Jan 25 2011

Do Video Games Factor Into Your Relationship?

Published by at 12:00 pm under Editorials,Video Games

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdIZuu6IaQo

I just finished watching this rather infuriating clip from the Tyra Banks show where Tyra’s theme for the day is how to “decode your man.” Her couple in this segment’s issue is that the guy is “obsessed” with video games and his girlfriend is tired of it.

Tyra immediately begins pouring condescension on the poor bastard. After asking him his age her response is, “Oh so you’re 23, not 13.” Then when he explains how video games factor into his social life, like for example he discusses titles he’s playing with his boss, who is also a gamer, she says, “Oh so if your boss is saying it, it’s very validating like ‘this is OK, my boss does it.’ ” It’s enough to make you want to reach across through the screen and slap her with a Wii-mote.

Clearly not knowledgeable on video games herself, Tyra enlists a “gaming goddess,” X-Play’s Morgan Webb, to help her “decode” this clearly troubled individual “obsessed” with gaming. Webb tries to play psychologist, saying that sensitive men like RPGs because they’re their version of romance and an escape from reality. Other guys might like FPS type games because they want to be a hero and fight against evil. Guys who play sports games avidly probably grew up wanting to be a pro, and now Madden is the closest they’ll ever get.

Ooo look at the big grown-up with her BOOK.

The moral of the story is that the guy should put the controller down and spend more time with his real-life girlfriend, an idea which he emphatically endorses because he’s surrounded by 200 bloodthirsty women on the Tyra Banks show, with the host saying she’ll hunt him down if he doesn’t follow through.

But this segment raises an interesting question that isn’t brought up at all. It’s best brought up by a surprisingly insightful YouTube commenter who says mockingly:

“My boyfriend has a hobby that I won’t involve myself with. How do I stop him from enjoying his hobby?”

The idea is never once brought up that the girlfriend could actually try to include herself in his hobby. If she was an avid painter or something, and spent hours locked in her room away from her boyfriend painting, the advice might be that he should take an art class with her or something similar. But here the notion that she would ever try to include herself in that part of his life isn’t even on the table.

There are no non-retarded pictures of couples gaming.

I guess I want to open the floor up to you guys to see if any of you have experienced something similar. Has video gaming ever become a problem in your relationship, where one partner takes things way to far, and the other person feels neglected because of it?

Or conversely, are there any opposite stories of couples who happily game together, and it’s one of your primary fun things you do in your relationship? And has this ever come to pass where one partner was initially not a gamer, but ended up being converted?

As for myself? I’m somewhere in the middle. My girlfriend used to love older school titles likes Crash Bandicoot and Sonic the Hedgehog growing up. These days however, between school and more school, she doesn’t have time for games anymore, and as she hasn’t played in years, it can be hard to jump into new titles with complex concepts and control schemes that have evolved far beyond Sega Genesis.

“Honey, your goddamn head is in the way again.”

I’ve tried to teach her Call of Duty and titles like that, and she picked them up pretty quick, but to be competitive, it does take a decent amount of time and practice. Rather, I’ve gotten her into one of my other hobbies, archival TV watching, and so far we’ve made it through every episode of True Blood and Dexter, and are currently finishing up Arrested Development. It’s a fun leisure activity we both enjoy in addition to doing actual “coupley” stuff like dinner and movies and bars and what not.

So gaming isn’t necessarily a bonding point for us, but while she’s doing homework, if I’m done writing I’ll play a game or two, and it’s never an issue. Without her to pull me away though? I would probably be a playing a lot more, which I’m very much willing to admit would be not the best situation.

But the point is, rather than dismissing my hobbies as childish or stupid (it is my job after all to report on these things) she tried to get actively involved, and discovered a bunch of good shows she now likes. Just because you don’t initially understand or appreciate something, does not make you right and the other person wrong and in need of crackpot therapy on Tyra.

So if you have any stories of your own to share about this issue, please feel free in the comments. I’m quite curious to hear what you have to say.





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45 responses so far

  • http://www.the-back-row.com Gill

    When my girlfriend and I first got together, she told me that she really wasn’t into games of any kind – be they board, card or video games. I insisted that she just hadn’t found the right game.

    Five years later, she loves games. We play them all the time. Board games, card games (she actually has a pretty impressively nerdy collection of Magic: The Gathering cards now), and plenty of video games. While we don’t often play the same video games – we used to play a lot of Soul Calibur when I had my old XBox – but it doesn’t bother either one of us if the other just wants to lounge on the couch and play a few dozen rounds of Plants vs. Zombies.

