In case you haven’t noticed, we live in a generation where it’s finally cool (cool-ish?) to be “nerdy.” I think most people claim the title as a way around admitting to a guilty pleasure. And I say “guilty pleasure” as something that allows a 30-year-old man to download Pokemon Go, not “guilty pleasure” in any darker, weirder way, if you catch my meaning.
I’m not going to get into a debate about who the “real nerds” are, as opposed to those who have simply watched a Harry Potter movie (ahem), but I think most of us lean toward different entertainment options that may not be as mainstream as the cool kids.
Throw back about 12 years, and you’d see high-school me using my mad Super Smash Bros. skills to impress the boys. True story. It kinda worked. Fast forward about four years, and you’d find me in my future husband’s college dorm room (with a visitor’s pass! We went to a fairly conservative school) trying — and failing miserably — to whip his behind with Kirby once again. I’m sure that’s why he married me — my unfailing determination to prove my nerdiness.
I know some wives are bothered by their husbands’ gaming habits, but I think we’ve struck a pretty happy balance. The Hubs doesn’t play much, if at all, when the kids are awake or if I need him around the house. If I expect to read or watch TV during my downtime, then why can’t he battle a few bad guys in his? Then again, he doesn’t play anything too violent, and he’s brag-worthy in his ability to find a save point and turn off the game when real “adulting” needs to happen.
I’ve played through a few games myself (and have earned a few more “nerd girl gamer” points than simply playing Mario Kart), but books entice me so much more often.
However, we have played a few games together, and they lead to surprisingly good, quality time. If you find yourself staring at your spouse’s (I’m assuming it’s mainly husband’s) blank face as he (or she!) spends hours in a gaming world, I say to buy a game like those listed below and try your hand at playing together. These games are fairly easy. They’re fun and light and don’t inspire a lot of stress (unless you’re me, as I bite all my nails off while trying to defeat the big boss).
Side Note: We have a Wii U and a Playstation 3, so we don’t have the most up-to-date systems. We typically wait until a new system comes out with a handful of games that sound interesting before making the investment.
Lego Video Games
The list is ever-growing, and they’re fantastically clever and hilarious. A friend of mine (hi, Ber!) introduced me to Lego Harry Potter, and inspiration struck. The Mister and I loved Lego Lord of the Rings. You can work together through the storyline or you can wander all of Middle Earth as little Lego folks, solving puzzles, running races, and gathering items. The Lego video game franchise has a game for nearly everyone: Indiana Jones, Marvel, Star Wars, Batman, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jurassic Park, etc.
Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. games are perfect for getting out some of that You-Left-Your-Socks-In-The-Living-Room-AGAIN angst. You choose your character and get to whale on each other in a two-dimensional world. Seems like the sane, safe route, eh? Plus, you can play as a team and beat the tar out of super-annoying Princess Peach. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008) was the most recent release.
OK, maybe it’s only my husband, but he loves nostalgic games that remind him of his childhood. He’s played through all of the Pikmin games numerous times. Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 3 have multi-player modes (though the Husband recommends Pikmin 3, as it’s a bit easier). In them, I get to lead my own little troop of Pikmin to do my bidding, while the Husband commands his. We have to work together to find all of the objects or kill all of the bad guys (who are basically beetles, moths, and myriad bugs) before the time runs out.
To play this successfully, you need a patient person involved. I am not that person, so don’t play with me. My husband is the strategist, think-five-moves-ahead spouse, so he dominates games like this. Basically, I got to be the lab-rat sidekick who would be tossed or shot across the room to solve the puzzle. Works for me. Until it doesn’t, then I quit and find a book. There’s a whole, big back story starting in Portal, but here’s the gist. The protagonist (surprisingly, a woman) wakes up in a dilapidated laboratory and must use a portal gun (you fire the entrance portal at a wall, then the exit portal elsewhere and walk through to end up somewhere new) to solve puzzles and escape. In the two-player mode, you each play as a different robot equipped with portal guns. Basically, you’re always on a mission to find cake, which may or may not exist. Also, there’s a psychotic robot named GLaDOS who hates you and is the force behind the cake, which may or may not exist.
A quick shout-out for Mario Kart. At this point, I think it’s an oldie, but goody(ie?). You get to choose your character, pick your car, then hit the racetrack. The best part is, if you are in dead last, you get the best items to put the hurt on other racers. Also, always choose Luigi (Mario’s younger brother, for those of us in the know), because of the Luigi Death Stare.
Do you and your spouse like to play any games to spend quality time together? Any hobbies?