You've tolerated their presence in your life for years. Maybe it's because they have attractive physical attributes, pay half your rent or gone halfsies. It might even be all three. But, if your partner—or heck, maybe just your roommate—is really going to understand who you are in the depths of your soul, then it's way past time that they pick up a controller and participate in your greatest passion. Try out the suggestions below for ways to impart your game devotion to the people you love.
One way to turn that non-player into One of Us is to showcase the video game variant of an amusement they already know. UK development studio Denki's Quarrel brings a unique mash-up of Risk and Scrabble to iOS, where each player starts off with a plot of land populated by letter soldiers. One expands their real estate by facing off with competitors and beating the point value of the words they make. The added layer of strategy makes Quarrel stand out from other similar games and will probably engender more erudite trash talk than you're used to.
($4.99 for a universal app that works on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad on Apple's iTunes App Store.)
No matter where they fall on video games' redeeming qualities, most everyone agrees that an unfettered exchange of ideas is a boon to civilized societies. This shirt by Kill Screen— which commemorates this year's landmark Supreme Court decision that gave video games free speech protections—might inspire them to load up a game of Mortal Kombat. At the very least, they'll look like they're up on their constitutional law.
($20; you'll have to figure out how to get an autograph from Justice Antonin Scalia by yourself.)
You probably want to start off your gaming padawan with an experience so incontestably fun and uniquely creative that it draws them in and keeps hold of them. Twisted Pixel's puppet adventure—where your hands do the steering and shooting for a vengeance-resurrected cowboy out to get even with the galoots that killed him—also comes with Fruit Ninja Kinect. The scaled-up version of the mobile hit isn't just one of the better Kinect games; it's a sweaty, addictive diversion that makes for a great party game, too. Buttons and analog sticks may not be your apprentice's thing, but this two-fer might just make a gamer of them after all.
($40, not bad for a disc that lets you be a cowboy AND a ninja.)
Sometimes, it's a shared single-player experience that turns out to be the best one for making a non-gamer want to pick up a controller. Deeply layered gameworlds like the one in Skyrim become a drama where more than one person can help drive the plot. If the person you want to become your gaming compadre happens to be female and they stick with you through the latest Elder Scrolls chapter, then they deserve an adornment fit for a warrior woman. This leather cuff fits the bill, with intricate detailing cut etched out with a frickin' laser. It may not increase her magicka abilities but she's already sticking out a relationship with you. She probably already has enough otherwordly talents.
($57.00; matching enchanted armor is probably not a good idea)
If you need a second TV, why not get one built for gaming? Sony's PlayStation-branded 3DTV does what you expect: making stereoscopically enabled titles like Uncharted 3 or Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One pop and float off the screen when viewed with the TV's accompanying eyewear. But it's got an extra feature called SimulView that lets two viewers each see a different image from the same game, making it perfect for co-op or competitive play in Motorstorm Apocalypse or Wipeout HD. The sheer novelty of this function alone should earn you some couch time to show off your favorite medium.
($499; comes with a copy of
Resistance 3 and one pair of 3D glasses)