I have a soft spot for a nice gamer + non-gamer love story.
I recently read this sweet post by Robert Rath about his soon-to-be wife, Danielle, and the wonderful side she brings to their relationship as a non-gamer. I think this is a perfect example of how gamer/non-gamer relationships can work, and work really well.
Danielle isn’t interested in playing games, so I know our relationship will never carry over to a multiplayer server somewhere, just like she knows that I’ll likely never be a talented enough musician to for a jazz duo…
…We do, however, talk about games a lot. Like any good partners, we want to know what each other are up to. I’ll ask how her work and Yoga classes are going, and she shows an interest in what I’m playing. She reads my column with pleasure. Though she’s never played BioShock or Call of Duty, we’ll discuss the controversies surrounding them over pasta. She’s brilliant at it. Most of the time she crafts better arguments and makes better points than half the game journalists I know, because unburdened by the culture, history and prejudices of gaming, she asks different questions than they would and draws different conclusions.
Rath goes on to explain how his partner’s questions and opinions encourage him to consider his own views of his games, whilst also helping improve the way he explains video games to non-gamers. I love that in this relationship, video games is not just something that exists peacefully in their relationship, but it is something that enhances it.
For my partner and I, while I may not offer the same level of deep analyses that Rath’s fiancé presents, I have experienced the great benefits to a relationship when gamers are able to discuss their hobby with their non-gaming spouse. Gaming is a whole culture that I am only just learning about, and that my partner loves immensely and enjoys discussing. I don’t really think I’ll ever find any enjoyment in playing the games that my partner plays, but I do enjoy learning about them. As well as occasionally watching him play League of Legends, I often join him while he watches pro players’ streams or eSports tournaments. Many lazy Saturday mornings have been spent snuggled up in bed together with coffees watching the latest LoL Tournament, cheering on our favourite teams. I learn about the champions, the items, the positions. I test myself by memorising pro players and the positions they play (as well as random trivia about their personal lives, just for kicks). I will ask about the strategy behind the game and I’m always delighted when my questions to him are met by “You know what, that’s a good question…”, as I know I have graduated from my standard overexcited questions to those requiring some decent thought and understanding of the game.
The best part about our gaming discussions is that it benefits both of us. Not only do video games present a whole new topic for us to discuss when we’ve grown tired of talking about work, family or the other usual stuff, but it helps me better understand and appreciate his hobby, which in turn, is more comforting for him. Rath nicely describes:
After all, we don’t play games with our fingers, we play them with our minds. So even if I don’t play games with the woman I love, when we share the ideas games impart, and enrich each other’s understanding of the medium, in a way we’re sharing some of the best games have to offer.
Please do take a moment to check out the full article here at The Escapist . I think gamers and non-gamers alike can take something positive away from this.