Teamwork, time together, communication: these are just a few things gaming with your significant other can bring to your relationship. Just ask these real-life gamer couples who weigh-in on whether or not gaming has a positive effect on their relationships.
Jessica and Josh
Jessica and Josh Sands have been together for almost five and a half years, and video games have been a part of the couple’s relationship from the beginning.
“He was working in a video game store when I met him,” said Jessica. “So it’s just sort of a given that we play together.”
They both play games individually, but the game they keep returning to together is Minecraft. “One of our friends got us into it, and we shared an account for a while, and a couple years ago I got one. We’ve been playing together ever since,” said Jessica.
The different interests of the couple complement each other in the game. “I like to build and farm,” said Jessica. “He likes to farm and do technical crafting and mods. I build us a farm to sustain us in-game.”
Still, like anything in a relationship, gaming together can have its challenges, especially when each person has a different play style. “We have played console games, and we have tried to play two-player. I’m really gung-ho and want to run in to trouble, while he’s more logical and thought out. Sometimes it’s frustrating to wait on the other person.”
Yet Jessica feels that gaming has had a positive influence on their relationship. “We’re in the same room communicating a lot, and we can talk about it. We get creative, and it’s fun to see what the other one will do.”
Ben and Mallory
Ben and Mallory haven’t always been gaming together. Though they’ve been married for three and a half years, they’ve only been gaming together for about six months.
Ben has been gaming for most of his life, and has tried for years to get Mallory into gaming with no luck, but it turned out that Mallory just needed to find the right game.
“It’s something that I’ve wanted for a while, but it just took a little bit of convincing,” said Ben. “It was really about finding the right game, and Diablo did that,” said Ben.
“It was when it clicked for Ben that I really love fantasy, and then he suggested Diablo,” said Mallory.
“The top-down approach was actually a big plus, because Mal had trouble with first-person in the past,” added Ben. “It’s one of those games, too, where you can still have a good time, even if you’re spamming keys.”
Now that she knows what she likes, Mallory has been widening her gaming experience including games like Portal 2, Ibb & Obb, LittleBigPlanet, and Katamari.
“I like that it’s something we do together. I like working as a team,” said Mallory.
“It’s like going on an adventure together,” said Ben.
Gaming has also helped the couple to strengthen their relationship. Ben added, “It’s been very good strengthening our teamwork skills and our communication skills, and it’s also been good in the times we get frustrated with each other and gives us ways to learn about each other and how to talk to each other.”
Mallory plans to continue trying new games with Ben. “For me it’s been really great to share in this thing that’s been part of Ben’s life for a long time, and that’s really where I feel the most connection. It’s opened up this part of his life to me.”
Stephanie and Tom
Stephanie and Tom have been together for almost ten years, and they’ve been married for four years. They’ve each been playing video games since they were small children, so it was obvious that video games would be a part of their life together.
“We have just always played. It’s a way to spend time together,” said Tom.
The couple plays a bit of everything together, including Hyrule Warriors, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Super Smash Brothers, Team Fortress, and more, though they generally prefer RPGs and games from the Mario franchise.
They play co-operatively, competitively, and sometimes help each other out in single-player games. “One of us plays while the other spots for snipers,” said Tom, or they take turns and switch when the current player dies.
The couple believes that playing games together is a great way to have common ground despite personality differences. “He’s an extravert, and I’m an introvert,” said Stephanie, while Tom said, “I’m competitive, but she’s not.”
Gaming is also a great way to relieve stress. “Even if we do play competitive games, it’s a good stress reliever,” said Tom.
The couple gives advice to other couples who are interested in getting into gaming together: “Start with a game based on a movie or a book you like and that both of you like, like Lego Harry Potter, and also try to find ones that’s two-player to start,” said Stephanie.
Tom added, “Know how you work together. If you know you compete together, you can play Super Smash Brothers, or Halo, or Call of Duty. If you do team work well, play an RPG together.”
Do you play video games with your significant other? How does it impact your relationship?