Recap: Operation GamerWife Enters Phase 2

Shhh! No wives allowed!

Due to some real life concerns, my usual gaming group was unable to get together this Friday. Instead, I had an opportunity to continue with Operation GamerWife. Last week, I received Pandemic as a gift. I was able to convince my wife to give it a try on Thursday and she loved it. Not just like it. But loved it. (I also tried Dominion which she liked, but didn’t want to play a second time). Phase 2 after the jump.

Phase 1 of Operation GamerWife was to find out what the spousal unit liked in a game. I knew that war games were out. I tried a little of this and a little of that. She prefers shorter games that do not have a lot of direct conflict. She found Agricola enjoyable, but the longer play time was a limiting factor. Pandemic, it turns out, fit the bill exactly. Pandemic is a short game – usually playable in a half hour or so (less with bad luck). And, its cooperative nature fits my wife’s tastes perfectly.

After finding a game that she loves, we started playing it. And playing it. And playing it. Twice on Thursday. Twice on Saturday. And a whopping five times on Sunday. Sunday’s plays included four losses before the final victory. A few of our games had some bad luck where Epidemics came in just a few turns of each other. That meant more cities likely to be at three disease cubes, and thus more likely to outbreak.

Apparently, it plays into the female nature to take care of sick people.

Phase 2 is now to play Pandemic, and maybe a few other games, numerous times so that the phrase, “let’ play board games” becomes associated with fun, rather than horror. After a fixed Pavlovian response is certain, it will be time to enter Phase 3. In Phase 3, we gradually distance ourselves from Pandemic and introduce additional, albeit similar, games that still play to her strengths. Thus, we generalize the fun from Pandemic to the mere concept of “board game.”

See, I used the word Pavlovian and the word generalize. Those are big and fancy. How could this plan fail? It must succeed based on the strength of the vocabulary alone.

Also, I brought you this picture of an ice sculpture from the county fair. It has nothing whatsoever to do with this post.

Non sequitur'd!

There are 6 comments.

  1. Jeremy Southard said on August 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Nice! Keep up the good work! My wife is all about the board games but trying to get her interested in D&D has been very difficult.

  2. E. Foley said on August 2, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    If she likes games with a good story, Tales of the Arabian Nights is great. However, it is VERY long. 😉 But awesome. Good game to play with a handful of friends and a couple bottles of wine. It’s also a good pre-RPG game because you can do a LITTLE bit of roleplay (in choosing your character’s skills and how they’d react in different situations).

  3. GeekInsight GeekInsight said on August 2, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I should look into Tales. My wife likes Once Upon a Time and the storytelling aspect is similar. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Lisa M said on August 3, 2010 at 6:57 am

    A few sugggestions?
    Ticket to Ride, The Once Upon a Time Storytelling Game, Carcassonne, amybe ideology (that can be risky cause there’s attacking mechanics which can make non gamers upset sometimes)
    Simpler mechanics. Not such a long play time.
    Is it usually just you two? If not what about simple social mechanic games:
    Bang, Incan Gold.

  5. Lisa M said on August 3, 2010 at 6:57 am

    of sorry this tab had been open since yesterday so i didn’t see the once upon a time update.

  6. David G said on August 19, 2010 at 1:24 am

    My wife is the same way. She loves Pandemic, Agricola, Zooloretto, Carcassonne, and Castle Panic. We tried Defenders of the Realm recently and it is like a hybrid of Pandemic and Arkham Horror. Really nice game. My wife has also enjoyed Formula D, which was a little surprising to me.

    She has expressed interest in picking up Dixit which is similar to Apples to Apples, but with amazing artwork.

    She’s going to PAX with me and I hope to expose her to some wider variety. She has even expressed an interest in getting into a beginner’s D&D game!!!!

    It’s going to be a very interesting weekend.

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