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I am an avid gamer, but my girlfriend is not. For the most part, that's fine. I am still able to play when I want to, and it doesn't create any stress or arguments between us. But since gaming has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, I wanted to share my hobby with my significant other. I figured I would be playing games regardless, so why not include her, too? And, much to my delight, she reluctantly agreed!
For the purpose of these stories, I will be calling my girlfriend Sophie.
Sophie wasn't a total stranger to video games when we met. Her family had a Super Nintendo and an N64 when she was growing up, and she was surprisingly good at Super Mario Bros 3 and Donkey Kong Country. She was even better than me at those two games. One of our first few dates we had involved trading controllers back and forth and trying to see how far we could get in SMB 3 in a night. We even came up with a drinking game, which subsequently made the levels more difficult, which of course meant more drinking. It was a ton of fun.
But platformers aren't my favorite type of game, and I wanted to see if she could play something I was used to. I knew she liked a good story, so I picked the game with the best story I could think of: The Last of Us.
That was a mistake.
First off, I knew the controls would be difficult to learn right away, but I had forgotten how much of a game-changer controlling the camera would be. It's something that's second nature for me now, but for someone who had only played sidescrolling platformers, it was too much. She spent most of the time looking the wrong way while slowly backing up into enemies or cutscenes.
Sophie actually managed to get through the very beginning of the game, but eventually, it was too much and she had to stop. It was understandable—impressive, even—and I felt like an idiot for not being able to predict it would happen, but I was still a little disappointed.
Not enough to be deterred, though. This was important! So I went back to the drawing-board and picked a new game I thought she would be able to handle: LEGO Harry Potter.
We have a winner!
Sophie is a big Harry Potter fan, and the LEGO games are hilarious while still staying true to the source material. They're also easy enough for anyone to pick up, and they're co-op! We could play together, and if there was anything that was too difficult for her, I could take charge and clear the way. Sitting next to each other and laughing while making our way through the halls of Hogwarts was great, and in my mind it was a fun way to bring us closer together.
That began our journey through co-op gaming. Next time, I'll talk a little bit more about our experiences playing LEGO Harry Potter, as well as her first time playing Star Wars Battlefront.