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It’s the time of year when couples have either settled into a routine or at least consummated their “Winter Boo” arrangements, so there are a lot of cold winter nights at home to plan for.

Your chef skills have been demonstrated and celebrated, and thanks to Netflix you have flown through every season of “Breaking Bad” and “The Boondocks.” Now how can you mix it up for date night? Dust off that game console (or “borrow” the one from your kids) and play some video games. If your girl is a seasoned pro she may already be murking you from long range in “Call Of Duty,” but here are come classics for the video game novice you want to hold your joystick.

“Mario Kart”

Mario Kart is a racing game where various characters from the Mario universe mount their go-karts and race against each other. The riders can collect weapons for underhanded battling and the tracks are always outrageous and entertaining. It’s just competitive enough to keep the party going but cute enough to let her know you’re not some type of creep whose just looking to mount her go-kart.

“Tekken”

Tekken is a 2D, mixed martial arts fighting game that’s been around for as long as I can remember. The catalog of characters is as lengthy as the moves the characters themselves possess. The great thing about Tekken is that it’s a button-mashers paradise, were awesome moves can accidentally be pulled off with the greatest of ease. A girl can literally sit down and play Tekken for the first time and be great at it. It’ll build her confidence or destroy yours. It’s up to you which happens, but it’s a good way to relax and have fun, unless she keeps beating you.

“Pac Man”

Pac Man is the most classic of all video games. Its fun is endless, it’s safe for all ages, and no matter who you think you are in this world, it’ll briefly take you back to your childhood heydays. A person doesn’t have to be a video game junkie or a tech geek to enjoy this game; everyone loves Pac Man. If your date refuses to play, for whatever reason, it may be time to end the date early. And you shouldn’t leave her alone with your wallet, either.

“NBA 2K”

NBA 2K is the best basketball game franchise ever. Aside from the fantastic soundtrack and the ultra-realism of the players, it’s an all-around fun game to watch, even when you’re not playing. NBA 2K is a good way to guage her connection with current popular music as well as provides you with a chance to see how knowledgeable she is in the sports department. If she can identify players other than Kobe Bryant or LeBron James, she may be worth a second date.

“Just Dance”

Just Dance is one of those games that doesn’t necessarily look fun, but once you get into the rhythm (no pun intended), it’s a cool ice breaker. Aside from being humorously addictive, it will also provide her (or you) a chance to show off any dance skills. If you can’t keep a beat, don’t let that deter you. Just adjust the game to a harder level and you’ll both look like klutzes. If done right, it’ll give you something to talk about next time there’s nothing to talk about.

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