Co-Op Couples: From "Dear" to Gear
How my wife transformed into a battle-crazed soldier
My wife and I will be celebrating our thirteenth anniversary in a few months. For most of that time, my gaming partners have been my two sons. Deana has been very tolerant of all the gaming that goes on, as she knows it has made my relationship with the boys very close. But she hardly ever joins in on the fun. Every once in a while, she’ll be our lead vocalist in Rock Band, and once I forced her to play Left 4 Dead with me for a few minutes, but that’s about the extent of her co-op gaming experience. (My wife has earned me plenty of gamerscore in Kinect exercise games, though, and for that I am eternally grateful.)
Recently, Deana and I were having our typical “early evening recap of the day’s events” chat with one another, and it had been a frustrating workday for us both. I was anxious to relieve some of my stress by my favorite method: shooting some aliens in a videogame. As I walked to the living room, and called for my faithful ten-year old sidekick to fire up the 360, it occurred to me that a friend had left his copy of Gears of War 3 at our house. I walked back to the kitchen, where super-Mom was dutifully preparing dinner. Grabbing her hand, I put a controller in it, and invited her to join us in some Horde mode. She protested a bit, but I insisted.
Resigned to her fate, she sighed and plopped down on the couch next to me. My son ran into the other room where the second Xbox 360 was housed, and within a few minutes, we created a game, choosing a simple map, one that was easy to defend. Since the point of the session was to blow off some steam, and not to challenge our skills, Casual difficulty seemed the best choice. Moments later, wave one had begun.
Knowing that Deana’s FPS skills were pretty much non-existent, I gave her an incredibly quick primer, with only the basics. Left trigger to look, right trigger to shoot, right stick to aim. Moving her character over to a good piece of cover, I pressed A and told her to stand there and wait for bad guys. Right around this point, the first few Locust, mostly Wretches, were upon us. Rolling her eyes, my wife kept telling me she didn’t see anything. When Connor moved in her field of view, she mistook Marcus Fenix for a bad guy (understandably, I suppose) and unloaded on him.