    You’re right on the money when you say that the girl in this clip should try involving herself in her boyfriend’s hobby. And hey, if she doesn’t like video games, it shouldn’t be a big deal. I’ve always hated people who take their relationship problems to a forum like Tyra’s, because of COURSE Tyra is going to side with the complaining girlfriend over the nerdy gamer boyfriend. It’s not an open forum at all.

    Whether Tyra or Ebert realize it or not, video games are here to stay, they are art, and everybody, EVERYBODY plays them. I know people whose grandparents love the Wii. Does that make them childish? Would Tyra accuse them of acting like they were 13?

    In closing, I’d like to point out that Tyra has been in such mindless cinematic drivel as Halloween Resurrection and Coyote Ugly. This woman is not a good judge of what makes quality entertainment.

  • Greg

    I have found some games that I can play with my wife on the Wii – she likes Mario Kart and the New Super Mario Brothers. She also likes the old school 2D games like Streets of Rage (she is a fan of uncomplicated games, she never took to 3D games, not really even something like Mario 64).

    So there are some we can play together, but when I want to get some AC or Halo time in, I really just do it whenever she is otherwise occupied. She could be out with her friends or with her sisters or whatnot, or she could be doing something she likes to do. The challenge is showing them how vast these games can be and convincing them that playing games is a legitimate hobby, not a juvenile undertaking.

    People in a healthy relationship need to mutually recognize that everyone needs time to themselves. The problem that some of my friends have run in to is that their signficant other’s alone time happens while they are at work, so by the time they get home, the girlfriend/wife is ready to spend time together, but the male might need some time to themselves then.

    On the other hand, just like any hobby, one could overindulge and spend too much time on the hobby and not enough time with the significant other. If the only problem in a relationship is that your significant other wants to spend more time with you, you should probably step back and count your blessings lol.

    Tyra banks doesn’t know wtf she is talking about, and I am super disappointed in Morgan Webb, although I think we all know that she is a giant poser.

  • Sideshow

    My wife used to think video games were stupid and a waste of time. Then I got her to try Left 4 Dead. Now all she has to say about video games is, “BOOM! Headshot!”

  • Ian

    I’m having trouble comprehending the issue here. As I post, my wife is in the bedroom playing AC3. She is a rather avid gamer, me, not so much. It gives me time to take care of the things I need to tend to, gives her something that is “hers”, and makes buying gifts a ridiculously simple task. Her life doesn’t need to be defined as a wife and mother, it’s her time to get away for a little while. If she runs into trouble (as happened often in folklore), I can jump to my computer and check out the walk throughs. A relationship needs some kind of external stimuli to survive, if it’s just two people on the couch cuddling 24/7 in a hermetically sealed vacuum, the relationship will suffocate, and ultimately, die.
    I consider myself very fortunate. When my phone rings at work, it’s not “what are you thinking about?”, or “what are you doing?”, it’s “I just beat the Habatrot, can you pick up water on your way home?”
    Tyra is an idiot, I shudder to think of the trouble our relationship would be in if either of us listened to anything she had to say.

  • Erin

    There are so many games out there with great story lines and fun plot elements. I’m a woman and I got hooked on games like Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect, Red Dead Redemption, and even Dragon Age. With each one of these games, my husband would be playing while I did my own thing on the couch (knitting or drawing or reading), but inevitably, I got sucked into the story. At some point in each of these games, my husband would offer to let me drive a bit (mining in ME, jumping around in AC, riding in RDR, dialogue in DA) and before long, he’s lost the controller completely as I’m starting up my own game with my own character (and much to his chagrin, often doing better than he did – “Watch out for that . . . nevermind, you killed him, I died there like 5x”).

    Even when it was just him playing these games, it was all about communication and compromise. I am thoroughly capable of entertaining myself. If I want my husband’s attention, I say “Hey, can we watch a movie in 15 minutes when you get done with this boss?” Sure, there are people who are obsessed with video games but it’s the obsession that’s unhealthy, not the video games themselves. Or, if you are unable to communicate with your partner, that is the problem with your relationship, not the video games that are used as an escape mechanism.

  • Dude

    Wow this was a waste time, too shallow look and games and not to mention amateur hour where we are introduced to types of games addict by ”gaming” goddess.

