Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

For our hobby theme week, I’d like to write about video games. I don’t really consider myself a “gamer”, though I guess playing and liking video games makes me one. Somehow it feels like I should be playing certain kinds of games in order to call myself a gamer, such as first-person shooters… which I happen to hate. Or maybe the word “gamer” implies certain kinds of behavior, such as staying up all night on your computer, consuming one energy drink after another. Also, if you think of a gamer, the image that pops in your mind is most likely a man. Because most gamers just are men – or are they?

Funny thing is that women actually play lots of games without even realizing it. Usually a gamer is thought to be someone who plays war games or shooting games. But why couldn’t it be someone who plays Animal Crossing? It’s a game, right? So why would it be less valid than Counter-Strike or DOTA?

I often hear my female friends complain how their boyfriends always play video games and hardly ever hang out with them. This is an old stereotype that, in my opinion, needs busting. Video games don’t have to be something that men play and women complain about. In these situations, I always ask my friends whether they have tried playing with their boyfriends (if the game is a multiplayer game, that is). Many of them actually have and say that they didn’t like it. And that’s totally okay! Like I said, for example, I personally really dislike first-person shooters and wouldn’t want to join if my boyfriend played, say, CS GO.

But in my opinion, you shouldn’t give up too quickly. There are tons of different genres of games, and just because you didn’t like one, doesn’t mean you won’t like any of them. And many games are great for playing together with someone else as well.

Firstly, there are 1v1 games for some friendly competition. Games where you play in teams give you an option to either cooperate with each other or to compete against one another. Many games also have co-op modes you can play. For example, my boyfriend and I both like playing Starcraft 2, which is a 1v1 strategy game. But the problem is that he’s much better at it than I am. Sometimes we play against each other, and in this case, he gives me a head start or promises not to build certain units. But usually we play as a team against two other players or do co-op missions which are a lot of fun. Many games have these kinds of options which adds a lot of variety to them.

Sometimes playing co-op can be a bit frustrating, though. For example, if your skill levels are completely different. It can happen that the more skilled one ends up doing everything. My boyfriend and I have recently been playing a game called It Takes Two, which is a co-op game for two people. In this game, you literally can’t advance unless both parties do their work. It’s impossible for one person to do everything, because the game is designed in a way that requires both players to be involved. For example, boss battles can’t be beaten unless both parties do their share.

Backseat gaming is also a great way to experience games together. I understand it can get very frustrating if you’re constantly asked to watch another person play a game you don’t particularly like. An alternative would be to take turns playing, so that you both get to choose what games you want to play. In my opinion, some games are much better suited for backseat gaming than others. For example, a game called Night in the Woods is mostly just about chatting with NPCs – in an entertaining way, though. A game like this, where the movement really isn’t too important and there is no combat, gives you both an opportunity to experience it in a similar way, though only one is holding the controller or the keyboard. In addition, the game gives you lots of options on who to talk to and what to say to them, which are all choices that can be made together. Another great game for backseat gaming is Gris. Gris is basically a piece of art in a video game form, and the point of the game is kind of just looking at how beautiful it is. The movement is very simple but you do need to solve some puzzles to move forward in the game, which is a fun challenge that you can take on together.

Of course, I can’t force anyone to like video games, and if you’ve tried several different kinds and not found any that you like, that’s okay. However, I do feel like often people are too quick to judge video games. There are so many kinds and just because you didn’t like one doesn’t mean you wouldn’t love so many others. Especially women tend to not even try playing video games because they feel like video games are not for them, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Also, playing together with someone is so much fun! It’s a great way to bond and spend some quality time. It doesn’t have to be your significant other, it could also be a friend or even a parent. Finding the right game for you might take a while, but I promise, it’ll be worth it!

Lotta Nieminen

Helsinki '24

I study social science and when I don't I really like to look at butterflies, take naps and think about how I'm going to make the world a better place some day.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️