Cooperative Play

Tonight I spent about an hour helping my wife play Bejeweled 2 on XBLA. In what appears to have recently become a defining pattern in my life, I played the role of strategist; i.e. pointed out moves that were likely to result in big-scoring combos a few turns down the line, while Eve actually handled the controller. Funny how play imitates work sometimes.  đź™‚

But anyway, this got me thinking (once again) about how there aren’t enough cooperative games on the market. I really enjoyed helping Eve play Bejeweled, despite the fact that the game was never designed for such a dynamic. And I can’t count the number of people who have told me that they enjoy playing World of Warcraft with their wives in part because they can help each other on quests. In fact, when you really think about it, the ubiquitous Korean Internet cafe gaming+dating scene starts to make sense. Games really can be an ideal mechanism via which to express your affection for someone and via which to enjoy their company.

If we console makers want to attract more female consumers, we can’t just focus on new marketing efforts, or producing more casual games (in general), or hardware redesign. All of that definitely helps, but it just can’t beat twenty minutes of quality time enjoying a game with hubby, or with son, or with brother…

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