James would do anything for love, even this.
So we’re back to the question: how much gaming is too much for your casual/non-gaming partner? A few matches for Wifey is all she needs. Later on after the Nintendo 64 I moved her to the Xbox with Star Wars: Battlefront II. She LOVED this. It was easy to grasp and she could follow the action. Yet every time, around 30-40 minutes of playing, she was done. I bought and LOVED TimeSplitters: Future Perfect. The amazing ability (sorely lacking on most current gen games) of having co-op versus bots meant we could both enjoy the game. So I set to work and meticulously built custom maps for us, with themes and special ways to keep the AI in check and on her level. Here too she was able to keep up and loved playing, especially as I pointed out how to properly navigate the levels I made just for her. Again though, around 45 minutes she was ready to call it quits, regardless of the outcome. Win or lose, she rarely wants to play more than an hour.
Why is this? I suppose it comes to the degrees of fandom we looked at in the beginning of this article. My wife is not a video game fan. She’s a wife and wants to experience her husband’s world. She’ll play games with me to be with me, in the same room, enjoying my hobby. Are more wives/husbands this way? I have a few friends on Live who play with their wives. Even among those few whose wives play harder games (one online friend’s wife could tough it out in Gears quite well), every wife I’ve played with plays less than her husband. I base this on times in the games (wives excuse themselves and drop out while we keep going) or what I see them doing on the dash (Netflix 99% of the time).
Only good in small portions
For co-op couples, I’m guessing the real goodness is much like a treasured candy or treat. When you partake of the coveted foodstuff it is awesome and enjoyable, but simply never lasts like you think it could (or should). Obviously your mileage may vary and there are likely some couples out there where the wife plays way more than the husband. For me though the goal is no longer trying to get Wifey to play more, but to focus on the game when she’s there and make the most of every minute.