2010 Year in Review: A Year of Girlfriend Gaming

Back when I started this series, my girlfriend was in a different place as far as video games go. Steff has always liked video games, but never got into them on a serious level. Even though I’m a life-long hardcore gamer, it wasn’t (and will never be) a priority to me that she be a hardcore gamer too. I value her personal tastes and interests far too much to mess with the amazing person that she already is. My first Girlfriend Gaming post was about my perspective on this very subject.

Since I kicked off the series, my girlfriend has become much more invested in the medium. She now has about 20 games for her Wii. She also now has a PlayStation 3 with almost 10 games. On top of that, she’s playing or has shown interest in a number of hardcore games, such as Batman: Arkham Asylum, God of War, Bioshock and Assassin’s Creed. I’m sure that last point will make many a gamer guy jealous, but sorry, you can’t have her. It’s great that she’s enjoying games more and I’ll always support her with any interest she gets into. So why is it then, that I feel like I’ve partially failed as a gamer boyfriend?

When Steff began getting deeper into games, I thought I would be the perfect gamer boyfriend. I didn’t want to be the type of boyfriend that would try and shape her into the gamer I wanted her to be. I didn’t want to shape her into a Call of Duty sniper, or into a Street Fighter sparring partner. I just wanted her to be happy. As a gamer boyfriend, I could help make her happy by understanding her tastes and recommending stuff she might like.

In a perfect world, I sort of saw myself as a gaming conduit of awesome. If she wanted my help, she could use me as a resource on top of her own searching to find gaming stuff she would like. At times, I’ve been helpful. I’m partially responsible for helping her find games that she ended up really liking, such as Just Dance, Plants vs. Zombies and 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. However, there have been times that I’ve been detrimental to her enjoyment of the medium, too. Nobody’s perfect, but I’m disappointed in the way I’ve handled certain things.

For instance, Steff and I were at a video game store and she was deciding between Bioshock and Assassin’s Creed. She asked for my input. Instead of simply providing an answer, I chose one, then bashed the other game. Not only did I bash a game she was genuinely interested in, but I bashed it based on the feedback I’ve received through the Internet and positioned it as my own. She picked up the game I recommended, even though she may have been more interested in trying the other one. Jerk move, I know.

Even when I’m positive about something, it sometimes has the effect of scaring her away, too. My girlfriend has said that she’d be interested in giving Super Street Fighter IV a shot, but only if I’m nowhere near it. The way I’ve hyped that game up as a fan has totally freaked her out. That saddens me to think that my enjoyment of something has inadvertently scared her from trying something she might like as well.

The disappointment I harbour towards myself goes beyond the video game element. If I deterred her from enjoying a movie, book, song or anything she might be interested, I’d be equally bummed out. In hindsight, those two instances weren’t the only times I negatively affected her gaming choices. Going forward, I need to do a better job at being a conduit of gaming awesomeness rather than being a gaming elitist or all-around party pooper. I can do this by being more understanding, respectful and supportive rather than being righteous and confrontational.

In the grand scheme of things, this is not a big problem. My faults have not stopped her from enjoying games diving further into them at her own pace. She’s pretty far into 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand and has recently started up Batman: Arkham Asylum. I’ll continue to be supportive of all her interests going forward, even the ones that are alien to me, like books, Tumblr and romantic comedies.

I’ve had a good time in 2010 writing these Girlfriend Gaming posts and the best time ever having Steff as my significant other for almost three years now. Based on the popularity of these Girlfriend Gaming posts, I’m under the impression that you like these looks into love and gaming too. If you’d like to check out older Girlfriend Gaming posts, feel free to check the archives. Once you’ve gone through that, stay tuned to In Third Person for more Girlfriend Gaming posts in the future (knock on wood).

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