How to Get Girls Interested in Video Games

“Turn that game off and spend some time with me!”

How many times has your girlfriend, wife, or crush uttered those awful words? If you live with a female or spend any amount of time with one, you already know that most women seem to dislike or even loathe video games. Even if you give the girl in your life plenty of attention (you are doing this, right?), she’ll probably still complain when she sees your eyes locked on that screen and your hands glued to the controller. What gives?

Most women adore being the center of attention in their man’s world. They’ll see how focused you are on a game, how much effort and time you put into it, and they don’t like it one bit. These women feel like they need to compete for your interest. It’s true even if you buy your lady gifts, give her back rubs, or take care of all the household chores.

As soon as you settle in for some multiplayer deathmatch action, chances are, you’ll hear your girl say some of the following phrases:

“If you’ve got time to play games, you have time to (walk the dog, pay the bills, insert chore here).”

“But you played for a whole hour yesterday!”

“Video games are for kids. You’re how old?”

Let’s face it, she just doesn’t understand.

But what if you could make her understand?

What if you didn’t have to give up gaming to make her happy? Guess what: you don’t have to if you get her interested in games, too!

Impossible, you say? That’s where you’re wrong. It’s completely possible to turn a game-hating girl into a ready and willing co-op partner. Here’s how.

1. Find a game she wants to play

It’s hard for men to figure out why most girls don’t lust after kill streaks or gasp in delight at digital blood, guts, and gore in the same way that guys do. Honestly, the average woman isn’t just disinterested in this stuff, she actively dislikes or even hates it. Even women who enjoy violent or scary movies may have an aversion to gory games. Why?

When you play a violent game, you’re part of the story and experience in a way no movie can replicate. It feels “personal” in a way, and many girls are uncomfortable with it all. A woman may also feel as if such a game is “evil” or morally wrong, depending on her religion or beliefs. If that’s the case, you’ll rarely convince her to give a game like Bioshock a try. Other possible no-no’s may include swearing, sexism, or an unlikable main character.

So what do you do? First, pick out a game she would actually enjoy. If she has no experience with games, or she’s averse to gore, this could be your ticket to easing her into your hobby gently. One of the safest ways to pick a “gentle” game is by choosing titles with an “E” for Everyone rating. Now, many guys avoid playing these games for fear that they’re too childish or simplistic. With women, this is just what you want. That’s not to say that she’s simplistic, of course. It’s just that you’ll do better with a game that’s fun, lighthearted and easy for her to pick up quickly.

Plenty of “E” rated games, as we know, are terrible. And if you avoid these types of games yourself, how do you know what to choose? Titles like Flower or Journey, available for PS3 on the PlayStation Store, are two nice, relaxing games that you’ll both love. In Flower, you control a lone flower petal that’s swept away by the wind. Your only goal is to touch other flowers to gather a billowing cloud of petals. The music is calming, the game is gorgeous, and there’s no violence at all. The petals are controlled simply by tilting the SixAxis controller in the direction one wants to go, so she won’t need to figure out a bunch of buttons to play.kat

Other possible choices are games from the quirky Katamari Damacy series, which began on PlayStation 2 and now has offerings on PS3, Xbox 360, and Sony PSP. In all of these games, the premise is easy to understand: roll your ball, called a Katamari, around the world and collect all kinds of stuff with it. As  you pick up small objects, such as thumbtacks and candy, your Katamari will grow. Soon, you can pick up animals, people and houses. It’s a delight to grow so large that your Katamari starts picking up buildings, mountains, countries, and even entire planets.

She may also enjoy a fun platformer with a cute character, such as Ratchet and Clank, Spyro the Dragon, Sly Cooper or Rayman. The good news is that most games starring those characters are very fun, even for guys.

2. Find a game you can play together

You know how irritating it is when you want to play a game, but your annoying friend refuses to hand over the controller? Just imagine how your girl feels when she’s forced to watch you play while she vacuums the floor around your feet. Even if you’re a gentleman and you don’t mind taking turns, chances are, that’s not good enough. Some girls may feel intimidated all on their own in a single-player game. They might even feel like you’re going to judge them. They don’t want to screw up in front of you, the seasoned pro gamer. That’s especially true if she’s heard you blasting noobs on Xbox Live for making your team lose a round. Maybe she’s worried what you’ll say to her if she loses. Men love to battle over anything and everything, and they play to win. That’s normal, but lots of women don’t enjoy competition.

Here’s your solution–co-opwiisp games. Not necessarily Gears of War, mind you. Yes, you’d love to have her help you slay some Locusts when your buddies aren’t around, but that needs to wait.

