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Staff Blog - Gaming With The Girlfriend (part 2)

"Which button do I press?" She asks, character flailing about on screen.
"Left trigger," I inform her.
"Which one's that?"
"Bumpers... Triggers..." I tilt my controller to demonstrate.

In hindsight, it might have been more appropriate to emphasize the difference between left and right; you live and learn (although that might not be the case for her character).

I do regularly try and point out that those fiendishly unhelpful developers have included an onscreen prompt, complete with an image of the button in question, but obviously that only corresponds to player 1 and not her controller.

Drawing on many years of gaming experience, I've witnessed firsthand (well, with both hands really) the evolution of gamepads - having played every major console since the Master System (excluding the original Xbox), I've seen the progression from basic directional pad with two buttons all the way to today's dual-stick, multiple-shoulder-buttoned paradigm. Consequently, I don't feel I've had any real issues adapting to the changes in button layouts - the only noticeable exceptions would have to be getting to grips (pun intended) with the correct way to hold an N64 controller, and switching from arrow keys to WASD and mouse on the PC side.

With the increasing button count of controllers, it does invoke a mild chicken/egg scenario - have (console) games increased in complexity due to the presence of additional buttons, or have hardware manufacturers added buttons to match technical advancements in the previous generation?

Indoctrinating Miss Beanz in the 'correct' way of gaming has so far been less than successful. Mouse skills are at a suitable level as demonstrated by playing a variety of Flash games, however combining this with keyboard work results in confusion - whatever happened to women being the superior multitaskers? Having watched me playing Skyrim she was eager to try for herself; initial attempts were unsuccessful so we opted to share the duties, with me on keyboard, whilst she took control of the mouse.

We got off to an impressive start - her first arrow hit its intended target squarely on the nose, however things went somewhat downhill from there. With the now slain enemy's companion advancing rapidly it was necessary to switch to a blade for some close-quarters action. Sharpened steel shone in the sunlight as she delivered a flurry of strikes; unfortunately it fell to me to point out that her enemy was actually off-screen to the left. As I said, directions were never her strong point.

Maybe we should just stick to the console for now...


(p.s. If Microsoft want to send us a Kinect, I'm sure she could cope with that...)

Beanz | 29th February, 2012
Kaostic's picture
Great read, loving the series
Angelfromabove's picture
Yeah this series is amusing me Especially as a gaming girlfriend!
Keep persevearing, she will get there eventually, until then, continue to inform us of her progress please!
Mrs Rasher's picture
As one who never did manage to master the skill of using a mouse and keyboard at the same time in a game (and also struggles with left and right) I can fully understand her problems

Love this series Beanz - looking forward to the next installment.
Rasher's picture
I for one am glad my other half doesn't game...
Could you see Linda playikng Left 4 Dead

Just imagine what she would do if we said "get the pipe bomb from the kitchen"

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