Want to get your girlfriend to play Quake II?
Date: November, 2002
Tried and true tips from a female gamer…
Since I’ve been a girl gamer for a long time (well most certainly a girl longer than a gamer!), I often get asked, “how do I get my girlfriend to play?”, or “geez I wish I could get my girlfriend to play but she only likes puzzle games” or the most popular, “she’s tried to play but it makes her dizzy”. Most guys think it’s cool to have a girlfriend who plays FPS-type games and even more guys just wish their girlfriends would take an interest in their online gaming life – or at least not bitch about it when they do fire up a game! But how? There isn’t any one answer to this male dilemma, or female bane….
Well, I’ve collected some tried and true tips and thrown in some observations from a woman’s perspective and come up with the following.
Tip #1 – Share, Share, And Share… (This is the key guys!)
I’m not saying you need to constantly blab to her about all your online friends, your amazingly high score, or rant about ‘the bot’ you played against the other night. Believe me, before long she’ll have that glazed look (you know the one) and her eyes will glance toward the ceiling whenever you feel compelled to “share”.
I’m saying you need to invite her to see some of the maps, check out the weapons and hell yeah, even let her run around on an empty server for a while – encouraging her all the way. I know for a lot of people, it’s hard to share the computer. But if you’re not wanting to give her equal time on the box, then it’s time you consider purchasing a second computer.
Tip #2 – Show
Instead of droning on about adjusting the gamma, show her how the config works in determining different views, graphics, etc. and how ping and packet loss affect the game.
The coolest aspect for me was to see the female models and learn how they move. Let her get a feel for the movement of the player and the different pain sounds the models make. Show her the different style of maps, weapons and ammo. Now if she’s the dizzy-type, then I suggest shorter spurts.
One knowledgeable fellow wrote an article about getting girls to play and even went so far as to suggest that guys should ‘get her to make up her own cute chat binds, (because we all know how much women love to chat), that way she’ll feel more comfortable using her girlish chat binds to get to know other players’! C’mon!!! I wanted to strangle that guy! Cute chat binds do not make a true gamer. When I started playing online, all I wanted to do was play and get better. I rarely had time to “chat” as it was difficult enough to keep track of weapons and opponents. At that time my name was so nondescript so that no one even knew I was female. When I got a hang of the maps and became comfortable with my game, I changed my name to something a bit more feminine (and suiting for me) and took the time to acknowledge conversations, if I felt like it. I had absolutely no desire to go to a server to be social and to show off my cute girlie binds. So instead of encouraging her to pick a model that boasts the largest breasts, show her what’s available and why good gamers use certain models.
Tip #3 – Let Go
Once you have done the above two tips, now is the time to let go and by that I mean just let her load up a game and experiment – alone. You don’t need to be there telling her which direction to go, or which weapon works best in a certain situation. Let her learn for herself what works and what doesn’t. It’s a simple concept really. I learned Quake2 inside and out by trial and error and if my spouse was hovering around *tsk-tsking* then I would get frustrated and quit. If she has questions or problems, then by all means help out but then walk away.
If at this stage, she’s decided she’s just not interested in playing further (for whatever reason) then you can go back to Tips #1 & #2 and ask her to take part in your game. You can ask her for advice on what weapon to use for certain situations and let her be that extra set of eyes on a server. This way, she can share in your gaming victories and you won’t see that “look” whenever you discuss the game with her.
Tip #4 – Encourage & Be Patient
Give her praise for trying and sticking with it. Show her some of the tricks you’ve acquired and let her know she’s good enough to try some of the more complicated moves. I remember jumping on an empty RA server with my boyfriend and we’d run around together and try out different moves and show each other cool places to shoot from. We each found our own style of play and made a great team. So let her brag about her high score and be proud that she’s mastered the basics. Even if she’s not that great or if she does something you wouldn’t do, it’s her own style and she’ll figure it out. If you criticize she’ll resent it (and probably you too) and if you encourage her, she’ll be more likely to have patience when you play for hours on end. And if she’s the dizzy type, then I suggest shorter spurts of play with lots of breaks but again encourage her to keep trying.
