My wife is not a gamer. She doesn’t oppose the medium, but she is definitely not part of the target demographic. She can manipulate a controller, enjoys puzzle games on her phone and is entranced while playing Guitar Hero. She certainly has the ability to appreciate gaming, she did grow up with a Sega Genesis and fondly remembers the superior version of Aladdin. But the many attempts I’ve had to get her to play Portal have resulted in her disoriented with the concept of first person perspective and a bit of confusion induced motion sickness for both of us.
She may not ever be able to understand the nuances of what makes a game worthy of praise and legendary accolades. But I can sit her down to watch a story unfold. She is particularly fond of Assassin’s Creed. She absolutely became entranced with the story of Ezio Auditore and continues to gush about the complexity of his story. She found his evolution from a charming but brash Casanova to an experienced and steadfast master assassin to be her penultimate example of great character building. It was her love of Ezio that made her disappointment in Connor hurt so much more.
She may not be able to powerslide in Mario Kart or perform a super combo in Street Fighter, but she has embraced my love for this world. She pre-ordered Madden NFL (an annual ritual of mine) one year on a whim and surprised me with a practically non-existent collector’s edition of StarCraft II – Wings of Liberty. Our bookshelf is not lined with Blu-Rays and (perish the thought) books, but with game cases. She knows that I crave time to grind my party to the next level, that I need to get my created player to the playoffs, that I need to defeat generic terrorist X (so long as I take care of my responsibilities). She finds Dead or Alive enjoyable and funny rather than demeaning and insulting.
This is exactly why I married her.
She loves that I love something with such passion. She encourages me everyday to pursue my dreams as a games journalist. And on our wedding day, she showed her support for me and my way of life in a grand gesture.
Yes, that is in fact, a companion cube ring pillow. I remember when she told me about her plan, she had managed to keep it secret from me for several months until she finally began to unpack all the supplies for the wedding. I was so excited for this one little part of the wedding, something that could have easily been just another traditional accessory. But she chose to honor my passion for gaming with a tribute for the ages. Like I said, her experience with Portal was spinning around aimlessly in the first room. But somehow all my years of raving about homicidal test chambers, cake and weighted companion cubes that will never stab you managed to stick. One of the things that stuck out were my many gamer friends geeking out at the cube’s mad dash down the aisle (carried by my hyperactive nephew). Even our pastor whispered to me during our rehearsal, seeking confirmation of the cube’s involvement in our procession.
She supports me. She understands me. And while she may never fully grasp the idea of moving with one analog stick and aiming with the other, she is still my co-op partner for life. She’s not a gamer, but she certainly is the gamer’s girl.