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With Valentine's Day just around the corner, what do you have in mind for the special someone in your life? Are you going to buy her a box of chocolate and a bouquet of flowers? Maybe a candlelight dinner and a leisurely stroll in the evening breeze? Wouldn't you much rather spend that time rocking out to Rock Band and decapitating zombies in Left 4 Dead? Who said that you can't combine both of these activities?

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The stereotype says that video games are only for boys, but the industry is quickly changing to accommodate the fairer sex. It may take some convincing and you may need to tear down some pre-conceived notions, but it is very possible to get your girlfriend into gaming. That way, she can understand why you spend so many hours on Xbox Live belting out instructions to those in your squadron.



Why You Want Your Girlfriend to Game with You

Before I dive any deeper into the subject, I need to say that this guide is not for girlfriends who are already well-versed in Resistance and Gears of War. If your girlfriend (or spouse) is already fragging the crap out of your friends in Portal and Team Fortress, then this guide does not apply to her.

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However, I think it's safe to say that there are a good number of girlfriends out there who just don't understand our infatuation with gaming. She doesn't understand why I'm getting so excited about Street Fighter IV, because "isn't it like all the other Street Fighters before it?" The goal of this guide is to introduce the world of gaming (and its appeal) to our significant others. That way, she won't be so pissed off when you choose to boot up the Xbox 360 rather than watch "27 Dresses". Again.

It Starts with Casual Gaming

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Carrie Underwood and America Ferrera have both said that they love playing on the Nintendo DS. Even Nicole Kidman keeps her mind sharp by playing Brain Age. Kate Winslet told E! during the SAG Awards that she loves playing Wii Sports with her kids.

To get your girlfriend interested in video games, you have to take baby steps. Don't throw her into the complexities of Fallout 3 as her first outing. Instead, you need to start with casual gaming titles, like many of those offered on the Nintendo Wii. Casual games are not nearly as intimidating and they are much more approachable.

Appeal to their pre-existing preferences. If your significant other likes yoga, try investing in Wii Fit, for example. Is she great in the kitchen? Cooking Mama could be the ticket. The key is to have a game that is easy to approach and offers instant gratification. She may not enjoy Madden 09, but she can have a lot of fun playing New Super Mario Bros.

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