Despite the happy and joyous geek couples you see at Comic-Con and the Penny-Arcade Expo, playing their Nintendo DS games together, this isn’t always the case. Some of us date “normal,” or in this case “abnormal,” people who don’t believe in our coveted lifelong pastime of gaming. Sadly, I occasionally hear the comment of "that’s a waste of time", or "there's no point in spending so much time doing that". In an effort to show that games aren't a waste of time I instituted mandatory game time. I'll be chronicling my epic journey with a brand new gamer that hasn't held a controller since Tetris was hot.
Game 1: I opted for full on immersion. I’d attempted handing over an iPhone or iPad running Plants vs. Zombies and that occasionally elicited an hour or two of gaming, but I’m not looking for a casual situation; I want a co-op buddy. I’m talking Army of Two or Metal Slug type of backup here. First order of business was choosing the game. I needed something simple that would also teach the basics of handling business. I chose HALO: Reach because in easy mode I know I’d have time to charge in and save the day if my partner is getting murdered.
Day 1: A lot of time was spent prepping her on controls and getting her used to only looking at half of the screen, but by the time we encountered our first enemies on Reach she was able to follow me around. Aiming and killing things was going to take a little more time. As time went on she became more comfortable with the controls, I caught her snapping on her night vision goggles with no prompting from me and realized that she was getting the hang of things. Further into the campaign I came up with a game of us simultaneously sniping two targets Army of Two style, this began to greatly draw her into the game because it was obvious that she was downing an enemy. By the time we had to get dressed and leave for a party she was activating anti-air guns and mowing down grunts with ghost like a pro. Maybe next time I'll be able to crank it up to Heroic.