I was sitting on the couch with my husband one night, catching up on some DVR time. When I realized I was not spending time with him or watching what was on TV. Neither was he. He was focused on his tablet and I was focused on mine. We weren’t really talking. We were half listening to/watching the show. We were basically living in our own little worlds. With how little time we get to spend together between crazy work schedules, roller derby practice (we both play), and just life in general; I decided this needed to stop.
We needed a way to relax together, while actually being together. When we were in our early years of college (before internships and capstone projects got in the way) we used to play Super Mario World together. It was simple, it was fun, and we had to work together. We had gotten away from that, and it was time to return to it.
I proposed we start playing games. This was not completely well received at first. Because aside from the Super Mario World, and a little bit of Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. My husband is not really into games, but he was willing to give the idea a try.
THE RIGHT GAME
I popped over to the Co-Op Heroes Facebook page and asked for some suggestions on local co-op games, and the responses came flooding in. We tried a few of them. We already owned Borderlands so we fired that up, wasn’t for us because neither one of us were really big on the vertical split screen. It makes complete sense with wide screen TVs, but just felt unnatural to us since we grew up with the horizontal split.
We played some Little Big Planet, but we just weren’t feeling it. We tried Call of Duty Zombies, but it gets a bit repetitive pretty quickly for my tastes; however, this past weekend there was a Square Enix sale on Xbox Marketplace so for 400 points ($4.99) we bought All Zombies Must Die! It was fun, it required teamwork, and it was simple enough to still have a conversation.
We also found that playing old school games works for us as well. We saw Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection when we were out one day, and picked it up. We played Golden Axe and Streets of Rage, and had a similar experience as we did with All Zombies Must Die! We played Sonic 2, but with that being competitive rather than cooperative it didn’t have quite the bonding effect on us. It took a while, but once we found the right style of game for us it just clicked.
THE QUEST CONTINUES
So, we played. And we had a good time. We worked together, and were forced to communicate. It was fantastic. Games may be brushed off as a loner activity, but for us it made us spend time together instead of just spending time in the same room.