by Joel Smart (Sports Editor)
In the November 2010 issue of Cosmopolitan, the women’s magazine suggests that women should try playing video games with their male partners as a way to improve relationships. A better reason for women to play, though, would be because games are awesome.
Cosmo cited a three-year-old UK survey (conducted by a game rental service) that showed women who played games were more likely to have sex than women who didn’t; women who played games had sex four times a week, versus three times for the rest.
Firstly, that is the definition of a biased survey. Secondly, while I would not argue with the premise that a girl who enjoys playing video games is probably more attractive to a partner who enjoys gaming as well, I highly doubt it would increase the intimacy of a relationship if a girl suddenly pretended to have the same interests as her partner in order to get more sex.
Girls who enjoy playing video games are perhaps the ultimate nerd fantasy, but they do exist. In fact, there are a lot of them, and they aren’t all interested in playing Barbie’s magical adventure either. With the incredible popularity of World of Warcraft, it should be no surprise that a large number of the players of that game are women. Partners that raid together stay together, apparently. Actually, it is a bit silly to begin naming games that girls enjoy playing, because, not surprisingly, women’s tastes in gaming are just as varied and diverse as men’s tastes are.
If a woman is interested in improving her relationship by including gaming as part of their together time, I do applaud the effort. Perhaps a helpful tip, though, is to choose the game wisely. It is worth taking the time to find a game that both will enjoy playing. Nothing will ruin the mood faster than having the more experienced gamer win 30 straight matches of Halo.
If you’re new to gaming, it might be worth suggesting a game with easy controls and cooperative play. LittleBigPlanet for the PlayStation 3 is a great game for beginners to try, as it has a light atmosphere and a good balance between working together while still remaining a little competitive. The Wii also has a number of fun party games for partners to try together. The motion controls make the Wii a good choice, as it can really lower the learning curve for many games. The PlayStation Move also has motion controls, which could make playing together more fun too. The Xbox 360 will also have motion controls when it releases the Kinect on November 4. As you grow accustomed to playing together, you could incorporate some more challenging games as well. Don’t be afraid to rent a few games before buying them to see if they’re fun for both of you.
While I think the recommendation for girls to get their game on is a good one, I really think they should try playing a few games just for themselves, rather than simply playing as part of a relationship-improvement strategy. After developing an appreciation for gaming, though, playing together could be the perfect addition to a relationship. Just remember, it’s only a game.