Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Girlfriends and Gaming

I have been dating a pretty amazing woman named Kathleen for a few months now and she suggested we go to the gaming store for our 2nd month Anniversary, which happens to be tomorrow (the 8th).  Is this a setup?  We have never gone there together.  In fact she doesn't game and quite frankly I haven't gamed since meeting her.   OK so maybe I did get her to play a game of Castle Panic and a game of Neuroshima Hex, but that is as far as our gaming has gone.  No miniature gaming at all.

Kathleen is a Pilates instructor and a massage therapist and is pretty much the furthest thing to a gamer that you could imagine.  It is sort of funny to me that she suggested going gaming for our two month Anniversary.  I think I might have hit the jackpot. :-)

I know there are a ton of gamers out there that have girlfriends or wives who game.  The question is, were they gamers from the get go or did you program them to game? :-)  Also has anyone been able to reduce there lead pile by putting their significant others to work painting figures?  How was this accomplished?  Lastly if your significant other did get into gaming, is there anything I need to know.  Stuff like watch out for that fat guy in the corner who will certainly hit on her or don't let her get too involved in D&D, because she will leave you for the Dungeon Master. :-)


  1. My wife had already played a few games of D&D before we met, but her gaming never really took off until we started gaming together. Caroline can paint pretty well, but she was something of an accomplished canvas painter and photographer before I started teaching her. She didn't need much in the way of tuition. What got her really hooked was playing in a game I set up for her and a few of her gaming-curious friends from work. It was pitched for beginners so she felt like she was learning from the ground up. Previously, she'd started playing D&D with a group of gamers who'd been roleplaying since the D&D red box and felt out of her depth. It didn't help that she joined the game when the other characters were already 7th level either.

    If she's curious about gaming, start her off with an easy to learn modern system such as Savage Worlds DragonAge or DragonWarriors. Tailor the game world to something she's already interested in. DragonAge worked for my wife and her friends because they'd seen or played the computer game. If Kathleen has ever peered over your shoulder at the playstation, Xbox or some geeky TV series and commented about how interesting it looks, that's the setting to go for.
    If not, sit down with her to watch a few episodes of something like Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Rome or the Tudors. If she likes what's she's watching, make that your setting instead. I've managed to get most of my new crop of gamers into gaming that way.

    And by the way, solo games with just you and the missus are a great way to spent time together when money is short or the nights are too cold for clubbing. Light some candles to get the right atmosphere and it even starts to feel a bit like being on a date. And if you go camping together -as I see you probably do- then all the better.

    1. And oh, yeah. Keep her away from sweaty, fat, over-eager gamers. Caroline gets stared at every time she walks into our local gaming store. Oly the fact the guys running the store are very good friends of ours keeps her from being bothered by chatty sweat-boxes whenever I'm not there. Keep your arm around Kathleen's waist or give her hand a squeeze every know and then and even the most socially inept gamer will get the hint and leave her alone.

  2. I think my husband is being a little unkind to his fellow male geeks but....hmmm somewhat true.

    I think you are a lovely couple and as you know women are beautifully complex creatures. We have many strings to our bows and the capacity to chase our interests into new and exciting territories. I've found it surprising and fun introducing completely non-gamer/gamer-lite friends to RP gaming over the past few years, many are female. I've found that as long as you have found something that interests them and the emphasis is on fun then you have nothing to fear. Let her lead you. You might have a better idea of things from the books she reads or movies/series you may have watched together.

    At the very worst a trip to a gaming store can just be a 'wow look at this' trip to stare at the dioramas. I am sure you will have a fun time and the future is looking great for you if this was her suggestion.

    Take care ^_^

  3. I have been with my wife for 15 years now, and I was only able to get her to play once. Yes she won the game, and that is when she looked at me and asked what is the point?????

    So She dose not like gaming, and she dose not get in the way of my hobby. See it is my happy little place that I can go to, and work it out.

    It will only go wrong if she tries to move you away from gaming.

    So enjoy the time with her and please please try and not get to geeky, and start snorting when you laugh.


  4. I got my wife to play Board games regurlaly but that's about it. We're currently playing "The Lord of The Rings" card game quite often which is kind of a more difficult game. She wasn't a gamer or interested in Fantasy at all. I guess that's how I got her interested, with movies and quick easy board games.
    However, getting her to reduce my lead pile...That would be an achievement, wonders of the world size.

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  6. According to my wife of 17+ years "I play with little tin men," sqander my life with "pointless silly games" against "smelly men" and waste my time of "sad man sites" like this. She can accept my karate and marathon running as being relitively normal but just doesn't get wargames - which in my view both predates and will probably continue longer than endorphine rush inspired fitness fads. (One days my body will give out but if I have a table, lead, a friend and some dice I'll be happy!)

    My advice - check for cameras! Either this is too good to be true and you are on some sort of warped reality TV programme or this is indeed and you have struck gold! No - not gold - you have struck mithril!

    Good on you and thanks for the inspired blog

  7. Thanks for all the comments and the words of wisdom. I shall adhere to most of it. :-)

    The bewitching hour is almost here. I will chime in tomorrow to let you all know how things went. Heck I might even have a few pictures as proof of what is about to transpire. :-)

    I am waiting for Kathleen to get home. This will be the first time I have taken a female to a gaming store to actually game. I am looking forward to this event.

  8. Gaming night was a success. Kathleen said she really enjoyed gaming. Many of my gaming buddies weren't there however, so she wasn't able to meet the entire gang. She said she would go again with a convincing tone and a response that went something like this "I would love to go again when I am not working so late". Yeah right, I have heard that before. :-)

    We bought 2 games that are now collecting dust (Apples to Apples and Flux, the Monty Python version and she says, with a convincing voice, "I am excited to play the games with your family". Thing is I have never gamed with my family. :-)

    Should I be concerned?

    We did play Neuroshima Hex and had a great time, although I ended up beating her. Probably wrong thing to do. She will not talk to me now. :-)

    She actually said without me prompting her that she wanted to paint my miniatures. I think I must have dreamt that, because there is no way this could have possibly happened.

  9. This is Kathleen by the way and it is true, i will go to gaming night again : ) and i will paint some miniatures with you. this way, if there is something that i want i can always say to you, "but tom, i went gaming with you." :-)
    seriously though, i did have a good time and you are a good teacher. next time i think i will win.

  10. A buddy of mine took early retirement and set up a company making 1/1200 ships (http://www.rodlangton.com/) and when things started getting busy his wife helped out with the painting. Base coats initially but soon she took over doing the detail. Just check the website for the results! I'm lucky enough to have a few of her models in my collection and they surpass my own efforts.

  11. Caroline and I are really glad to hear that you both had a good time. Kathleen, you should probably invest in a small bottle of smelling salts, just in case. Tom looks like a fit bloke, but even so he might pass out the first time you present him with a mini and a brush and say, "I want to paint this one".

  12. That's so funny, I think I probably pass out quite often with Kathleen. She keeps amazing me every day. She also has a pretty good background in Art, so picking up a brush will be very natural for her. I have so many figures to choose from, she will most certainly find something fun to paint and of course I will post it here.

  13. I'm really very lucky that my wife is as big a geek and gamer as I am. We play card games and board games together and have played RPG's from time to time as well. Our wedding was themed Robots and Ivy as a big step in our relationship was when I revealed my Geek side by admitting the reason I was reluctant for her to visit my home was my collection of Japanese robot kits and I was terrified she'd see them and run a mile. She calmly produced her wallet, with a picture of a robot on it.