After getting a question from a listener about how to get their spouse to play games, it got us thinking. There are a whole lot of people out there who don’t consider themselves gamers. But almost everyone plays games thanks to smartphones.
So why don’t they identify as gamers? Is it because they were never introduced to them? Is is a negative cultural stereotype?
One of the biggest hurdles is simply the controller. The number of buttons and the layout are super intimidating. Our suggestion is to introduce people to smartphone games because the interface is something almost everyone is used to already. Mobile games get around the controller issue.
Find a gameplay mechanic or IP that interests you or the person who you want to introduce to gaming. Do they love Star Wars? Then maybe Star Wars: Angry Birds is the way to go. Do they like puzzle games? Try Two Dots or Candy Crush (seriously!). Do you enjoy strategic thinking? Well, Hero Academy and Bloon Tower Defense are perfect.
One of our highest recommendations, however, is to try to introduce people to gaming using narrative games. Even if they’re not playing and just watching, they can see what games are capable of. Anything by Telltale games would be wonderful to start with, as would Firewatch, Bioshock, or The Last of Us. Even open-world games like GTA can help people see the immersion possible in video games.
The one thing we get asked a lot is “How do I get my spouse to play games?” Our answer might surprise you. “Maybe you don’t?” Having separate hobbies can be a good thing, and if you can talk and listen about what each of you loves, it’s okay that your spouse isn’t a gamer.
Void’s wife is a hardcore knitter, and he has maybe done 10 stitches in his life. But he still cares, listens, and understands when she talks about what she loves. While he isn’t going to be using the awesome new yarn or pattern, he can appreciate that it means something for her. The same goes for Beej’s wife. She is a woodworker, and while Beej wouldn’t trust himself anywhere near a tablesaw, he loves seeing the excitement on his wife’s face when she finds a new kind of wood with a particularly beautiful grain.
Not everyone has to love the same stuff, but we should be respectful of other people’s interests.
However, we do There are good on-ramp games like 80 Days on iOS/Android/PC and pretty much any Mario Kart game ever. If you want to give gaming a shot to see what modern gaming can do, we don’t think you can go wrong with those titles.
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Music by CarboHydroM