    Seems that goddess standards are getting lower and lower, you feeling me :)

    Ah and Tyra B. hmmm if she played Atari I will eat my hands of and never play games again :) And I wish I was in that chair instead of that dude, don’t get me wrong he seems cool guy.

    But that condescending attitude from woman who got trough life based on her looks would never fly by me.

  • Sara

    My fiancé and I bonded over two things when we were first dating: webcomics and Morrowind. Though we do play FPS games together on occasion, we’re both more into RPG-type games where there either isn’t multi-player, or it’s a pain in the butt. A typical weekend will see us sitting next to each other on the couch, one person playing on the xbox and the other playing on a laptop.

  • http://www.crystal-lynn.net Crystal

    “My boyfriend has a hobby that I won’t involve myself with. How do I stop him from enjoying his hobby?”

    EXACTLY.

    It’s never been an issue for me as I’m a gamer myself, but there are other interests my fiance has that I myself am not super in to. He loves College Football to a pretty intense level. My Father watched a lot of NFL so I understand the game, but would I watch it on my own? No. But I love him, care about him, and I will participate in watching a game or two or go with him to a game and try to learn about the players.

    And he does the same for me with other stuff. Lucky for him I guess that I’m not super girly, but sometimes yes, I want to go shopping and I want his opinion so he will come with me (but I also don’t give him a hard time if he doesn’t want to go EVERY single time).

    And at times if he wants to go on an all-day football bender and I don’t want to do that all day, I’m my own person, and I can find something else I enjoy doing on my own.

    It’s all about making an effort and taking an interest in your s.o.’s interest and knowing that it’s perfectly OK to do your own thing sometimes too.

    It seems like some women (and I’ve experienced men like this too) except the focus to be all about them all the time. A relationship is a partnership, not a one-way street.

  • http://www.crystal-lynn.net Crystal

    expect, not except. Doh.

    I get so infuriated about this subject that I make a few typos. ;)

  • James

    My girlfriend and I are both gamers. Our taste doesn’t totally overlap – whilst she might be playing Harvest Moon, I may play a few rounds of Black Ops, but there’s a massive overlap in our love for rpgs and mmorpgs.

    I definitely got a bit obsessed with winning the hall of heroes in Guild Wars and neglected her somewhat whilst doing so. In my mind, I would have been letting down my team had I stepped aside as their caller. Of course, she didn’t see it like that, nor should she have done.

    But then, sometime later on, she embarked on a multiple month mission and got kingslayer in WoW with her guild, and without me, despite me being able to out dps or heal pretty much any one on their team. I’m not bitter. Honest. Same situation as before though – she felt loyalty to her guild (which she joined before I started playing), so we’ve both seen both sides of it.

    None of this is new though – no different from balancing time with your friends back in ‘real life’ and time with your significant other. So the real question is, what has it got to do with computer games at all? Couldn’t we be having the exact same conversation about any other hobby?

  • PaBo!

    When I met my girlfriend she hadn’t played any video games in years, but I had my 360 and was playing World of Warcraft, which while she did try it once was not a big fan of. Since then she’s gotten her own DS, love Professor Layton and even has her own profile on my Xbox.

    While she’s never going to pick up Mass Effect and complete one (let alone three) play-through, she did buy herself Mini Ninjas and she is an absolute beast at Soul Calibur 4; plus she always seems to know what I’m doing in my own games because she’ll read while I play or she overhears me talking to my friends about games.

    And to top it all off I work at a game store and she comes and hangs out and knows my co-workers and some of my regulars.

    But of course we never get invited to talk about it on Tyra’s show.

  • matt

    i honestly love rpgs like mass effect and dragon age and i dont know any guy that cries over an rpg, although not gonna lie rpgs have inspired some awe in me because of the story or characters like mass effect and the reapers. and i really doubt that guy is addicted to games as much as his wife says and she seems like a frigid bitch

  • NY not NYC

    Lots of comments. Lots of anger.

    I play a lot of games. My feeling is that akin to the new windows smartphone commercial.

    Y’know? When the dude is laying in bed on his phone and his wife comes out in black lingerie and is all like, oh yeah let’s do this.

    Then the guy doesn’t care? Cuz he’s on his phone?

    Yeah, that’s when it is a problem, and the problem is you shouldn’t be married to that fine slice of heaven in the first place.

    It’s all well and good to like to do something, it’s a whole nother thing when that like turns into not diddling your significant other.

