There are several happy gaming couples out there. They play co-op, camp out for consoles together, trade Pokémon with each other and go on raids together. This article is not for them.
This is for people like me who are the lone gamer in a relationship. My wife Karin used to play games, ranging from the Atari 2600 to the 16-bit era, but it all went downhill after that fateful day when I switched on the N64 and introduced her to Mario 64 and analog control. Her super-organized-but-spatially-janky left brain tried to make the stubby little plumber go where she wanted him to go but all he did was run aimlessly in circles, occasionally swerving and shifting directions like a hyperactive drunk. All the major game publishers collectively drove the industry into 3D, simultaneously driving my 2D-only spouse away from the controller.
Aside from the occasional bout of Mario Party, Monopoly Streets and one disastrous attempt at playing Portal (which she really, reallywanted to play), we’re now a single-player household. But I can still bring her with me on my video-gaming exploits– as my player avatar.
The first time I ever did this was in Oblivion on the Xbox 360. The character creation in that game was the first of its kind and I spent hours messing around with it. First I created a doppelganger of myself, then one of Karin. When I finally started the game proper, I chose to journey as her instead of me.
Creating and playing as your pretend spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend can be fun for your non-gaming significant other to watch, seeing themselves absorb a Dragon Shout after eviscerating bandits and setting hordes of vicious undead draugr on fire. Over dinner, you can regale your loved one with dramatic tales of her/his adventures.
Modding Skyrim on the PC has made it possible to make Dovahkiin Karin look a lot more Karinlike. In fact, Real Karin has suffered an actual knee injury, though not involving taking an arrow to it.
Most recently, Pokémon Trainer Karin defeated the Elite Four and became Champion of the Kalos Region in Pokémon Y.
Now she’s spending much of her time running a café, fishing and eliminating the ghost problem in Disney’s Magical World (known in Japan as Disney Magic Castle – My Happy Life).
While it’s not exactly playing games with your significant other, you can still have a lot of fun together playing games with your significant other. You never know…seeing themselves on the screen may bring them into gaming after all.
Then of course, you may also have an exchange similar to this one, which happened when I was playing Saints Row IV, where I’d just created a nicely color-coordinated (but mostly absent) getup for Gang Kingpin/President Of The United States/Earth’s Last Hope Karin:
“Hey hon, what do you think of this outfit?”
Real Karin looked up from her book. “What the…Where are her clothes?”
“Those are her clothes!”
“No, really! This is a good look for you.”
“Uh huh. That’s… um…That’s lovely.”
I have no excuse here. Other than that I think my wife is hot. The real one.