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Video games have gotten a bad rap when it comes to maintaining personal relationships. More often than not, the gamer in the relationship is considered lazy, emotionally stunted, and a bad force in society. Even though over 20% of marriages end within the first five years, couples have undoubtedly mentioned that video games impacted this final decision.

But like most good things, video games have gotten a bad reputation when people take this hobby too far. In fact, the World Health Organization has recently classified video game addiction as a type of medical issue, known as gaming disorder.

Unfortunately, hobbyist video gamers are still lumped into this category. There are plenty of people who manage to find a work-life-video game balance. It's the rotting few in a bunch of good apples that deleteriously affect society's views on gaming. Just like 59% of workers claim that communication is the biggest obstacle to success, gamers who don't communicate with their partner are apt to follow a similar path in their relationships.

In fact, it was only after playing video games with her partner that Eve Peyser's views changed.

"It took a couple of months to crack me, but my view began to change with the first game my boyfriend persuaded me to play," she explains in an interview with The New York Times. "My boyfriend's gaming never actually put a strain on our relationship, but when I started playing with him, it went from being one of his boy hobbies I could never possibly understand to an experience we could share, something that highlighted why we worked so well together."

Now, the duo is smiling more than ever. And since more than half of people agree that smiling is the most important feature as we age, finding ways to continue to smile is essential in a healthy relationship.

That being said, let's look at some of the best games to play with your partner before the cold months of winter strike.

Bomberman

Let's start with a classic: Bomberman is a co-operative game that came onto the scene over 30 years ago. It's a strategic, competitive option that relies on manipulation to trick your opponents into falling for your traps. Rounds often go quickly and there aren't too many mechanics involved, making this a fun game for just about anyone, gamer or not.

Portal 2

The first Portal game was -- quite literally -- a game-changer for puzzle games. But Portal 2 flipped the script and became the first game in the franchise to offer a two-player option. If you're a puzzle lover and want to work cooperatively with your partner to meet a common goal, this is the modern game for you.

Left 4 Dead

Everyone loves a good zombie game, right? If you're not in-tune with the online hijinks of today, this cooperative option enables players to kill zombies in campaign-mode. This allows users to save and pick up where they left off next time, a welcome change from the online games we know and love.

This popular shooter game relies on a heavy dose of cooperation in order to make it through each level. Even if you're scared of zombies, knowing your partner is at your side can make you brave enough to tackle anything -- including the witch.

Monster Prom

This lighthearted game is a welcome option after fighting zombies for a few hours. It doesn't take itself seriously, nor does it rely on serious competition to beat the game. All you need for this simulator is a good sense of humor as you navigate the ups and downs of monster dating.

Little Big Planet

This co-op game is another puzzle option. Only this time, it features cute stuffed toys that you can customize to your liking. Beat big bosses and try to make it to the end of each level without dying. Luckily, your partner can bring you back to life so you're never out of the game for too long.

Did you know that 52% of young couples claim that gaming has helped improve their relationship? Whether you want to introduce your loved one to a new hobby or find new ways to improve your teamwork, relying on video games might be the perfect option for you.

Published in Tech

It's time to game for good, and for the sixth year in a row, GameStop has teamed up with Make-A-Wish to help make more wishes come true for children with critical illnesses. Adding even more power to the mix for 2018, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) has joined the collaborative effort to help local kids get back to being kids. So now it's our turn to help make some wishes happen! I invite you to join me, The Rock Father™, in helping to spread the word about this awesome effort. In return, you can earn chances to win a $100 GameStop Gift Card, right here from The Rock Father Magazine! While the entire month of September supports this initiative, Wednesday, September 12 is a very important and special day... in honor of National Video Games Day, GameStop will match its donation to Make-A-Wish when they hit the $10,000 mark on that day only! If you want to pick up some awesome games and help grant wishes at the same time, September 12th is the prime day to do it!

This Gaming Special Feature is Presented in Collaboration with Nintendo of America...

When the Nintendo Labo Kits were first introduced earlier this year their tagline was “Make. Play. Discover”. Now, with the new Labo Vehicle Kit coming out on September 24th, these words will take on new meaning. We recently were given the opportunity to attend the pre-launch event for the new Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit (Toy-Con 03) in New York City where my daughter and I were able to drive, fly and dive with our on-screen avatars.

If you didn't think that eSports would go mainstream, think again. Sony Crackle announced today that their first eSports docu-series, Hook’d is slated to premiere Friday, July 27, with subsequent three to five-minute episodes rolling out on Monday, July 30, Wednesday, August 1, and Wednesday, August 15.  Presented in partnership with NRG ESports and Complex Networks, Hook'd was filmed in the final month leading up to the largest and longest-running fighting game tournaments in the world – The Evolution Championship Series (Evo) in Las Vegas. The first teaser provides a first-look at the improbable journey of 21-year-old Eduardo Deno (aka HookGangGod), an up-and-coming eSports gamer. 

Published in Movies, TV and More

Milestone's GRAVEL is all about bringing the thrill of off-road racing into your home, but what's the fun of racing if you can't challenge your friends? Following the recent release of their Ice & Fire DLC, the GRAVEL (get it from my affiliate, GameStop) team is now showing off their multiplayer modes in a new trailer that shows some of the new modes that players can take part in with up to seven friends. Going beyond single race and championship, Capture the Flag and King Run bring some new dynamics into the game. Check it out...

Published in Rock Father Rides

If you've played video games at any point within the last three decades or so, there's a solid chance that you've owned a Mad Catz product. The longtime maker of gaming controllers and accessories was a fixture for years, but the last few were anything but kind for them. Following an expensive gamble on Rock Band 4, for which they served as co-publisher in addition to the hardware and accessory maker, the U.S.-based company went under, filing for bankruptcy in the spring of 2017. Now, the brand is back, now known as Mad Catz Global Limited, announcing what they've called "a surprise return to the international gaming scene... under new management, with new ideas, new attitude and most importantly, an entire range of new, high-quality gaming products." Check out a teaser below...

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