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Azeroth Interrupted: How to get your wife or girlfriend to play WoW

Each week, Robin Torres contributes Azeroth Interrupted, a column about balancing real life with WoW.

WoW players do have girlfriends (and boyfriends and spouses), contrary to the taunts heard in The Trade Channel and Barrens Chat. Many Players even play WoW with their Significant Others, but often, players have trouble getting their significant others to join them in their hobby/addiction. In general, the problem lies with the girlfriend or wife not being a gamer. Following are some tips for getting your lady to play WoW.

First of all, have you tried the sincere, straightforward approach? Just throwing out "Well, if you played WoW with me, you'd understand." here and there is not the same thing. Neither are hints or endless stories of how much fun you're having. Try saying something like "I would have more fun playing WoW if you joined me and I think it would be a great way for us to spend more time together. It would really mean a lot to me. Would you please give it a try?" If this doesn't work, it is time to analyze and tackle her objections.

"It's just a stupid game."
Take a deep breath -- don't let it hurt you. She probably isn't a gamer and sees computers as tools, not sources of fun. Easing her into games is a very good approach to counteract a lack of interest. Be patient, this could take several weeks. Start her off with a simple and addictive solitaire game like Bejeweled. Once she catches the bug, and this is a double edged sword, move her onto something more complicated that has a wide female fanbase, like Sims 2. This will introduce her to the fun of character creation and a minimum amount of roleplaying. Once she grows tired of this, she may be ready to try WoW, but if she still resists, introduce her to your favorite single player roleplaying game. It can be an old one. The quality of the graphics is not as important as the gameplay (which is arguably always the case), and your passion for the game as well as your interest in how she is progressing will be flattering and encouraging.

"It's too expensive." Playing WoW together regularly is actually a pretty cheap date if you compare it to going out to dinner or to the movies, but this is not something you want to use to sell playing WoW. She is probably not going to want to give up those activities for a video game -- at least not right away. The best thing to do is to offer to shoulder the startup costs and the monthly fee. You could ask for another copy of WoW as a gift for you. Do not make WoW a gift for her, just as you wouldn't give her any other toy or gadget you want for yourself instead.

"I don't want to spend that much time at the computer." As reader GrumblyStuff suggested, a laptop is a great solution for this, if you have the resources. If you are living together, you can also setup a nice comfy area where you are able to be very together and watch tv.

"I want to spend time doing REAL things with you."
(Again, deep breath.) Explain that the increased time you will be spending together will be real. Be careful here, though. Don't overbook yourself. If you have guild obligations, make sure that she is aware that not all of your WoW time will be spent with her.

"Why should I try WoW when you won't even <enter unpleasant activity here>?"
Compromise. You don't have to like the theater or yard sales or scrapbooking, but just trying it once may be the best way to convince her to try your hobby.

Of course, there will be other objections that I have not listed here. Listen to them and respect her opinions, but try to address them all. Have her use a 10 day trial with no obligation to continue if she doesn't like it. Once you are successful in getting her to try it, however, don't relax. The hard part is just beginning. Good salespeople know that anyone can sell something once to a customer, but keeping a customer is the real challenge.

Be prepared. Set aside some time away from your other in-game obligations during the trial period so that you can devote all of your efforts to getting her hooked. Also, prepare yourself for any possible troublesome in-game personas.

Be patient. You may have noticed that, in other areas of your relationship, she is very much into the journey as well as the, uh, final outcome. This actually works to your advantage considering WoW has no ending. Yes, you've done the newbie quests a jillion times, but let her read them anyway. Let her explore the game at her own pace. Don't power level her. Instead, create a newbie to play along with her so that you have to complete the quests, too, and she is less likely to feel rushed.

Make her feel pretty. One of a guy's main roles in the relationship is to make his woman feel pretty and you should use WoW to help you do it. (I know I'm going to get flamed for this generalization, but I stand by it.) If you associate WoW with making her feel pretty, I think you will be happy with the results. But be careful, don't tell her that her Blood Elf rogue is hot or that you like how her Night Elf looks in her loincloth. You're trying to make her feel pretty, not be jealous of her character's pixel placement. Tell her the face she lingers on in the human character creation reminds you of her, or how you like it when she wears her hair like her troll. The more sincere you are, the more successful you will be. Also, you may want to keep her from playing a female Tauren during the trial period. As much fun as she may find in playing a Horde Druid, it will probably take her a while to relate to being a cow. Love may be blind, but she would still prefer to be pretty over just having a nice personality.

Let her be herself.
She may have a very different play-style from yours. Encourage it. You may find that the two of you will be playing at the same time, but not actually together. Or she may turn out to be the hardcore healer your guild needs. Forcing her to conform to your play-style will only sour her experience and make her less likely to play.

If after the trial period, she still doesn't want to join you in your WoW habit, she will still probably be more understanding about your play time. And your efforts in sharing your hobby with her may mean the difference between quality togetherness or going solo.

Robin Torres juggles one level 70 Tauren Druid, multiple alts across multiple servers, two cats, one toddler, one loot-addicted husband and a yarn dependency. After years of attempting to balance MMOs with real life, Robin lightheartedly shares the wisdom gleaned from her experiences. If you would like to ask Robin's advice, please email Robin.Torres@weblogsinc.com for a possible future column.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Azeroth Interrupted

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