1. Mario and Princess Peach (The Super Mario Brothers Series)
From this, arguably the very ?rst real couple in gaming history, I learned that relationships require dedication and endurance. Are there bottomless pits in your current relationship? Mario teaches that no bottomless pit is unjumpable. Are you in a long-distance relationship and afraid that it won?t work? Mario teaches that it?s worth crossing burning deserts, octopus-infested seas and magma-?lled caverns to be with the one you love.

And the other thing about Mario? He never settled for anything less than his Princess. He could have made a go with any of the many toadstools that he met while his Princess was “in another castle”, but did he? No, he persevered, and so should we.

2. Link and Zelda (The Legend of Zelda Series)

Link and Zelda are an example of mutual respect and working together. Although she was often captured, Zelda was never a damsel in distress and she teaches that not all Princesses need to be rescued, some just need a hand.

While not exactly passionate, Link and Zelda?s relationship was more about friendship and helping each other achieve a common goal. They also brought different strengths and skill sets to the table. What Link couldn?t do, Zelda could and vice versa. These two teach that enduring relationships are interdependent affairs, with each member working together while also being able to work apart.

3. Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago (Gears of War Series)

More than any of the other relationships mentioned, the characters in Gears exude the idea that inner beauty is what?s really important. Marcus?s face may look like it?s been hacked off with a dull blade and reattached by a blind seamstress, but Dom loves him for who he is- not what he looks like. Also, these guys teach gamers about loyalty and commitment. They may occasionally disagree, but there?s never a time when they?re not on each other?s side and they?ve always got each other?s back.

4. Guys that play Halo together (Halo Series/Real Life)

These guys help to illustrate the idea that anyone can get along with anyone else as long as they have common goals and interests. We?ve all seen relationships where we?ve questioned what one partner could possibly see in the other; these guys taught me that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe their partner is a crass, uncultured, frat-boy with a penchant for alcoholism and an endless supply of roo?es, but boy does he excel at head shots! And that?s what matters.

5. Game Developers and Gaming Cliches (Video Games/Real Life)

Game Developers are known to stick by tried and true convention and they hardly ever embrace change for the sake of change. From them I?ve learned that if it ain?t broke, don?t ?x it. The point of a relationship isn?t to change people, it?s to love them for who they are. Sure, exploding barrels aren?t exactly a realistic facet of video games, but they work. And yeah, eating cookies in bed is annoying, but is it a deal-breaker? Everyone has quirks, but sometimes relationships are about ?guring out what you can live with.

So what do you think? Do games do a good job of teaching gamers about relationships? You can learn about dedication, endurance, perseverance, not settling, respect, interdependence, friendship, utilizing each other?s strengths, inner beauty, loyalty, commitment, working towards a common goal, loving and accepting someone for who they are and picking your battles. Can you say the same about your hobby?