Party-themed games are excellent for this purpose. I’m talking about stuff like the ever-fun Mario Party series, available on every Nintendo system since the Nintendo 64. It’s got it all–cute characters, fun mini-games, and hey, everyone knows Mario! The two of you can team up together to take down some human or computer-controller opponents. The games are designed for family play, so you can set the difficulty to “easy” while she figures it all out. Each mini-game comes with a clear set of instructions to help her figure out what to do and what buttons to push. Other awesome Mario games are New Super Mario Bros. on the Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U for the Wii U.

In fact, the Wii and Wii U are both very friendly consoles for women to pick up and play. For example, Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort are fun little titles for you to try. In them, the two of you can enjoy games like bowling, beach volleyball, boxing, and golf. She’ll have a blast with the easy to understand motion controls using the Wii remote. Wii Party is another Mario Party-like game that’s highly rated on Amazon and elsewhere.

Portal and its equally awesome sequel, Portal 2, are sure to be hits if your girl loves puzzles. Portal 2, in fact, has a separate co-op mode that’s filled with puzzles designed for two players. Both are available on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

Rayman Origins and the sequel, Rayman Legends, are adorable but crazy-challenging titles that even tough guys can appreciate. You may want to save these until she’s figured out basic controls in other games.

3. Make fighting fun

Once your girl is comfortable with co-op, she might be ready for some friendly competition. If you’ve got a game that allows lighthearted competitive play, like Mario Party, stick with it so she’ll feel comfortable duking it out against you.

If she dislikes competition, the trick is to make it fun for her. Turn the game into a game, if you will. One cute idea that she’ll adore is to fill a bowl with scraps of paper, and on each paper, write a command. For example, the papers might say things like “The loser gives the winner a back rub” or “The loser must say something nice about the winner.” Take turns picking papers out of the bowl, then go a round or two. She’ll surely want to win the “reward” on the paper, so you can bet she’ll try her hardest to beat you. She may also be impressed by how romantic and creative you are, which is a big plus. Even if she doesn’t beat you, everyone can win in this game.

4. Be a good boyfriend/husband/date

Maybe this goes without saying, but have you ever considered that the lady in your life might have a good reason for hating your hobby? If you’re not giving your woman what she wants, you can’t expect her to welcome gamarioming with open arms.

If you live with your partner, this means you need to do your fair share of the household chores. Don’t let her cook dinner, wash the dishes, or change your kid’s diapers while you sit on your butt playing a game. Step in and take over a chore or duty of hers regularly. She’ll be glad and will feel like you’re doing your part instead of as if she’s doing it all herself. When she feels like the only one doing chores, trust me, she’ll feel resentful fast. It’s no wonder she’s sick of your gaming, in that case.

Be respectful. If she asks you to turn down the volume on the TV during a late-night gaming session, do it. If she begs you not to play Grand Theft Auto in front of the kids, oblige her. The game can wait, but if you ignore your lady, she won’t easily forget it. This can spill into many other areas of your relationship too. Respect her wishes and she’ll feel grateful, guaranteed.

Compromise. Do things she wants to do once in a while. If she wants to go shoe shopping, go for it–even if you know you’ll hate it. Eat at her favorite restaurant instead of yours when you can’t decide where to have dinner. Let her teach you something about a hobby she has that you aren’t into, like gardening or cooking. Yes, you may be totally bored, but you’re also going to score huge points with her. When you ask her to give gaming a try, she’ll be more likely to say yes if you’ve tried the things she enjoys.

These tips should be enough to get her started enjoying your gaming hobby. Below is a list of games that you’ll both love.

Click a game to read reviews and learn more on Amazon.com.

  1. Mario Party 8 (Wii)
  2. Mario Party 9 (Wii)
  3. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)
  4. Orange Box (Contains Portal) (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
  5. Portal 2 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
  6. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)
  7. New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U)
  8. New Super Luigi U (Wii U)
  9. Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
  10. Rayman Origins (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC)
  11. Rayman Legends (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PC)
  12. Lego Batman (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC)
  13. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC)
  14. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii)
  15. Lego Lord of the Rings (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
  16. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii)
  17. Lego Indiana Jones (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii)
  18. Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii)
  19. Hasbro Family Game Night Fun Pack (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii)
  20. Just Dance 4 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U)
  21. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing with Banjo-Kazooie (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii)
  22. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U)
  23. Journey Collector’s Edition (PS3)
  24. Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii)
  25. Wii Sports (Wii)
  26. Wii Sports Resort (Wii)
  27. Disney Universe (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii)
  28. Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U)
  29. Game & Wario (Wii U)
  30. Nintendo Land (Wii U)
  31. Katamari Damacy (PS2)
  32. We Love Katamari (PS2)
  33. Katamari Forever (PS3)
  34. Beautiful Katamari (Xbox 360)

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