From the moment I first discovered that there existed girls who were into video games, I was into girls who were into video games. Unfortunately, I grew up in an era where the girls my age weren’t big gamers, at least in my own little social circle, other than the stereotypical dabbling in Tetris or Mario. So, from my personal experience, a “gamer girl” was a very rare being to even encounter, let alone actually get into a relationship with. This perceived scarcity of female gamers made them that much more desired of a prize for me, and “Loves video games” become permanently embedded near the very top of my list of traits that my ultimate dream girl would have, as genuinely important as any other personality trait or even physical characteristic. My imagined perfect female gaming companion would love all the same games as me; would be way into the games’ stories and characters and we’d have long, in-depth conversations about them; she’d be down for gaming pretty much all the time; and so on. I had plenty of other things I wanted in a woman too, some that even – gasp – had nothing to do with nerdiness, but I always knew that I wasn’t going to ever feel like I was truly with the girl of my dreams unless she was a huge gamer with huge…well, we can skip that detail for today.
Truth be told, I actually never had the misfortune of getting stuck with a girlfriend who was completely anti-video games. That might be seem like a no-brainer, for a gamer to avoid any woman who hates his primary hobby, but as well know it happens all the time for any number of reasons. Sometimes, gamers just genuinely don’t feel like they absolutely must find a gamer for a partner. One of my best friends – who is also one of the hardcorest (or is it hardest-core?) gamers I know – once told me that if he had his choice of one big thing he’d want a woman to be into (heh heh), he’d choose a sports fanatic over a gamer. That was not me. But as I was about to discover, just like there is no one type of woman, and there is no one type of gamer, there is certainly no one type of woman gamer, and I didn’t mesh well with every type of woman gamer.
I think the idea of “opposites attract” is kind of nonsense. Maybe they can attract initially, but I don’t believe that you can build a long-term relationship with a person who has a significant number of opposing opinions/traits/beliefs/interests/etc as you do. Sure, having things to debate about and to be able to poke fun at how wrong the other person is for liking some band you hate or having an opinion on something you find silly is healthy for a relationship. It’s no fun to agree on absolutely everything all the time – conversations get boring pretty quickly when there is zero conflict to be had in them. But there are some types of opposition that are simply too great to overcome within a relationship, and much to my surprise I found out that it’s possible to find such a deal breaking type of difference in someone’s gamer side.
In fact, the previous two women I was with prior to my current (and perfect) gaming partner illustrated exactly what it was I didn’t want in a “gamer girl.”
First, there was the girl who was huge into MMO’s, a genre I previously had zero interest in. In spite of that, I tried to give them a fair chance, but after a few weeks that involved me getting yelled at for not playing the game the way she decided I should be playing it, I had had enough and I quit – the game and her. As it turns out, I didn’t want a girl who took games that seriously, because as it turns out, I didn’t take them that seriously myself.
Next, there was the girl with whom video games were mostly just a once-in-awhile treat. And then there was her annoyance with ever even trying a game that wasn’t one of her three go-to games, so that’s all we ever played. Strike three was that she had absolutely zero tolerance for watching me play a game for any length of time, let alone bothering to engage with me about a game I was playing. To absolutely refuse to show any interest in something I was doing that I was really into, a major hobby of mine, was selfish no matter what the hobby was, games or otherwise.
And then, the impossible happened: I met my true gaming soulmate.
As luck would have it, after spending most of my adult life learning as much about what I didn’t want in a gamer girl as what I did, the very next woman I would meet fit the exact – revised – mold that I had envisioned. For starters, she’s a Nintendo girl through and through, which already gets her halfway there with me. She plays games with just the right amount of seriousness – she likes to find all the secret coins in Mario games, for instance – but gaming together is always about fun above all else. We have not once even so much as bickered while playing a game together, and that’s saying something since we’ve gone through two full co-op Mario games together. She considers a night of video games equal to a night doing anything else, and doesn’t automatically choose TV or a movie over video games. When we play, it’s almost always for a pretty lengthy amount of time, and she never wants to be done way before I feel like I was ready to be. She could easily play video games every night.
In addition to our multiplayer gaming, she also encourages me to play the solo games that I like to play, and even enjoys watching me play. Not only that, but she actually asks questions, wants to know what’s going on, is genuinely interested in what’s happening, and has no trouble following along – I booted up the Bayonetta 2 demo one day, a game that even hardcore gamers don’t always know what is happening in half the time, and she didn’t miss a thing, asking me about even the tiniest details of what was happening on the screen. As it turns out, I actually don’t really particularly need to be with someone who also plays the single player games I like to play. For me personally, I’d actually rather just play them myself and have someone to be my wing (wo)man. I don’t particularly see the huge appeal of if she was playing through the game as well, just separately, and “switching off” while playing a game like Zelda or Metal Gear Solid just doesn’t sound that fun to me (and if only one of us is going to play, I’d rather it be me if I’m being honest, and that’s what she prefers too which makes us a perfect match). She actually gets excited about new games, and wants us to get them – a big change from what I’m used to, which was more along the lines of “How many games do you already have that you don’t even play?” or “We can’t really afford that this week. Now come on, help me pick out $70 worth of stuff we actually need, like make-up and my 20th pair of shoes.” (Not stereotyping – just basing it on my real experiences.)
She also has never once not tried a game I asked her to try, and when she does, she actually gives it a fair amount of time to see if she likes it or not and doesn’t immediately write it off. Sure, she isn’t going to love every game I ask her to play, and that’s fine, because she at least will try them. And, because she’s awesome and our tastes are so similar, she’s liked most of them so far anyway. “I know you wouldn’t try and get me to play a game you know I’ll hate, so I’m always willing to try games you asked me to try,” she told me once. Huh, imagine that, trusting that I wouldn’t ask her to play a game I thought she’d hate, which would just lead to her being irritated and eventually stop trusting me to try new games, which definitely wouldn’t be what I’d want. Funny how some people just have common sense like that!
I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt that I am with my true gaming soulmate. She is everything I ever wanted in a “gamer girl,” and luckily I was able to revise my wish list to make it much more accurate so that I finally knew what I was actually looking for. I truly wouldn’t change a single thing about the type of gamer she is – well I wouldn’t change anything about her at all, which makes her all that more amazing of a find since she’s the total package. As I said before, finding a gamer girl/guy isn’t necessarily a priority for everyone, and I’m not saying it should be. If you could care less how much or little your partner games, that’s fine. But if it is important to you, truly important, don’t feel ashamed or immature in making it a priority. If gaming is a really big part of your life, then you should be with someone who fits into that in whatever way you’d prefer them to. We’re told placing a big importance on things like that is trivial and shouldn’t be as important as other things. But it’s all important to a degree. Don’t compromise something you consider to be truly important to you, no matter how trivial it may seem to anyone else. Maybe the exact dream girl/guy you’ve built in your mind just literally doesn’t exist – but you definitely owe it yourself to try and get as close as possible. Life is too short not to hold out for your ideal gamer girl/guy if you think it’s going to make you happier to have them.