No bond is stronger than the bond between a husband and wife who play videogames together.
Much like superheroes, when gamers team-up they can take on challenges they might not have been able to tackle alone. What’s more, the victory is even sweeter if your partner is, well, your partner. In Issue 292 of The Escapist, Chuck Wendig reveals how teaming up with his wife to play Portal turned two struggling gamers into one unstoppable game-playing duo, the likes of which the world had never seen.
I fooled myself into thinking I could play Portal without wanting to wing my controller through the TV screen like some kind of non-returning boomerang. Sure, I could play the first couple of levels, but it wasn’t long before my only solution to the game was to gnaw on my Xbox in the hopes of forcing it to submit.
Wife came in. Asked to be handed the controller. “Can I try?”
I rolled my eyes and tossed her the controller. “Pssh. Sure, like you can do any better.”
Turns out, I was right for once. She couldn’t do any better.
Except her failure was wholly different from my own. My problem wasn’t that I couldn’t manage the manual dexterity of the game. I could jump and fall and fling portals around like it was nobody’s business. I just couldn’t figure out where to go or what to do beyond making recursive portal loops through which to plummet. My wife’s problem was an animal with different stripes: she knew exactly what she needed to do to solve the puzzle, but couldn’t accomplish the “jumping around like a monkey” necessary to achieve said solution.
It was then that our eyes met and maybe, just maybe, we really fell in love for the first time.
It was chocolate and peanut butter. It was beer and hot wings. It was Master Chief and Cortana.
Gingerly she handed me the controller.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” she asked.
“I am,” I said. Unusual, because I wasn’t thinking about sex or bacon or, I dunno, sex-bacon. “I’ll handle the jumping and the button-mashing. You handle all the thinking.”
From then on, Mr. and Mrs. Wendig played all their games together, the skills of one perfectly complementing the other. You can read all about it in Wendig’s article, “The Husband & Wife Videogame Super Team.”