the artistry and psychology of gaming

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What Games Get the Girls?

What Games Get the Girls?
I hear you fellow gamers of the male variety; you’ve got a girlfriend and she wants your time, but you’ve also got a console, and that wants your time too. What’s a man to do? Forsaking one for the other isn’t ideal, seeing as they’re both awesome, so how do you tackle this?
Get her into gaming of course, that way you can most certainly have your cake and eat the living bejeesus out of it. So here are my top 5 games to entice those lovely ladies of yours to join you in the boudoir. Of gaming.
But first, a tip: I won’t include any FPSs here because more often than not, they scare the girls away. They’re not good starting games. If you bring out Call of Duty, she’s going to run a mile; or more likely, come to resent it and not want to try it again. For someone who isn’t a gamer, they’re far too full on and pretty complicated and even if you say, “But Minnie, l’ll lead her through it!” I don’t believe you; you’ll probably end up getting frustrated at her failure to grasp things as fast as you’d like. And believe me, I’ve tried this. I got my girl friends playing CoD and it wasn’t really fun for them; they were confused and all they did was die a lot and get disheartened. As well as ram far too many RCXDs into walls.

Number 5: Dragon Age: Origins

Who WOULDN'T want to woo this little bundle of social ineptitude? I sure did.

As I have mentioned time and time again, customisability has a lot to do with a girl’s enjoyment of a game and Dragon Age excells in this because you can not only customise your gender, your face and your voice, but also your backstory, choosing one of six unique starting points that changes the subsequent story in subtle and unique ways. Unless you’re me, most girls wouldn’t elect to play as a man, so being able to play as a woman is a big bonus. Dragon Age has great customisability, a great story and lots of interesting characters, including romance options. The combat is simple but also a lot of fun to plan, with all the spells and levelling up available and you can also change the difficulty level if things start going a little awry for your lovely lady friend. I’m certainly not saying that girls can’t handle difficult games but everyone has to start somewhere and the ladder to gaming prowess is a pretty difficult one to scale. It’s quite a long game but with any luck, she’ll get really into it!

Number 4: Pokémon Leaf Green

(Or Fire Red or Mud Brown or Sickly Yellow. Whichever takes your fancy, they’re pretty similar…)

If you don't want to hug this, you're dead inside

Everyone knows about Pokémon, it’s basically like god; omnipresent but awkward to talk about. These games are so easy to get into and the desire to ‘catch ‘em all’ is pretty all encompassing and weirdly, a lot of fun. And let’s face it, there’s a cuteness factor involved too, even I’ll admit to that. The plot couldn’t be any more linear unless the game played itself but this works in the non-gamers favour. The visuals are simple and easy on the eye but still very colourful and engaging. It’s also incredibly easy to pick up and universally loved by all ages, colours and creeds. It’s just one of those games. It’s short, sweet and fun and a good entry level game for all your lady friends, and with any luck it will lead to greater things.

Number 3: Kameo Elements of Power

If you don't like her, you're also dead inside.

This is one of my favourite games and I was gutted when it went largely unnoticed. It has a fantastic premise: you are in charge of finding and utilizing 10 elemental warriors, each of whom have their own unique powers. The combat is fantastically good fun because of this as you’re able to swap between warriors to use the most effective attacks. The graphics and landscapes are beautiful and riotously coloured and it has a solid story and one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard in a game. It’s an instant hit with its relatively short length, as well as being easy without being totally unchallenging. Girls will love this and if they don’t, they’re probably dead so you need to get yourself a new lady friend. In fact, same goes for anyone. You should all like this game. If you don’t, feel free to flame me mercilessly but I urge you to try it!

Number 2: Mass Effect

This game looks damned fine too (Okay, so this is from ME2, sue me.)

Perhaps a little controversial because shooters can be quite tough when you have no experience with them, but Mass Effect is one of the easier third person shooters I can think of and a fantastic entry into the shooting genre. I suggest it mostly because of the incredible story and the amazing customisability available to you. With Mass Effect, your lady friend can play as an incredibly strong, tough and awesome woman, something a little too rare in the gaming world. Unless your lady friend is me (which would be odd seeing as I don’t know about it) because I play as Man Shepard. And will continue to do so because I’ve developed a fondness for his face. It’s also pretty short by RPG standards so it won’t put her off from finishing it, plus you also get the option to bang someone and the sex scene isn’t awkward! Win win!

P.S Please make sure she realises that there are Assault Rifles available, not just pistols. I literally couldn’t shoot anything until about 3 hours in when I realised I could equip different weapons (In my defence, I had equipped it; I just hadn’t selected it from the weapons wheel during combat…)

Number 1: L.A Noire

An interesting medium between a movie and a game

This game is practically made for ladies and our superior emotional capacity! Generally, women are better at detecting subtle emotions. It ‘aint sexist, it’s science! L.A Noire is perfect for girls to start off with because it has next to no real combat, and if what combat there is becomes a problem, she can just stick auto-aim on. There is also the option to skip action sections if they’re becoming a problem, which is pretty awesome when you think about it, especially as I’m sure we’ve all felt the utter frustration of not being able to perform a certain task or kill a certain boss, yet we had to keep on trying until we either managed it or threw our console out a third story window. The technology also can’t fail to impress. If she’s someone who considers games to be immature or badly animated, let her see L.A Noire and she shall be forced to nom her words. The satisfaction you feel when you manage to answer all the questions right and interpret all their reactions correctly is astounding and you’ll soon have your lady friends gnashing their teeth in anguish when they misinterpret someone’s reaction wrongly. And this is the aim: it brings out the gaming competitiveness in her, which you’ll need for when you finally manage to get her to play that round of Team Deathmatch with you on Black Ops!
These games aren’t by any means ‘girly’, they just have attributes that appeal to girls aswell, so you can both enjoy them together!
And of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list, I’d add many more if I could but I’m limiting myself! And if the girl don’t wanna game, she don’t wanna game! It’s not the hobby for everyone so I suppose an unlucky few of you are going to have to split your time up. Sucks to be you.

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