Tip #5 – Be a Gracious Loser (aka don’t be a jerk!)
Don’t kid yourselves…women have the same skills necessary to be great gamers and top players. So if a female opponent wins consistently or just once in a while, then be honourable about it. By that I mean, say ‘good game’ and mean it! Give her credit even when she loses.
I don’t know what it is about the male species that think women can’t possibly be good gamers, but it’s rampant on the servers. It amazes me how threatened men can become when a woman kicks their ass. Now, I’m not saying all men feel this way, but there are still many out there that do. I’ve heard the most outrageous, offensive and frightening comments when I have played well and won. And it’s funny because as soon as my identity is revealed, I am either assumed to be a lesbian, fat and/or ugly, not a really a woman at all, or all of the above. It’s like I can’t possibly be a nice-looking (read average), woman who plays the game well. Wake up guys – women gamers are here to stay!
Tip #6 – She’s More Popular Than I Am!
I know from personal experience that most guys like their girlfriends to play, but don’t like them to get wrapped up in the online gaming community. If she is involved with other clan mates, clan groupies (if she’s in an all-woman clan – and we actually called them “towel boys”) or gets a lot of attention from males on the servers, then this could be a potential problem for any relationship. It’s inevitable that if she’s a regular gamer, men will notice and want to get in touch with her to chat. How much or how little you two participate in the community is up to you, but if you do, know that guys will want to talk to her. Even when I told guys that I was happily married, they still persisted. Some claimed they just wanted to help me improve my rail skills – now that’s a true gamers’ pick-up line! It’s really up to her to curb any direct flirtations, but most of the time it is innocent chatting and there is nothing to worry about. I also think it’s up to the guy to be secure in the knowledge that he’s got what all other gamer guys would love to have and he shouldn’t let the extra attention bother him.
Tip #7 – Don’t Make it Your Life
It’s all about balance folks. Take time to game together as a team, against each other, or take turns playing separately, but either way make sure it’s not consuming your whole relationship. She’ll appreciate the time you spend together gaming, and be even more appreciative when you can walk away to do something else. This leads to the next category….
• Happy gaming couples, have great sex! It’s true. I don’t know if it’s the competitiveness of the game, the feeling of accomplishment, or the fact that you just shared some laughs, but it’s all foreplay for good sex! (Even those in-game commentaries can make for some teasing fun!)
• Most girl gamers are eager to try new games too. If they are accomplished or comfortable with one type of game (and the keyboarding/mouse configuration) then they are more likely to take up a new game. My boyfriend and I always tried out new games together. We have found that we both experience the “Cool Factor” at the same time as opposed to him learning the game inside and out and telling me about it later. We often eagerly await new releases and even though I’m more of a FPS gal, and my boyfriend is more of a RPG guy, we each find our happing hunting ground.
• It gives you (the guy) the excuse to sit down and play for hours without having to justify your time or listening to her complain about it.
Isn’t that what we all really want?
The Forge is made up of a team of two. Wooly and Gemmy are a Quake duo who began playing together (cross country) back in 1997, (He in the USA mid-west and she in Canada’s west coast. ) They played as a team for years and cleaned up on the Rocket Arena servers. They participated in many tourneys, in the OGL, and in various clans. Late in ’99 Woolz had the opportunity to move to the west coast and he jumped at the offer. Since then the two have formed a relationship outside of Quake and computers. Besides Quake, they share many interests and play many different computer games (some of which you might see on this site).
The Forge is an amalgamation of two different perspectives. Woolz provides the technical and creative perspective with cool config settings, gaming reports and extensive tips for palm users, while Gemmy provides insightful editorials about women and gaming, children, and media. Together, they offer a wide-range of interesting and helpful articles, tips, and news for gamers and non-gamers.
Reposted by the awesome (now defunct) website GameGirlz.com: