Years before we wed, Steff was my girlfriend and the focus of my Girlfriend Gaming series of posts. Throughout that series, I tried to document her journey through games and our experiences gaming as a couple. It was actually one of the most popular series of posts I did for a while until it stopped in 2013. Let’s take a minute to reflect back on the series that was Girlfriend Gaming, where we’re at now, and what I’d fix if I were to do it all over again.
When I started it, I simply wanted to be a scribe for her/our journey through games. She has her own stories about interacting with the medium, and our stories together are different from the ones we have apart. I would write about the games we played together, with the intent of sharing more about how she felt about the games she/we played.
There were definitely some cool moments in there. We still have inside jokes that were created during our time playing co-op 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. We’ll also always have fond memories playing the Boom Blox games. In one of my first YouTube videos, she destroyed me in the Deadliest Warrior fighting game, something that she can still hold over my head till the end of time.
The last post I wrote with the tag was for Wonderbook – Book of Spells. After that, the series abruptly ended. What happened? Trying to think back, I don’t have a concise answer, but I think I can try to piece it together.
For one, her own interest in console games changed. She still plays games, just not really on “traditional” console games. We’ll build Nintendo Labo stuff together, and she’s my best friend in Pokemon Go, but the console space generally hasn’t had much for her of late. That said, her favourite game is Crash Team Racing, and that remaster is just around the corner.
We also discovered other ways to play where we could better connect. She loves board games, and virtually every board I’ve reviewed on the site I have played with her. She takes great pride in stomping me out in Splendor 99% of the time we play. We also enjoy tackling escape rooms as a team.
Also, I think I stopped because I was no longer comfortable with my past approach to it. In hindsight, I hate the name “Girlfriend Gaming”. It’s gender-specific and I feel like it has connotations of being a “different” type of way to play. A more inclusive phrase would have been a lot better to start with, because the stories are more about gaming together, rather than anything relating to gender. In hindsight, if I were to tell this story properly, she would be writing with me. Finally, I think there were a few times where I overstepped my bounds, and I wish I had handled those situations better.
If I were to do it all again, I think she and I could do a much better job of telling that story as a duo. But I’m okay keeping that story mostly to ourselves now.