I haven’t held my Nintendo Switch in a week. Aside from the scarce minutes I can steal away for Super Mario Maker 2 when my girlfriend is studying, the console has found a new home in her hands and a new purpose as a Fire Emblem: Three Houses machine. It finally happened: my girlfriend found a video game she loves.
This is not the first time I’ve seen this play out: the excellent indie game Beast Breaker was a favorite of hers, and she plays a staggering amount of Minecraft — but it’s the first time I’ve seen it on this scale. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a big game, and my girlfriend loves all of it. From the strategy-based combat that makes up the meat of the game (which she is significantly better at than me) to the baked-in dating Sim elements (I have done my best not to be jealous of her attachment to Dimitri, Holy Prince of Faerghus), my girlfriend does it all. She engages with the fishing minigame, she gardens, she does every side quest. She’s hooked, and I am left with neither Switch nor girlfriend.
Karmically speaking, I had this coming. The sheer number of hours I’ve spent attempting the Sword Saint Isshin boss fight in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will never be met by my darling partner’s ventures into the inscrutable cooking minigame of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and no number of side quests she sets out on will approach the time I spent on Metroid Dread back in October. I remind myself of this every time I try to go to sleep and am greeted with “Life at Garreg Mach Monastery,” Fire Emblem: Three Houses’ relentlessly catchy main theme. This is, in the grand cosmic scheme of things, a taste of my own medicine — and, all told, it’s actually rather sweet.
There is a secret upside to all of this, and that upside comes from the fact that I actually like my girlfriend a lot. I also like video games a lot. In fact, I actually happen to like Fire Emblem: Three Houses a lot. I have absolutely delighted in getting to talk with my girlfriend about the events and characters of the game and in offering bad strategic advice that she promptly ignores (to great effect). For all I can say about Fire Emblem’s ability to pull my girlfriend away from me for one more turn, a common interest has also brought us closer together.
So, yes, my girlfriend is a gamer now. Yes, “my” Switch would now be considered in her legal custody by any sensible court. Yes, she’s better at Fire Emblem than I am, and yes, she may even like Dimitri more than she likes me. But I wouldn’t trade the time she’s spent with the game for anything in the world. Except maybe my Nintendo Switch. I would like that back eventually.
Sorrel Kerr-Jung is a freshman studying games and animation at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Sorrel by tweeting her at @gendertoad.