  • Cassandra

    So let me just start off by saying that when I was in high school, I was like that girlfriend on the show, saying that her boyfriend didn’t pay enough attention to her and that he paid too much attention to the games. It may have been true, but in my most recent, and still current relationship, games are a huge part of us. My boyfriend, who is currently going to school to be a game designer, told me how important games were to him from the start. I said as long as he could balance that, going to school, and being in a relationship, I would be fine with it. He got me to try a couple of games, and I got really frustrated at first because it wasn’t natural to me. After a couple of failed attempts at trying to learn, my boyfriend tried one last thing- changing my controller settings to inverted. The second that I tried to play inverted, it clicked for me. I could walk, run, shoot, select things, no problem. Ever since then, we have used games as a way to relax and have fun together. I would have to say, I’m even better at L4D and L4D2 than he is. When I ask him to put down the controller to spend some time away from the game, he doesn’t complain, and I don’t make him quit out before his raid is over. It’s about compromise, and learning to love each other’s passions. I’m sure the guy in the video doesn’t LOVE shopping, (assuming that she does) but I’ll bet that he goes with her sometimes, because he knows she loves it.

  • Micktrex

    I own a PS3. My girlfriend owns an Xbox360. We both play together on either console and there have never been problems with one of us gaming too much. We get equally excited about upcoming titles for our respective consoles (sometimes her more than me).
    She doesn’t just play ‘girly’ games either. She loves bioshock, left4dead and bought greenday and the beatles rockband packages. She still has her vices that one could deem ‘girly games’, but when your girlfriend is enthusiastic to take on a zombie apocalypse with you, you forget about them easily. It even allows her to still appear feminine and not just one of the guys.

    My advice would be: If you want a girlfriend/boyfriend who won’t nag you about your gaming hobby — date a gamer.

  • WakyWizerdX

    My girlfriend had never owned a video game system until she got a wii last year, she has an older brother too which makes it kind of weird. My hobby has never been an issue, but I also don’t play video games for several hours a day. So I don’t make a great example. But I did teach my girlfriend how to play the Kingdom Hearts. She liked it.

  • Juan Antonio

    Well first of all I just want to kill Tyra after watching that, it just goes to show how ignorant she can be sometimes and how sometimes you can be a bit feminist but not be so closed to other points of view. I have a great relationship and my girlfriend actually knows I will never grow up when it comes to comics, movies and videogames and shes accepted that, although shes not a great gamer she tries to play some adventure games with simpler straightforward tasks, but she rather enjoys watching the stories in other videogames I play such as ASSASSINS CREED BROTHERHOOD. Also shes kind of proven to know how to work it out with me so we spend more time together she lets me play on her brothers console while she lays down next to me and since I have a pretty much a good attention span I can play and talk to her at the same time. Sometimes I even try to invite her in trying out some games which she fails at to tell you the truth but its the interest that counts so Im way with you on the couples should take interest in each others hobbies instead of trying to change them, I mean come on if you love a guy or girl youre supposed to take them as a whole not make them fit YOUR lifestyle. Thanks for posting this.

  • Dave

    My girlfriend isn’t a convert to the cult of video games. She started off with the gateway stuff like the Brain Training stuff on the DS and the generic Wii titles. Then it was Professor Layton.

    Now she’s won Arkham Asylum and I’m coming home to find her tearing up Empire City on Infamous.

    Never been prouder.

  • GamerEly

    whenever my girlfriend gave me flack for playing games i told her, oh well, sit there, honestly if she’s at my apartment then shes gotta do what normally happens there. my best friend on the other hand, would hide his online status in his ps3 because he was AFRAID his girlfriends brother would see that he’s online and tell her. i dont know why girls absolutely hate video games, but i think it’s outrageous that she brought him onto a show for that, should have stood up for himself

  • Meghann

    I’m really disgusted with Morgan Webb in this. -She- should know better. Her description for fantasy games made it sound like a dark kidnapping fetish simulator. What the heck is wrong with her? My boyfriend likes fantasy games, doesn’t really care for FPS (neither do I) and we both like adventure games like Uncharted and Tomb Raider (along with other genres.)

    We don’t play multiplayer games (if we had a 2nd console to do online play together, we probably would.) but we both help each other if someone (usually me) gets stuck in a section.

    Also, it doesn’t legitimize it for Tara that his boss plays them? Obviously it isn’t interfering with his work, so he can’t be -that- obsessed.

