I mentioned yesterday that an article in the Classic Gamer Magazine made me pause and think for a moment. It was titled “An Inside Joke” by Todd Deci. In it he details a situation similar to mine.
Being a gamer, and married, you want your significant other to enjoy at least part of your hobby with you and it always seems to be a struggle to find games that you can both play together. Todd talks of his experience playing the Game Boy Advance Wario Ware Inc. and loving it. When he heard that there was going to be a multi-player version coming out on the GameCube, he like me, thought it would be a great way to get his wife to play a game with him, and enjoy the ecclectic, fast pace game that Wario Ware is.
Sadly enough, the wife played for 30 minutes with him, got bored and wandered off to do other things. While I got my wife to play longer (before she went to play Zuma), I belive it was more because she was humoring me, rather than actually having a great time playing the game. This isn’t to say she didn’t like the game. Jess enjoyed many parts of the multi-player experience and some of the minigames, but the constant frustration of knowing what to do in any given game and losing when you don’t figure it out is always frustrating.
Todd makes the point in his article that Wario Ware is like a big “in joke” for gamers everywhere. The games are quick, but also intuitive if you’ve played games forever. When we see Mario at one end of the screen, and something speeding towards him, we know to press the button to jump to get out of the way. It’s ingrained, like riding a bike. So while someone who has played games for years and years will catch on to the mini-games quickly, casual gamers quite possibly just don’t have the background of hundreds of games, and clones and knockoffs that give them this sense of what the rule of the game may be.
So Jess will still play Wario Ware with me, but now that I’ve gotten her hooked on AstroPop I end up playing the game solo again. Really I don’t blame her, AstroPop is damn addicting and it makes more sense and lets you work up to the more difficult levels. Popcap has done an amazing job of killing hours and hours of both our time. I’m hoping to try and woo her into playing a game with me again with Super Smash Brothers Meele. You never know it just might work. We’ll see. We’ll see.