Monday, March 16, 2009

How to get your signficant other to play.

How does one get their significant other to play WoW?

I have been asked many times how I got my wife to play WoW with me. I could tell how she got playing, but I've never had a really good answer as to how to help others get their wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, etc to play the game with them. I do understand why people want to have their significant others playing with them. For one, you can spend time doing something you like to do with them. It brings down contention in the relationship (as related to WoW at least). You now have someone to talk IRL about that new piece of gear you just won in your raid last night (that could be a negative point too, as you will see below). You have a questing partner. etc, etc. Its really fun to be able to play with my spouse. I've enjoyed the game so much more being about to explore azeroth with @kydragirl.

But how do you get your significant other to play? Well, it depends. You can't manipulate anybody into playing, it won't work. Beggin has proved to be ineffective as well. I wouldn't suggest just buying a second account for them (sorry Arrens). If they absolutely hate video games in general then they probably won't want to play, but if they already like video games to some extent and they aren't so completely against the idea then you might be able to tap/nudge them over the edge (into playing the newest sensation, that is world of warcraft - but I guess its not that new anymore).

My sister-in-law plays with her husband and ourselves sometimes (although we haven't played with her in a long while). She use to play Heroes of Might and Magic with us when she was dating my older brother. She got into playing WoW by watching my brother play for awhile. She would watch him raid and listen to the conversations. One day my brother got her to role a warlock because she wanted the beautiful flaming horse that those warlocks get to have.

So, in my wife's case, she wasn't against video games, played them on and off with her brother growing up. We both really got into Sims at one point in time and we were addicted to Donkey Konga. You'd have to ask her more about her pre-WoW video game experience yourself (@kydragirl), I don't know all the details.

I was wanting to get her into it, but she was kind of like "meh" about the subject. She wasn't against the idea, but she wasn't exactly for it either. By this time my sister-in-law was already playing and one day while were were at a family party I told my sister to show @kydragirl what some of the alliance girls looked like. (I could be wrong about the details, but that's essential it - I'll add an edit if @kydragirl lets me know anything different). They sat down and played around with it, working out a character, coming up with a name, figuring out the beginning area, etc. As my sister-in-law put it, "there's crack in that game, what can I say".

I think if you can get someone to play the game long enough with an open mind they'll get hooked, most of the time. It also helps to have someone there to explain things when they first start in a way that won't make them feel stupid or overwhelmed. If they try it and don't understand how to play it they might get frustrated and quit early. My other sister-in-law rolled a toon just out of curiosity, got frustrated with a quest in Silvermoon and gave up before she really got started. She didn't have anybody right there with her to help out or show her how it works. Now she won't pick it back up because she thinks it's stupid.

I have had several people from twitter and from my guild wish that they could get their spouse into the game. It has become a source of contention in their relationship. I can understand why, you see your significant other might think that you like playing the game more than spending time with them. Of course its not that you don't like spending time with them, but you enjoy this game as well. Of course if you are using the game as an escape because you are having problems then thats another topic altogether. In my opinion, if the game is causing too many problems for you in real life, then its time to put the game aside, or at least try to limit your game play. A silly video game is not worth ruining a relationship. Of course if you are lucky enough to get your sweetheart into the game then more power to you.

Here are some comments from friends in twitter when I asked how you could get your significant other to play with you in Azeroth.

stoppableforce: I tried that once; it didn't really work. Good luck!

kirikitten: Bribery. Probably using sex.

SlowWolf: Only way would be to at least get her to like dressing up the characters... but she's never going to actually play. =D

Ithato: my gf has finished Rock Band 2 on her own and loves The Sims and a few other titles, but didn't have the patience for early WoW

pugofwar: I love research like that. Hmm. One tactic is to play up the lore so that s/he feels like part of a greater narrative.

Arcania: My husband and I played together from the beginning, but for anyone I would suggest appealing to the aspects the SO would enjoy.

Arrens: If you can figure that out, lemme know. I've been trying for the past year with zero success.

Spoonwolf: I actually met my wife playing WSG WAY back in the day in vanilla wow

pikestaff: the main thing to remember if that if he/she doesn't want to play, he/she probably won't, in my experience >.>

Jezriyah: I plan to meet my significant other through WoW and save myself the trouble.

