© 2011 Timmy Tamisiea. All rights reserved. video-game-marriage

18/365 – Top 3 Reasons Why Gaming Could Ruin Your Relationship

Top 3 Reasons Why Gaming Could Ruin Your Relationship

I got home form work today at 10:45.  Heeding no warning from the terrible sinus headache – the same pain that is brought on by the change of weather in Chicago – I turned in the xBox and played Batman: Arkham Asylum.  I mean, would Batman let a little sinus cold stop him from doing patrols around Gotham City.  NO, I say. No!

A little icon popped up saying “TheoHuxtable80 is now online.”  That’s my brother’s gamertag tag and is usually followed by a personal message that reads, nerrrrrrrrrrrrd, nerrrrd, nerd or uhhhhnnn!  Even so, I remembers that yesterday I promised to breakdown why gaming may be bad for a relationship – not with one’s brother but one’s wife, girlfriend, fiancee, boyfriend, etc . . .

#1 – Selective Listening

No, I understand you completely. You said, "blah blah blah blah."

Women (or non-gamer men) have this uncanny ability to bring up conversation when you’re gaming.  Not just when you are gaming, but when you are intensely gaming. Which is synonymous with gaming.  I mean, it may just be me but all gaming is pretty damn intense.  However, the times Megan has approached me with some important news during an intense bout of xBox is innumerable.  Unfortunately, any listening skills I learned in my years of actor training are thrown right out the door.  It’s really the first time in my life I can say that I’ve perpetrated the lame male stereotype of replying to conversation with droning, unintelligible “uh huhs”, “yeahs” and “rights”.

"Yeah, yeah. Whatever you say, Mac. King Hippo - blah blah - open mouth - blah blah."

Experts (meaning conservative nancys) have said that Video Games rot the brain.  Yeah, right.  I think they make you way so focused that listening to more than one source is an impossibility.  And, frankly, I’m not sure who to blame.  When Megan comes to me to talk about her day and who did what and blah blah blah — I could easily just pause the game . . . but I don’t want to {whiney 6 year old voice}.  At the same time, Megan could wait to talk to me when I’m done saving the damn world for crying out loud {whiney 6 year old voice}.  In any case, if you want to either a) unlearn all the listening skills you gained by being in a relationship in the first place and/or b) passive aggressively pay back your special lady/man for folding your laundry wrong – play some video games.  Wait for a conversation and watch the fireworks explode.

#2 – I’m late!  I’m late!  I’m Late for an Important Date!

Here’s the scenario.  It’s 5pm on a Saturday.  I’ve got nothing going on (like usual – looser) and so I sit down to play a friendly sword slashing round of Oblivion. Then Megan calls, “Hey sweety.  We’re all going to {obligatory bar or person’s apartment} to do {obligatory activity here} at around 7:30.  You want to come?”  Of course I do.  I mean, that gives me 1.5 solid hours of gaming.  .5 hours for grooming.  .5 hours for travel.  Easy.

I don't know about you, but in .5 hours I can look like this.

Now let’s just put the disc in . . . and there.  SLASH. BOOM.  MAGIC SPELL!  ENEMY.  PEE BREAK.  MORE ENEMY!  . . . . . . . HOLY SHIT – it’s 7.  I saw 7 coming.  I knew it was coming when I saw the clock on the DVD player read 6 . . . then 6:15 . . . . then 6:35. . . the 6:59.  I knew 7 was coming.  So what did I do?  I gave myself 10 more minutes . . . 10 more times.

So, what do I do now?  Give myself 5 more minutes . . . and then maybe I’ll finish this part of the quest . . . and then 10 more minutes . . . TEXT MESSAGE!  “Where are you?”  (Not “Where r u?  Megan and I studied English – lazy assholes).  I text back, “Got caught up in a phone call.  Be there soon.”

Liar!

Then 10 more minutes and 10 more minutes and 10 more minutes till it’s – 8:30!  I won’t be at the {obligatory place} for the {obligatory event} with {obligatory friends} and {obligatory wife . . . I mean, Megan} till at least 9:30.  I mean, maybe I’ll give myself .25 hours of grooming to save time.

This is what happens when I give myself .25 hours of grooming.

You can pretty much plug this scenario into any important deadline: class, meetings, lunch, birth of your first born son, birth of your first born daughter, sex – – sleep is a huge one.  I always end up playing ill 2:30am when I thought I’d be in bed by 11:30.  That makes me a crappy, sleepless a-hole the next day and not a good husband.

So, if you want to be known as a flake.  Start up a round of any goal based game.  You’ll miss out on everything.

#3 – Anger Management

After a nasty round of Pong.

I used to own a 20 dollar coffee table from Ikea.  Then my brother, Patrick, made some erroneous play in Madden and put a hole through it with his fist.  Then I bought another 20 dollar coffee table from Ikea.  Then my brother made another erroneous play in Madden and put a hole through it with his fist.  But, enough about my brother.  His anger management skills when playing xBox are pretty poor.  Mine.  Not as bad but definitely not good.  The only good advice my old roommate, Chris, ever gave me was, “If the game starts making you mad, it’s time to turn it off.”  He GAVE it to me – I didn’t say I followed it.

There’s something about a video games uncanny ability to piss you off to the Nth degree.  Maybe its the fact that as a human, you assume that you are far superior to some 4 inch disc they YOU inserted into a 2×2 machine.  Maybe it’s that games, by nature (anymore), are goal oriented and having some pixelated enemy deny you that goal is infuriating.  Or maybe gamers are, by nature, big fat babies who lose at everything else in the real world that losing in the the virtual work IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Those lines coming form his head? Pure hate.

The fact of the matter is that by the time you concede (if you haven’t thrown the controller through the TV) you’re so worked up that your shoulders are carrying the tension of a 1880s farming Ox and your temples are like 1984 Russian missile silos ready far release.  There’s no way your can hide that anger form your loved one.  I usually game at night when Megan is sleeping.  Still, when I come to bed she knows I’m angry.  Even though she’s half asleep, dreaming of Alton Brown (that’s for another post) she can feel the tension vibrating off my being.  And there’s no way in hell I’m going to admit that I’m an active volcano because “I can’t get Batman to pass the Virtual Training Exercise #4 because the god-damn ceiling in the outdoor atrium is so freaking low that it’s impossible to keep his cape-flight at a steady, level speed to get to the next checkpoint.  It’s like Gotham city was designed to drive me nuts and has been planning this for years just to make my 2011 an awful year! Ahhhhhhhhhh!”

Man, what a dick.

There’s no way she’s hearing that.

Instead, I say, “It’s nothing.  I’m fine.”  And then I dream of Batman and low ceilings all night.

In short, I’m not saying that video games are all bad.  There are dozens of reasons why they are great.  Entertainment.  Hand eye coordination.  Hobbies.  I don’t know.  But, be warned – if you have a non-gamer loved one, she may never truly understand why Sonic the Hedgehog is putting a rift between you.  Just take a deep breath and turn off the system . . .

Or wait till the system fights back.

One Comment

  1. kat
    Posted 28 Oct ’11 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Ask MoFo about the time he missed Thanksgiving…

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