No, it’s not a euphemism. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Betsy, my lovely wife of four years (and maybe more! Give it time!) has started playing Smash Bros. with me. This is a very exciting time in the Buckley household.
Smash Bros. is a sort of social activity for me and my friends, like polo for rich people, or football-watching for normal people. Betsy wants to be able to hold her own in these friendly free-for-alls, so she’s picked a character to get good at (Peach) and she’s learning how to be a contender.
I’m showing her how to use the various directional-B attacks, how to grab, how to dodge, how to recover from a hit by jumping and up-and-B-ing. It’s fun for both of us.
But we have very different video game backgrounds, she and I.
I played the original, N64 Smash for probably hundreds of hours, and Melee even more. I’ve beaten Super Mario Bros., World, 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy (not to mention Lost Levels and Yoshi’s Island). I’ve beaten Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Link’s Awakening. I’ve beaten Super Metroid and Metroid Prime, Donkey Kong Country 1 and 3 (and 64), Pokemon Red and Silver (and Snap), Earthbound, and a host of other games besides, mostly Nintendo.
None of those games are especially hard; I’m not trying to impress you. My point is simply that, game-wise, I’ve been doing this a while.
Betsy, on the other hand, has mostly played Sonic 2 for the Sega Genesis, with a little Virtual Boy action thrown in. (Yes, she was one of the eighteen people who owned a Virtual Boy, and one of the three who liked it.) She doesn’t like 3D worlds or games where you have to explore (Mario 64 and Ocarina right out, Smash Bros. fortunately okay) and she doesn’t like having too many buttons (which is more of a problem).
So, there’s a learning curve.
Perhaps an even bigger difference is that she doesn’t have the completionist/perfectionist drive, nor the bloodlust, the desire to kick the other guy’s ass and be the greatest of all time, common to so many gamers (like me). She just wants to have fun.
Fun. With a video game. Can you imagine?
Two backgrounds, two worldviews, coming together with a common purpose. Isn’t that what marriage is all about? A mech-suit bounty hunter launching homing missiles at a floating princess – isn’t that what love really is?
Anyway, we’re enjoying it.
Have you tried to teach/persuade a significant other to play a game? How’d it go?