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Top five ways for a gaming couple to bond

7:00 PM on 02.13.2013

Romance AND videogames? Heck yes.


Taylor is an avid gamer, sushi lover, and overall nerd. After founding two gaming-related sites of her own, she went on to intern with G4, and can now be found across the interwebs writing about videogames of all kinds.

At least one day a year, petty squabbles among couples take a back seat in the name of love. While birthdays and anniversaries are special, there is arguably no occasion more romantic than Valentine's Day. The term love conquers all might elicit apathetic sentiments 364 days a year but on that one special day in mid-February, those dreamy, heartwarming emotions are as real as ever.

An intrinsic dilemma arises. When words don't suffice, how does you show your special someone that they love them? The average guy or gal might be satisfied with a shiny new watch, a fancy necklace, or even a meager gift of socks; but gamers on the other hand, have a luxury of being bit more creative. Here are five twists on the traditional romance formula with ways to show a gamer how you feel this Valentine's Day.

1. Breakfast and controller in bed.


Mornings often reflect the epitome of stress; a battle against the clock thrusting dreary souls out into the unforgiving cold, all under the guise of necessity. Often enacted as a daily skirmish against the alarm clock or a misguided affair with the snooze button, the essence of get-up-and-go is undoubtedly hard to come by. Perhaps the most gratifying gifts that one could offer would be to transform that frantic morning hustle into a relaxing videogame inspired reprieve?

Breakfast in bed with a side of videogames represents the trifecta of happiness: comfort, relaxation, and entertainment. Wrapped in a bundle of absolute joy, no mortal could deny the pleasure of munching down scrambled eggs and toast, with controller in hand, and eyes fixed upon the TV screen. Grant your loved one the gift of game time, in the most absolutely wonderful way possible.

2. Complement your valentine's gaming hobby with a custom controller.


There are a multitude of tools that we depend on in our work lives. Carpenters are reliant upon a trusty set of power tools, and a film crew would be lost without expensive recording equipment. For the average gamer, the necessary tool of the trade is none other than the controller. With a few analog sticks and a handful of buttons, a gamer is able to take charge of any situation. Commanded to defeat a dark overlord? Easy. Trusted to free an entire kingdom? No problem. How about saving a princess? I'd like to see a wrench do that.

After years of button mashing, control-stick grinding, and perhaps a few rage-induced slams to the floor, the closest thing that many will get to holding a gun, sword, or magic lance often shows its age. Rather than replacing an old controller with a standard model, invest in a custom version and kick Valentine's Day up to epic levels. Personalize the device with your loved one's favorite colors, patterns, or decals, and you're sure to impress your beloved. Not to mention, with a gift like that, your partner will certainly be willing to share.

3. Make your partner a home cooked meal ... with videogame flair.

In the words of famous playwright George Bernard Shaw, "There is no love more sincere than the love of food." Take out is great and fast food gets the job done, but there is undoubtedly something special about a dish prepared from scratch with the ultimate flavor enhancer, love. How does one describe the savory, unctuous delight of a home cooked meal? From first glance the senses explode in a frenzy; aromas envelop one's being as eyes lock on the gastronomical marvel. Mouth salivates, brain revs in anticipation, and stomach awaits a close encounter of the culinary kind.

Successfully delivering a sensory explosion of this nature will easily earn you 100 bonus points with your significant other, but as a gamer, 100 measly points just isn't enough. We've explored every inch of Skyrim, unlocked ultimate weapons in the realm of Final Fantasy, and built impressive achievement and trophy lists while amassing loads of virtual gold, coins, and rupees. Going the extra mile is what we do. Add a videogame inspired food item to the party, and the real-life celebration will be complete. Show your sweetheart that you can get your Cooking Mama on while embracing the hobby that they hold dear. A little bit of creativity goes a long way, and a Pac-Man cupcake is sure to make this Valentine's Day memorable for all the right reasons.

4. Plan a special trip for the two of you ... to a videogame convention.

Taking a trip with a romantic partner often signifies a noteworthy milestone in a couple's relationship. You trust your significant other enough to showcase your post-nighttime bed head, and they trust you enough to spend more than 24 hours by your side. Armed with the fluttery sentiments of love, an island getaway might be the first notion to enter your thoughts. Your sweetheart might thank you, but your wallet sure won't. How memorable can sunbathing really be anyway?

It might be impossible to agree with that special someone over politics or religion, but if you're dating a gamer, videogames are always a sure bet. Skip the tropical oasis and buy two tickets to a gaming convention instead. You'll still be able to achieve a level of romance in between events and exhibits, while managing to satiate your partner's inner nerd, geek, or game enthusiast at the same time. Not to mention, couple cosplay is always an option. Master Chief and Cortana anyone?

5. Have a couple's night in, cuddle up, and play co-op together.

When a couple must manage the rigors of daily life: school, work and kids, paired with a cultural emphasis on conspicuous consumption, it can become easy to forget that a relaxing night at home is not only an option, but a fun alternative to the constant flow of dinner outings and movie dates. The fast-paced lives that many of us lead can act as an uninvited buffer between two people actually enjoying each other's company. If there is one day to step up and break the mold of an archetypal weekday evening, it's on Valentine's Day.

Instead of dealing with hassle-filled dinner reservations, spend the night at home with your special someone and bond over a shared hobby of videogames. Playing together might be a rare treat, making it all the more memorable when you can successfully devote an hour or two to Valentine's Day co-op. There's nothing quite like bonding over surviving a horde of zombies together in Dead Island, or tag-team chainsawing an enemy alien in Gears of War. Despite the probable gory subject matter of the games you'll be playing, don't make that an excuse not to cuddle together in the name of Cupid.

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Diamonds might be a girl's best friend, but any gamer male or female can appreciate a gift that facilitates, encourages, and promotes their pastime of gaming. It is rare to be taken seriously as a gamer; we're instantly typified along a stringent line of negativity. With so much antagonism or simple misunderstanding within the general populace, having someone by your side who understands the thrill of saving Hyrule for the umpteenth time, is priceless.

You might criticize Valentine's Day for being a commercial holiday or sulk at its arrival for other reasons, but if love and videogames could find a middle ground, maybe it would be worth giving a chance after all? Trust me, roses and chocolates get old fast. Why not break free from the traditional boring offerings and give your significant other something that they'd really enjoy this Valentine's day?

[Images courtesy of Bitmob, Rolf Venema, Vox Efx, Echo.Plexus, Game Set Watch, and Feast of Fiction.]






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