By dankempster 7 Comments
I noticed on the forums the other day that there's a thread floating around featuring a video that instructs guys how to get their girlfriends interested in video games. I watched it, had a good chuckle, and moved on. While I'm sure most of us who play games in any respect other than casually would take the video with a pinch of salt, I had an additional reason to laugh off its tongue-in-cheek suggestions. That is because I have recently discovered the real secret behind getting girls into games. That secret, ladies and gentlemen, I reveal to you now as...
I know what you're probably thinking. Dead Space? Really?! How could a third-person shooter with survival horror elements possibly appeal to a non-gaming girl? Truth is, when my girlfriend picked up my copy of the game and asked me to show it to her, I was thinking the exact same thing. Overcome by confusion at this bizarre request, I decided to appease her and booted up the 360. We got comfortable and sat down for a brief Dead Space session of about twenty minutes or so. We both jumped at the brilliant audio cues and both recoiled in horror at the appropriately hideous enemy design. I shot limbs off every Necromorph in the vicinity, while she clung tightly to my own. It was a harrowing experience, but one that we ultimately both really enjoyed. After the session was over and I turned off the 360, my girlfriend said, "That was really scary, but really good." Since then, we've played a little of Dead Space together most nights. I take the controller in hand and she watches, and together we have an awesome time.
I guess my girlfriend found something to like in Dead Space because she's into horror movies in a big way. Things like The Ring and Saw really appeal to her, and I guess there isn't too much of a difference between watching those films and watching somebody play Dead Space. The game is presented in a very cinematic fashion with incredible audio design, and boasts some of the scariest moments I've ever experienced in a video game. More than anything, I'm just really happy that I've found a way to share what I love doing with her. While she hasn't started playing the game herself, I don't intend to force that option on her. If she wants to give it a try then I'll be more than willing to hand over the controller, but for now she seems content to share my active love of games in a more passive respect. Besides, I'm not sure if Dead Space provides an ideal learning curve for somebody who's never played an action game before...
This isn't the first game that's appealed to my girlfriend, either. She was around the first time I checked out Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise and seemed to dig it almost as much as I did. We've played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas together, which gave her plenty of enjoyment as soon as she discovered she could turn the minigun on me. She also spent a lot of time watching me play Fallout 3 and Oblivion last term, both of which she seemed to enjoy, although nowhere near as much as Dead Space. Over Easter, she even purchased a DS Lite and has started playing Animal Crossing: Wild World. While she definitely doesn't fall into the category of girls who go crazy over the female-targeted games flooding the market, she's really enjoying Animal Crossing for what it is - something that I did when I bought my own DS Lite back in 2006. When I finish Dead Space (I'm on the sixth chapter right now), we're going to turn our collective attention to something else. Given how much she likes Dead Space, maybe I'll pick up Resident Evil 5. Or, considering her reaction to Viva Pinata, perhaps we'll share in the delights of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Whatever it turns out to be, I have a funny feeling our time together in front of the 360 won't end with Dead Space.
Sometimes, life surprises you. Sometimes it throws four essays your way in the space of a week. Sometimes it helps a nice heap of chocolate custard off your spoon and all over your nice white Paul Weller t-shirt. And sometimes it gifts you with an incredible girlfriend who is not only content for you to pursue your passion, but who takes an active interest in sharing it with you. Anyway, thanks very much for reading, guys. Now that I've finally given all those pesky essays the one-two I'll probably see you around on the site and in the IRC a bit more. In the meantime, I'm going to play some Dead Space. With my awesome girlfriend.
Currently playing - Dead Space (X360)