    If she noticed he was still playing those annoying video games a whole year after dating him, why’d she stick with him for an additional six? It couldn’t have been that bad. Surely she’s getting laid, and if anything, his hands are probably more dexterous thanks to those games.

    I wish there was someone brave in the crowd to stand up and defend the guy and video games.

  • Meghann

    Also, I love that it was pointed out this isn’t about gaming, it’s about not wanting to show an interest in one’s significant other’s hobbies. If it was painting or something similar, it wouldn’t be an issue.

    Also, on the fantasy game idea that why save a princess when you have a real woman at home, women read romance novels with perfect hot guys who always pleasure the woman? How isn’t that worse?

  • Drester

    Maybe I’m just ignorant, but I’m quite surprised by the amount of married and female commenters on this post. Maybe I’m just brainwashed by “There are No Girls on the Internet”.

    Got to love Morgan Webb with her stereotypical gamer types. Guess I’m a romantic guy who wants to fight evil in the world world with a wish to ever be a pro athlete. The only console my girlfriend will play with is the Wii. She’s not a fan of “real” games and really won’t include herself in my hobby. Not that I mind, I also need my alone time. She’s a big fan of movies, so we already got a hobby together.

  • Rob J

    My girlfriend isn’t much of a gamer but I play PS3 and PC games somewhat often but we have enjoyed spending time together playing games on her Wii or PS2 or my PS3. It depends on your personality’s but if you can keep it fun and play games both of you enjoy playing then theres a lot of fun to be had :)

    Co-op games are definitely a bonding experience. I rented a Resident Evil light gun shooter game for her Wii and we blasted through it in an afternoon and for once I found someone who I never would of though actually enjoyed killing zombies more than I did.

    I’m in kind of a long distance relationship but I see her regularly and at one point I needed money to see her and had to trade in all my PS3 games to see her. She felt really bad about it and actually bought me some games like toy story 3 for my birthday that we enjoyed playing through together.

    Seeing the ridiculous sales of the Wii and the DS and that apparently there are now nearly as many gamer girls as the are gamer guys I fail to see how the show makes any sense. Then what would you expect from Tara Banks…the girl might be “beautiful” but her IQ is like 12 and she seems to think running her mouth every opportunity she gets is a way to make up for that one chocolate bar she had 6 years ago.

  • Gigi

    Well, my boyfriend wasn’t as into gaming as now when we met. Then he mentioned how BADLY he wanted a Ps3 and I ended up buying it for him as a surprise. Only then did I realise I’d given him something which equalled much less couples time lol.
    But it never turned into an issue. I finally got into playing online (on Ps3).

    The only time it turned into an issue for me was when he and his friends turned it into a daily routine, where’d they’d meet online and play Modern Warfare 2 literally every single day for hours. And it was like he HAD to be online during those hours to meet them (with mic chat, etc.)… every… single… day. He lost interest in doing other fun activities with me.
    Then I also got into Modern Warfare and understood his obsession with the game (slightly). When Black Ops (the next Modern Warfare) came out, they stopped their “routine” and things are normal again.

    Lesson: I definitly think girls should try and maybe get into it a bit (unless it’s realllly not their thing) so they can understand what even makes gaming fun. This is a well written article with so much truth to it and a point of view so many women fail to see (myself included from time to time).

    Making your boyfriend stop doing something that’s fun to him is like your bf telling you not to do something you love (e.g. shopping, browsing fashion sites, spending money on nice jewelry or make-up, sports or gyming, etc). I think it’s acceptable to ask for a bit more attention or consideration though.

    If you don’t feel like gaming with him find something else to do in the meantime.

  • Janski

    My future wife beats my sorry ass in Tekken every single time. She’s a fighting game natural. Also, we meet up with two friends from time to time for an all night bender of network-PC-shooting-madness (Left 4 Dead 1+2, Borderlands, etc.). She bought me the original Mega Man 2 cartridge for NES I had wanted for many years for my birthday and I had no idea, I cried a little because I was so moved.

  • Chandamyaya

    Neither my husband nor I owned a game system when we first met — we played 2ed Dnd!

    Today, video games are a point of contention with us. HE wants to play Halo; I want to play Gears of War. Maybe we should go on Tyra …

  • Jordan

    after getting fallout 3 i locked myself in my room turned out all the lights and flipped off my phone because i wanted to get myself sucked into the game and because of that one night of ignoring text messages from anyone who texted me i went to school the next day and got the choice of choosing between my xbox and my girlfriend. i picked the xbox.