It looks like a lot of people have had no success with this up to this point. But to look on the bright side for those who haven't been able to get their snookums into the game, Pike mentions that there can be some negatives about having them play as well:

Pikestaff: Be aware that there are downsides too, heck, sometimes I think a lot of things would be easier if my boyfriend didn't play =P For example we raid on different nights because of scheduling. So that's two nights of not seeing each other Oh and the realization that 90% of things you discuss as a couple are WoW-related is always a lil'... shocking Oh and sometimes you get tired of WoW and don't want to talk about it . But guess who wants to tell you all about their raid =P

So, there you have it, I don't think I really helped anybody, but what is your take on the matter?


Apatuaq said...

It was real easy for my bf to get me to play. When he was BM hunter and in Naxx one night, he had to go to the b-room and all he told me to do was spam some attack. I killed a lot of things and when he got back...I said to him,"I'm not done yet." I was officially hooked. ^^;

Flawlless said...

I've tried.. oh how I've tried.. but she just can't learn english, something to do with her dyslexia, and I don't really have the time to read both screens and translate hers while playing..

Bob said...

@apatuaq, that's awesome.

@flawlless, so, is the game in english over on the EU servers or can you change more specific languages?

Anonymous said...

wow, I am impressed with your twitter-wall of advice (it looks very spiffy!)

I agree whole heartedly about getting someone to play for a bit with an open mind. That's what got me to play.

However, I must also say that it was sheer mind numbing boredom that lead to my "open mind". I was certainly not interested in games. At all. In the least. I thought they were stupid and a waste of time. So, magically here I am, playing the game and writing about it.

But for those of you whose S.O. hates games too - don't lose hope! Like Bob also said, appeal to the "looks" of races/factions. I saw a night elf and even though they were stupid (why would anyone want to PLAY one?!) I wanted to make one look pretty. Then I was told, "You may as well log in and try it out." And it worked.

(Not to make this comment an entry on it's own:) Beware the pitfalls of the double-wow relationship. I love being able to talk to Lus since he's right next to me, we can give each other warnings if need be ("Pat coming" "Player X just died" "WHAT ARE YOU DOING, HEAL ME!") but as WoW's tip says, take your SO out of WoW too. It can't be your sole activity together. Raid Friday and rock it, but maybe take in dinner and a movie on another night.

(Sorry this was so long! I just have a lot to say about WoW & relationships) :)

Bob said...

@holy yes, you shouldn't only play wow for your together time, but it would also be nice if you actually left your home on a (what do they call those...) ah yes, a date. Any it might be a good idea to make a rule that you aren't allowed to talk about azeroth the whole time. And if you don't have anything else to talk about then you might be in trouble.

Chawa said...

I moved in with my boyfriend and within 3 weeks, I was playing on my own account. I highly recommend it to those significant others who don't play! It's definitly entertaining! Of course, I recognize the downsides that Pike & holydiscipline have mentioned. It's amazing how much time you can spend playing, thinking, talking and reading....
Thanks for the fix! ;)

Anonymous said...

I'vep layed for a year longer than my SO, and I met him via wow so...I spared myself the trouble.


Now BALANCING it, that's a whole 'nother story.

Bob said...

@chawa Enough of my family plays that family parties sometimes turn into future patch discussions. The family who don't play complain.

@bubbles that's one way to make sure that you get your S.O. play the game, lol.

kyrilean said...

So playing WoW during FHE is probably a bad idea? :)

Bob said...

@kyrilean Come to think it, I guess we could have counted our questing last night as FHE, just should have had a lesson before hand. But to get the whole involved we would need more computers and more accounts, and I can't see my 3 kids understanding the whole concept. lol.

thelyse said...

i was going to respond to your twitter but 140-char limitation is not enough! lol!

i hated wow and bitched everytime husband plays the game. i even threated to delete his toons!

one day i created a cute gnome and started to got interested. but i didn't play very far. then i discovered fishing is fun (i hate fishing in rl) and leveled up his toons' fishing skills. gradually i started to quest and liked it. he had to get me my own account so we'll stop fighting who gets to play.

Bob said...

@thelyse Fishing? That's what got you hooked? That's cool. Just goes to show that you never know what someone will like about the game. And yes, getting two accounts is always a good idea. That way you can fish together.

I actually have my fishing level pretty high, I like it too.