Today is 6 months to the day I get married. There are many reasons why I love my fiance, however her insistence on learning to love videogames has helped our relationship to grow. At first she was a spectator, watching on as I battled waves of Ganados in Resident Evil 4. Not content to passively engage with the medium, Carly first picked up a control to play Burnout 3: Takedown, and her skill blossomed to the point where I refused to compete with her in any mode other than Road Rage. Even in Crash Mode, she had the co-ordination and vision to compile multi-million dollar scores. Despite her dominance, I was happy that she was starting to take an interest in my passion. I even picked up Burnout Legends for the PSP so she could subject the AI racers to merciless beatings, and I was no longer the fodder for her peerless racing lines.
We then proceeded to enjoy many titles on the Gamecube, particularly the Mario spin-offs. Mario Kart got hours of play, and either of us failed to create a point of difference as far as skill was concerned. You could argue that this had a lot to with Blue Shells and other cheap weapons, but we had fun regardless. Mario Golf is the second best golf game I've ever played (Tiger Woods 05 FTW), however as a co-operative experience (as in hole for hole) it has few rivals. Finally there was Mario Power Tennis, and Carly, as a tennis devotee, always took the losses hard. This was in spite of the fact that real-life tennis players are rarely haunted by ghosts mid-match, let alone able to hit the ball so it traces out a perfect L shape.
The less said about Carly's dominance of the rhythm game genre, the better. As I fumbled through the first Guitar Hero's setlist on easy difficulty, my sweet was mastering the challenging "No One Knows," on normal. Just as I had ventured into playing songs on Normal, she was attaining 5 star ratings for every song on hard. This trend continued throughout future iterations of the Guitar Hero franchise and even lingered into The Beatles: Rock Band (although you would expect as much considering she is a huge fan of the Fab 4's back catalogue). This is one genre where Carly has effectively emasculated almost all of the gamers I know.
Now I'm glad to say that while Carly and I still play with (and against) each other, she has found some games she will happily pursue of her own accord. Steam tells me that she has accumulated approximately 60 hours of playtime on the super-addictive Peggle. Further to that, Carls recently shelled out 1200MSP to download Burnout 3: Takedown from the Xbox Live Marketplace. She even supports my gaming endeavours, showering me with anything from bluetooth headsets to new release titles.
To my loyal readers, please forgive the schmaltz, however: I love you Carly, and thank you for taking an interest in something that I have, and always will care deeply about. December 11th can't arrive fast enough!