  • trashcanman

    Excellent article, Mr. Tassi. Webb should know better than to appear on crap like that. Man, that girl NEVER misses an opportunity to bash Final Fantasy. Even if she has to go on a show actively denigrating gamers as a whole, she’ll take that chance. And as much as I love Morgan, her pop-psych crap was flat lame. I play all of those types of games. I’m a gamer. I do it because it is fun. I don’t value professional athletics in the least, I’m not combating myself or anyone else, and I give my wife all the love she can handle and often more than she can stand. Aeris was not some stand-in for my lost love (liked Tifa more), I just very much enjoy playing games, be if for fantastic story or just blowing stuff up. And I guarantee you I am better read and kinder person than some model/talk show host or “diva” or whatever the hell Ms. Banks is. I’m not 13 either. When I was 13, I watched moronic shows like hers. Then I grew up and realized that doing things I enjoy (no matter what it is) is much more mature than sitting in front of tv judging people I don’t even know in some pathetic attempt make myself feel more normal. Oh, and that guy’s girlfriend seems like a grade A pain in the ass. If that look on her face is any indication of what she’s like in person, I couldn’t put up with her for a day.

  • Frank

    I have had a number of girlfriends in the past who have complained about me playing video games. My response came pretty fast. Don’t like it ? Get out.

    I have had many friends who had similar problems, and they have a much harder time putting their foot down on it. Look, this is who I am and what I do. Either deal with it or I will find someone else. Too many females think they are the center of the universe. They need a wake up call that they aren’t. Plenty more of them out there.

    Anyone who thinks video games are only for those that are 13 are clearly having a hard time coping with being an adult. They should seek consulting for it.

    Years later I married someone who plays video games her self. Not nearly as much as I do, but she respects my space and I respect hers. We both live a successful fun life as well.

  • Alex

    There is no words to describe the smallness of a mans balls who lets his wife drag him on that kind of show with that issue.

  • Iana

    I’m WAY late to the commenting party, but I was never a gamer at all growing up. Then I met my boyfriend, who introduced me to Diablo 2, the first game I ever really played. I bought him WoW for Christmas the first year it came out, and a couple of months later, bought it for myself so I could play with him. My gaming skills are nowhere near his, which occasionally causes a bit of frustration on his part, I’m sure, but he never tires of my stupid questions. I love that we play WoW together, and it’s one of the main things we do. And for the periods of time we’ve lived apart (different schools, etc.), it was awesome to be able to continue to spend time with him exactly the way I would if we were sitting next to each other. Whenever I hear girls complaining about their boyfriends spending too much time playing WoW, I just laugh.

  • Charlie Ward

    Before me, the only video game my wife had ever played was “Primal Rage”. Now she plays Halo every day (she’s almost beaten “Reach” on Legendary, something I’m honest to enough to admit that I will never, EVER be able to do), and has independently beaten X-Men Legends 1 & 2, KOTOR 2 (couldn’t get into 1, for some insane reason), every Spyro game (even the awful ones) and the first two Fables. As for asking me to stop playing. . .yeah, she’s never done that.

  • #Simmer

    My boyfriend is a serious hardcore gamer. He spends nearly all his spare time playing them.

    Do I hate him for it? No. Some our best memories together are sitting on half a chair each, bashing the old keyboard in front of us, squealing in delight as we blow up his brother’s gold mine.

    I really think that the girls who complain that their boyfriends game too much, are the ones that want their boyfriend to come shoe shopping with them, EVERY time.

  • A

    Alright… so , a few days ago I happened upon this website while searching for advice on how to help my relationship, as my boyfriend is a gamer. We have a long distance relationship, and much of our conversations happen over skype.

    I went into this relationship knowing that my man is a gamer, but I guess I didn’t realize all that it entailed. Our conversations on skype soon became almost one-sided because he was playing online with his friends. I am not the jealous type, but I felt sad a lot because it sometimes felt that I was coming second to a video game. I respect that my boyfriend has a life and that he has hobbies that he enjoyed before ever meeting me. That said, I would never think of asking him to change who he is or what he does with his time, so I decided to buy an xbox for myself and so far, I think its the best decision I could have made :) .

    It allows us to spend more time together, and I can actually get to know his friends a bit, too. He seems to be very happy that I’ve taken an interest in his hobbies, and it really makes a difference in how I feel. As of right now, I still suck at gaming, but we are having fun. In the long run, that’s what really matters.

