April 6, 2009

The Girlfriend experiment (Part 1)

As I said on Wiqd blog, I have a great girlfriend, cute, bubbly, brilliant, you name it. And I really like being with her.
What’s the point of this? She’s not a gamer. She almost never played any game, a few Adventure or city building games here and there, like Caesar 3 or Monkey island. But it’s now been years since she played any. And she’s willing to try again, as she sees it’s a major hobby of mine.
So, I have at home an almost complete newbie of the female kind. What an interesting test subject, isn’t it ?

EXPERIMENT 1 : Super Smash Bros Brawl (Wii)

I started with SSBB, figuring the Wii controller was easier to get than others (Must find the link of the blogger who was saying that controllers got more complicated with each generation). SSBB may not be the best game to ease someone back in that hobby, but it has a secret weapon : Kirby.
If you don’t know who Kirby is, it’s him, on the left, cute as hell, with the ability to gobble his enemies and steal their powers. He can also fly, and has starred in many games since 1992. He’s also a strong character in SSBB, in my opinion.
Long story short, the first games were a slaughter for her… She would make him jump and then fly, happily laughing at the noise he makes while flying (a sort of « Poit ! Poit ! Poit ! »), not caring one bit about the fights going on downstairs.
Then, she discovered she could eat people. That became phase 2. She would try to gobble everyone, once again laughing while doing so, and would do nothing else, trying to see the different haircuts it gave to her character.
But when she really tried to fight, we were far too strong for her…
It left her wanting for more.

Experiment successful.

What I learned :
- She would not play without me, or at least without other people playing with her. Games are more of a social moment for her
- She would not always play the game as it was intended

EXPERIMENT 2 : Mini-games (Rabbid Rabbits 1, 2 and 3 & Wario party) (Wii)

To that day, the third game is her favorite game, I think, particularly the snow race. She clearly has a hard time getting the games, but improved herself over time (by comparison, another friend, who was a gamer but stopped a long time ago, understands more quickly what’s to be done, but reaches an improvement plateau much more quickly). She loves it and wants to play it every time we see the friends who possess those games.

What I learned :
- She needs time to understand how a specific game works. Wario Party games are horrible for her, for example, leaving her no margin for error and no time to improve
- I get pounced when I win too often <___<

Bear in mind, I'm not saying every new gamer is like she is. But I find it interesting that she needs much more time than I do to understand a game and then play it.

Part 2 will deal with horror/Survival games, with Kingdom Hearts and with PC and PS2 games...


  1. Hahaha.

    Poit, Poit, Poit. That's exactly it ! ^^ It surely was fun to see her having fun with only that.

  2. In fact, it's not really surprising that she needs more time to understand what's to be done in a game...

    Most of the time, games aren't very innovative. So you can link the gameplay with previous gaming experiments that, obviously, she doesn't have...

    It could be interesting to see if the "understanding delay" shortens in the future ;)

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