own time to an activity that might not particularly interest you but she really enjoys. Tell her that you want to share your hobby with her and would be interested in participating in one of hers. Offer to do her hobby first, and be willing to participate in it for at least as long as you want her to game with you.
Listen to her feedback and concerns, and don’t overreact. When I spoke to my friends about what they thought of gamers, it became clear that there is still some stigma connected to gaming. Women (and some men as well) perceive it to be lazy, childish, or an addiction. While that may be true enough in some cases, most men who play video games do not fall under that category.
Always be sure to let her know that you really enjoy her company. This step isn’t natural for a lot of men. They assume that she knows it, and while she might, taking the step to remind her will reassure her that this is something you genuinely want. Play something fun and casual with her instead of running off to play something with your online friends.
It is crucial to downplay your competitive streak. Remember, you want her to enjoy gaming with you. Keep the atmosphere light and laugh with her (not at her) through her struggles and praise her when she does well.
Introduce to Your Girlfriend to Casual Games
Take note of her interests and personality as you browse games to play with her. The market is flooded with a diverse range to pick from. While you can do some initial research before talking to her about playing with you, involve her in the process of choosing. If you have one, I’d strongly recommend starting with console games as they are generally far more casual and don’t have the high skill cap that many online PC games require.
Be patient with her as she learns. You may have been gaming for a decade or more and have built up a mindset and reflexes on how to jump into new games and perform really well. Remember that there is a learning curve. Also, understand that women enjoy different aspects of gaming. Women enjoy completing tasks whereas men want to become more and more competitive. Find ways where you can enjoy your gaming experience together.
Do Girls Like Video Games?
In 2017, Quantic Foundry interviewed 270,000 people. They found the percentages of women who enjoy specific genres of video games. While this might be a good place to start, remember that these are generalities and your partner has her own unique tastes.
Another thing to consider is the game within each genre. While Quantic Foundry’s findings stated that only 7% of FPS players were women, a study in April 2018 revealed that 27.6% of Fortnite players were female. These two results were found in close approximation to each other, showing that there are variances even within a genre.
Why is this important? Don’t write off an entire genre just because of stats, and don’t be discouraged if she doesn’t specifically like one game within a category. Contrast Fortnite with Battlefield (where there is an estimated 3% of female players). While both are competitive FPS games, Fortnite has more skins, is more customizable, and is less violently graphic than Battlefield. With a little effort, the two of you may be able to find a game you both enjoy within your favorite genre.
Girls Play Video Games Together
One part of Gaming that is enjoyed regardless of gender is the social relationships you build. Hanging out with people is one of the best parts of online gaming and the ability to build friendships with people from all over the world is a truly magical opportunity.
If you play an online social game where you already play with women, invite your girlfriend to try it out. Reach out to the women you play with and ask them to help introduce her to the game. Don’t “dump her” on them. Make sure you play with them and engage with them. You can always play with your boys later on. Finding other women to connect with may help your partner feel more comfortable when trying out the game. She may even find friends that keep her returning to learn more.
I believe that while some women outright state that they hate gaming, it might just be that they haven’t found a style of gaming that appeals to them.
Show Your Girlfriend Twitch or YouTube Gaming
Another aspect of social gaming is through participating in online communities. Find some entertaining women on Twitch or YouTube Gaming that she may be interested in watching. Seeing a game through another female’s eyes and interacting with others in the streamer’s chat may entice her to try out more games.
Mobile Games Are Popular with Women
Try out popular mobile games. There are many genres to choose from and many can be played with just a few minutes at a time. Try warfare games, word games, Pokemon Go (or Wizards Unite if she is into Harry Potter), and others that may appeal to her. This could help you both figure out what games she would be interested in on other platforms as well.
Gaming shouldn’t be about gender. Everyone should be able to go out and have a good time doing something they enjoy.
Play A Game With a Story
A lot of women gravitate toward games with a storyline or something they can connect to. E3’s Sims franchise has a large demographic of female players. They enjoy many of the elements of the game – from the graphics to the adjustable storylines.
Moving from there, you can find an assortment of other games that may interest her. Try other “plot building” games or graphically appealing ones like Little Big Planet. If you want to move into strategy-based games, look at the dungeon crawler called For the King. The characters are cute and customizable and the gameplay is turn-based, but the strategy involved is good.
Experiment with Different Games
I can’t stress enough that every person is different. Some of these ideas may interest your girlfriend, but they might not. If she is genuinely not interested, you may need to set aside time to play with your friends when she isn’t around or doing something else.