    So ladies and gentlemen, if you are in a similar situation and felt the same way I did, then I really recommend trying to compromise with your significant other. It doesn’t hurt to try something new, and I’m sure your significant other will be thrilled that you are taking an interest in something that they like to do. In the long run, it will likely help your relationship :)

  • Melissa

    I am in need for some help or advice. My boyfriend and I have been going out for a year and a half, when we first moved in together I did not know how much of a gamer he was. I to would play video games before I met him and had no problem with his hobby but now that we have our own place all he does is play world of warcraft. I have tried playing with him but its just not my cup of tea. We both work Monday thru Friday and get home around the same time after work. He has raids Tuesday thru Thursday but that’s not the only time he plays. When he gets home after work on days when he doesn’t even raid he plays, and its not just for a couple of hours, no, he will play until the early a.m.. every single day he spends playing on that computer. I try to involve myself or tell him to spend more time with me but he always says that this is the kind if person he is and I am not accepting that. All I want is for him to spend a minimum amount of time with me. I know he’s a home body and doesn’t like going out much and I can deal with that but he doesn’t even take any interest when I tell him we can play other games together. I honestly think that he would end our relationship over this, we keep arguing about this subject and he doesn’t even realize that I’m not asking for much. I don’t know what else I could do and I think it would be a downright dumb reason for us to break up. I’m willing to work on this but I don’t think he is. Any advice would be great!!!!!

  • Liza

    My boyfriend loves video games and I am not much into them. I tried getting into them and played a bit but I got bored easily…just not my thing…but at least I tried. I don’t care that he plays cause I have my addictions too. I’m more into theater and musicals than electronics but because we are so different I feel as though we don’t have a strong connection and I think he feels the same way. I’m always watching what he likes and listen to music he likes but he never seems to enjoy things I watch and listen to. Its always been about him and what he wants. It isn’t just games. The games are the least of our problems. I don’t see this relationship lasting much longer

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFs1WZPrEQw Randy

    Disgruntled wives of video game players should call these guys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFs1WZPrEQw (Not really–the video’s all in fun. I’m a gamer and my wife isn’t, and we both get a chuckle out of this.)

  • Hannah

    I think it’s right for her to try to integrate herself into his hobby and at least try it out. That way, she can say she tried it, and it shouldn’t be a big deal. When my boyfriend and I first started dating six months ago, we actually bonded over video games-and still do. It’s one of our favorite things to do together. The only problem I’ve experienced so far is that video games can get old, as much as I love them, but there needs to be a balance. My boyfriend is very introverted naturally, so he doesn’t like to go out much and try new things. We maybe go out a few times a month and hang out with friends together.
    As to the girls that don’t prefer to play video games themselves, (Melissa), maybe it’s just not the right relationship, or the guy is not at the same level of maturity. Because even though I’m a gamer myself, I still make time for everything else (school, visiting family, friends, dates), and so should he.

  • Krysta

    As a female gamer, I dont feel pity for this guy in the least. He obviously cares about her enough to expose himself on national television and allow a self conceited prick like Tyra Banks tell him how to live his life, (although I believe he thinks this girl is his golden ticket to good looks or something, shes much better looking then him). Furthermore, I feel he doesnt have the esteem to stand up to her, which reflects poorly on him and illustrates her in a negative way as well.

    My boyfriend and I both play sci fi games, watch sci fi shows, watch anime, cosplay together, and obsess over Warren Ellis.
    We also hike, talk about science, politics and history.

    My other main hobby, music, doesnt conflict with our relationship. I am an avid guitar player, and he has no problem letting me play while he works on other activities. Simply put, if you cant coexist and find balance then get out of the damn relationship.

    I admit Im not a conventional female, but my non geek female friends have interests that draw their significant others to them. I personally dont associate with females who are trendy and watch shows like the Kardashians or the Jersey Shore. There are plenty of guys who enjoy mainstream media garbage as well.

