Get your friends and relatives into gaming
I assume that since you are here at Console Monster you have some passion for gaming. Be it small or incredibly hardcore, you love games. But do your friends and family? Do they look at the hours you whittle away playing video games and think you need to get out more? Well, if so, this guide could be for you. It’s always nice to have a close friend with who you can discuss and play games with, but not everyone is into games surprisingly enough. So how do you go about converting them to your hobby? There is no set easy way, but hopefully these tips will get your friends to realise you aren’t that sad.
Tip #1: Don’t force them
Not everyone immediately gets into gaming. I’ve been into video games since I was a youngster and my love has progressed from there, but it may be harder to convert other people to gaming. The main point is to not force them to do anything. Don’t shove a controller in their hands and force them to play Halo 3 with you. It never works! The easiest thing to do is find a social game such as Rock Band and create a party atmosphere around it. Invite other friends round, and with a few drinks everyone will be having fun and joining in, whether or not they have played a video game before or not.
Tip #2: Co-op games work a treat
Let’s say you’re with your partner/flatmate or whatever and you start to play some Castle Crashers; invite them to play. Co-op games are a great way of getting your friends into gaming. It enables you to share the experience together, which let’s you laugh or shout about something you’ve just done or seen together. It’s like going to the cinema; it’s a lot more fun when you go with someone else as you get to experience the film together. It can also be a good way of getting past that tricky level you were stuck on!
Look! 4 players! Perfect for co-op and amazingly fun.
Tip #3: Never exclude them
If the game you’re playing has no co-op mode, so you can’t follow Tip #2, don’t just leave your friend out to watch. Take turns, letting you both have some fun with the game. There is nothing worse than just sitting there watching someone play a game. You get nothing out of it. And it’s even more true for someone who doesn’t even play video games. A rule me and a friend came up with long ago was that we would pass the controller to the other person when they died. We set a maximum on health packs to 2 each turn so the turns didn’t go on forever and we had a lot of fun with it.
Tip #4: Try their hobby out
Say to your friend if you try out gaming, I will try out your hobby. They will be more willing to give gaming a proper try if you’re willing to try out what they love to do. Sounds strange and has very little to do with gaming, but if you really are that devoted to getting your friend into gaming then it’s worth a shot.
Even if this is their hobby, give it a shot!
Tip #5: Involve them in the culture
Gaming goes beyond video games. It spreads into music, toys, crafts and film. If your friend likes to do arts and crafts, show them a few creations they can make relating to video games. If they like toys, buy them a few figurines. Music? Take them to an 8 Bit concert. By leading them into comfortable ground such as music or toys, they can get a taste for video games without actually diving into the games themselves yet. PAX is a good example of this. It’s centred around video games, but they have so much more from the gaming culture to offer such as live music concerts etc.
Tip #6: Gateway games are essential
Never start a new gamer on something such as Call of Duty 4. It is extremely daunting to someone who’s never experienced it before. It’s the same with swimming. You start off light, then move into the deep end, rather than throwing them straight into the deep end. Gateway games are, essentially, games which aren’t too complicated but have the power to make new gamers feel the need to progress onto more complicated games. I’ve provided a short list of games that I think will help any new gamer get into gaming.
- Viva Pinata / Trouble in Paradise (Xbox 360): Addictive, cute and relatively simple to pick up and play. Also contains a co-op mode so you can help out in their garden and make the experience more fun.
- Katamari Damacy (PS2): A simple concept, relatively simple controls and brilliant fun to play.
- Rock Band (Multi): Fantastic for a party. Invite some friends round, get them all on the instruments and and just rock out to your hearts content.
- Pikmin (Gamecube): Easy to pick up and play. Each level is pretty short and gets progressively more challenging, so not too daunting at the start. A lot of fun.
There are many more games that I could list, but these are 4 that come to mind. Now, just to note, they are not all easy to complete. They all contain some form of challenge, but it’s that challenge that I feel makes players come back to games and should do so with new players too.
Tip #7: Accept it if they don’t get into games
My final tip is a pretty important one. If your friend really isn’t getting into games after you’ve tried most of the possible ideas, it’s pretty obvious it just doesn’t interest them. Don’t bug them about it and keep annoying them to play games with you. If they don’t like video games, you just have to accept that. Not everyone can like the same things, but at least you’ve shown them what your hobby is actually like.
Well, that is a quick guide to getting your friends and relatives into gaming. Hopefully the tips I’ve listed will have helped you in some way and good luck on creating your army of gaming friends!