I’m on a variety of mailing lists and press lists, both in my capacity as the Editor for the Welsh Gaming Network and in my career as a freelance writer. I’m used to getting press releases that are sent out en masse and aren’t appealing to me. Sometimes they’re completely wrong for my audiences and that’s fine – you can’t expect a fully tailored service every time. I always read them, but most of them get dismissed as not relevant without another thought.
Recently I’ve received multiple copies and follow ups of the same press release from Liberty Games, promising me the “Best Valentine’s Day gift ever”, and it’s targeted at gamers! I’m well into that (obviously) and they’ve managed to pester me for my full attention, so what is it? Is it something I can subtly hint to my husband (by accidentally forwarding him the press release) that I would love for Valentine’s Day? Let’s find out…
“Do you argue with your partner over how much time they spend on their favourite gaming platform? Do you wish your gaming skills were as good as your partner’s, so you could play together and re-claim some all-important couple time? Well, you’re in luck! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Liberty Games have created an Intensive Gaming Course, designed to stop you battling with your partner’s other lover… their PlayStation.”
Wait what? For the super duper price of £49.99 I can do an intensive course with my choice of 10 games, all by myself, so that in less than 24 hours of grafting I too can play Minecraft to the pro level of my partner so that I don’t have to spend Valentine’s Day watching him play PlayStation by himself. Wow!
If my husband decided that he’d spend Valentine’s day playing games by himself because I wasn’t good enough to play with him he’d be getting the boot. And we’re both gamers, so I’d actually be perfectly okay with playing games together for Valentine’s Day. With tens of thousands of games out there, if both people want to play video games, I’m pretty sure you can find something you both enjoy.
But this course is targeted at people where one half of the couple isn’t even a gamer – where they feel left out and unable to play with their partner. That person should apparently learn to get good so they can do couple things and game together for Valentine’s Day. Rather than the couple just, you know, communicating and finding a hobby they both enjoy together like I don’t know, a walk in the park or something, a meal out, a board game, a dance party, a movie, knitting socks, a museum.I’m not claiming to be Doctor Love, but just about anything you choose together really is more romantic than feeling like you have to spend £50 being taught by a stranger to play Minecraft to feel included in your partner’s hobby.
The only time I would consider this a good gift, or a good idea at all, is the fact that they advertise they’re “guaranteed to make you as good as your partner” so if your partner happens to be a Fortnite or Call of Duty pro this could be worth a shot because we’d all like to be an esports pro overnight, especially for £50. Does anyone know if Bugha is single?
If you both want to spend Valentine’s Day gaming together then that gets a big thumbs up from me, but half the fun of playing together is communicating, bonding, learning and having a laugh. I’ll be honest, I play League of Legends and would I play ranked with my husband? Hell no. That’s a fast track to tears and arguments. Would I have a ton of fun with him in casual games or other video games? Yes. I’m sure as hell not going to ask him to spend a day by himself with a stranger so he can get on my level (Bronze for life, by the way).
Other options include Animal Crossing and The Witcher, which makes me wonder if Liberty Games has even played the games that their “professional gaming instructors” will be teaching. They countered this argument by saying “while not all of these games have multiplayer functions, the course is designed to get you as good as your partner so that you can work through games together, taking it in turns.” No thank you, hands off my Geralt, The Witcher is a highly story driven game with permanent skill and item choices and I’m not sharing him with anyone. Not even for Valentine’s Day. But hey, maybe we can watch some of the sexual cut scenes together, now that’s romantic gaming!
Technical Director Stuart Kerr comments “One of the most common causes of tension between couples, that we hear about, is where one person in the relationship is a gamer and the other isn’t, and the non-gamer becomes frustrated at being abandoned for their partner’s latest gaming obsession.” If your partner is abandoning you because they’re obsessed with gaming, whether it’s on Valentine’s Day or any other day, you should spend the money on couple’s counseling, not a gaming course.
Look at how happy this couple is, bonding over their new level of equal skill in Animal Crossing.
If you need your partner to have a professional gaming course just to have fun playing together, maybe give it a miss and find something else to do because the result is going to be more like this.
Sorry Liberty Games, this one has really missed the mark.