It’s a common misconception in much of the media at large that gaming is a horrific vice in which your partner or spouse can become ensnared within, wasting hours and hours of their time trapped in the clutches of a terrible gaming addiction.
Lately I’ve seen increasingly silly articles giving advice on how to steal back your other half, and quite frankly these articles are more damaging to the relationships they intend to save then any gaming binge ever was.
First off, if your partner is spending every waking moment playing a game, losing their job, friends, and estranging their family members due to excessive gaming, there is a larger problem at the root of this behavior. I would say they are escaping something. But I’m no shrink.
It’s always struck me a little hypocritical growing up that my parents would spend hours and hours watching TV, but then scream at me for playing more then a few hours of Nintendo. In essence it’s the same thing, if anything, gaming is a lot more engrossing then any TV show or book can ever be, and it’s a lot more fun! Treat your partner with the same graces you would expect to be treated if you were watching TV or reading a book. Most games, especially a lot of online multiplayer games are incredibly complicated affairs that require lots of concentration and quick thinking. So if you come in, plonk your keys on the side, and turn the stereo on, you can expect a frustrated sigh or two. Also, trying to engage them in conversation is futile; you will get only sharp remarks in return, especially if they are using voice-coms while playing. My girlfriend regularly likes to blow dry her hair about six feet away from where I am playing MW3, of course this is not only incredibly loud for me, but everybody on my team is instantly deafened and their game is thrown off. It’s incredibly rude and inconsiderate, but it’s not exactly a relationship breaker. Please remember, we are trying to concentrate.
Another common bit of advice given in these articles is to parade sexually around the room and especially in front of the TV on which they are playing. Don’t do this. You will either be ignored, or have something thrown at you.
If I’m just about to get my MOAB on and some bitch in her panties starts wandering in front of the screen: I will first scream, and then proceed to throw my large collection of empty bottles at them. This is not a cool thing to do at all. ALSO, if you are so threatened by gaming that you feel you have to lure your partner away from it with sexual favors, what does that say about your relationship and the role you play in it?
Perhaps your partner just wants some time to relax on his or her own, or with their friends online? Myself, and most men I know, only really communicate with each other via Xbox Live. Gaming is not the solitary experience it once was many moons ago. Trying to distract your partner while they experience it is certainly not going to place you very highly in their social hierarchy.
In some extreme cases, I have seen people encourage the sabotage or destruction of games, consoles, and computers. DO NOT EVER DO THIS. For one, consoles and gaming rigs are damn expensive. The last thing your partner will ever want to do is spend time with you, or even continue a relationship with you after this. The only thing this is going to do for you, is to show you as the immature, attention seeking prick that you really are.
My advice to anybody feeling the cold shoulder of a gaming spouse is this: Get a hobby. Your partner obviously has one that’s pretty fulfilling; perhaps you should take a leaf out of their book and get your own one. Or better yet, attempt to play games WITH your partner. MW3, L4D and many others now have split screen multiplayer, express an interest in what they are doing and I guarantee you will get more attention then any of the tips these toxic articles give. And who knows, you may enjoy yourself!
Lots of love, RichiCrypt.