Speaking of open-world games, it's not the ability to save that can be the issue; it's the fact that a lot of times, there's really no defined break in the action. There's no intermission, if you will, that could serve as an opportunity to help out with dinner or get up and put out the occasional dinner fire. Here's Lisa's take on it:
"The only way to make a relationship with a gamer work is if your partner is willing to determine a point where they will stop for the evening to spend quality time with you. And it helps if they play games that facilitate that. To give credit where credit is due, my husband does a great job of having a set time every night that he is ready to come downstairs. And I in turn am flexible about it. If he's in the middle of a boss fight, he can have a few more minutes if needed. As long as he takes that bosses' death as a clue that it's time to give it up for the night."
And then there are the issues that can arise when a game just doesn't fucking end. And as much shit as games like The Order: 1886 take for being too short, could it be that, sometimes, that's not such a terrible thing?:
"A game that can be beaten is generally preferred, from my point of view, over those open-world games with ever-increasing expansions and new gear that he just has to have, with no exit point in sight. When he beats a game, many times he goes through a few days to a week before he starts the next one, and I get to use that time to catch up on TV shows with him, or sometimes even get a sitter and go out for the night."
So aside from something episodic, which would give the player gentle reminders that there is another human being in your midst who might enjoy speaking with you in a language that wasn't made up entirely of grunts, it would also be nice to have a clear-cut finale occasionally. I like games that I can play over and over again, sure, but I think I can sort of wrap my head around that. Lisa elaborates:
"A few months ago, he was playing Dishonored, and beat the game. My hopes raised, my mind starts thinking of all the fun things we could possibly do this week. And then he said, 'I think I'm going to start over.' I said 'What?' His response was, 'I didn't like the ending. I am going to play through it again to see if I can get another ending.' 'You mean, right now?' 'Yeah, let me just play a little bit more tonight.' So the 'game over' screen is not always what it claims to be."
I guess the point is that the concept of making the paths you take in a game result in different outcomes is cool and all, but for your partner, it can be an anticlimax, if you catch my drift. What I'm saying is, even though a game has multiple endings, that doesn't mean all of them will be "happy endings." And if you still can't tell that I'm talking about sex, then I just wasted 36 cents (plus $3.99 shipping) on this stupid double entendre encyclopedia.
I should have known that the best resource for sophisticated romantic banter was right in front of me all along.