  • Audra

    I am a woman and my boyfriend is a gamer, I knew he was going into our relationship. The gaming is what attracted me to my boyfriend, I was a closet nerd! I’ve watched him play countless games in titles like, StarCraft, Halo, Assassin’s Creed, WOW, the list goes on. I started to play a little bit, and then he would start to tease me. “I bet you can’t ever beat this level” and when I would want his help, “I’m not helping you, you have to figure it out.” It made me competitive, and I would keep trying until I finished a sequence. I have no problem entertaining myself while he’s on the xbox. But when I don’t feel like playing, I usually sit next to him on the couch reading or playing on the internet. He can play for hours straight, but I get tired of it. That’s when I suggest a movie or a tv show. We compromise a lot of the time. I don’t always want him to play, but he doesn’t always want to go shopping. We just do it because it’s what you do in a relationship. You bend and compromise to make the other happy. And if you’ve got a good significant other, they’re doing the same thing for you.

  • Kasey

    Me and my boyfriend have been together for a year and a half and we just moved in together. I am a gamer myself and I’ve been gaming all my life, but since we moved in together he has literally done nothing but play X Box. And I’ve tried involving myself with him but he’s only interested in playing one person games like Skyrim and WOW. I ask him daily if he would go on a walk with me, or go to the movies or if we could get a hobby together and he isn’t willing to take interest in my hobbies at all, or even spending one on one time with me for that matter. Every time I ask him to spend time with me it turns into a fight. Its driving me insane. Mostly because its not a couple hours a day thing. He will wake up in the morning, and play till he falls asleep. The only time he pays attention to me is on the loading screen. I have no problem with him playing games. But when its 14 to 15 hours a day Theres something wrong. Its destroying our sex life, im not even remotely sexually attracted to him because he’s so lazy and gives me no emotional or mental stimulation whatsoever, and its ruining our relationship. He doesn’t talk to me at all about anything other than games. He never cleans up after himself and i have to beg him to help me do anything.. I don’t know what to do, i know it would be shallow to break up over something like this, but this is NOT what i want out of a relationship.

  • Amy

    This article really spoke to me, because it describes my relationship really well. My boyfriend is an avid gamer. It never interfered before, but lately it has really picked up, and our relationship has become more passive than ever, we barely spend time together without a screen being involved, either a tv or computer. So I felt a little annoyed when your solution was to just “play the game”, and then provided an example of a painter who wants her boyfriend to get involved with art, and is justly allowed to want that. I am an artist, granted not a painter. I’m a traditional and digital artist, and it is a deep passion of mine. I have always expressed my desire to have an art collaboration, yet the lack of opportunity because no one I know could draw, including him. I instead asked if he could bounce off ideas for a comic series or something, maybe we could come up with something together, as a creative collaboration. He showed absolutely no interest whatsoever. He told me he has no interest in drawing and no creative ability.

    I really think “just play the game” is an adequate solution. It is well known to him that I think that too much gaming interferes with the relationship. On one occasion he had a game that had an excellent storyline, and we watched the whole storyline play out together. I really enjoyed that, although I didn’t get any gameplay at all because it was a one player game. I liked that we at least shared the storyline, and the storyline was pretty cool (Bioshock, if anyone’s wondering).
    But then that game was over, and he needed a new game. And it didn’t play out like the last time. We wouldn’t watch the storyline play out together. He would buy a new game that has like 50 hours of game time, start it up without me, let the plot progress, and now it was no longer fun as an audience. So I had no desire to play. So he would progress with 50hrs+ in a game I had no interest in, and it wouldn’t bother me, until he finished that game and the cycle repeated a few more times. On the rare occasion we collaborated with a game, like Fable III, and we could play together. I loved it. And I realized I loved RPGs. Then my boyfriend got heavy with FPS, which was something I tried to get into, many times, but simply never really developed an interest or skill for. Yet he would continue playing it, and unlike the storyline games, the hours are endless. So since it isn’t really an audience friendly game, I go do my own thing. I’m entertained by my activity, but we spend hours apart barely interacting.

    Then comes the computer games. We had more success with us both participating in those types of games, but the thing was, it felt so impersonal. We each have a separate screen while in the same room. An it started to become so impersonal that we would even talk to each other over instant message, rather than talk to each other in person while in the same room. After of hours of this all day, and the only in person attention that I get is when we fall asleep together, it started getting really impersonal and lonely. I don’t think I’m being selfish or wrong for wanting a boyfriend that has common interests, I’m not going to make anyone change for me, I just think it’s wrong how I tried to get into his interests, but he refuses to get into mine.

  • AMC

    My boyfriend plays games all the time. I am a gamer myself..so I understand. I don’t mind him playing games…as long as it doesn’t effect our relationship. What gets me is the gamer rage. I hate when he hurts himself in real life because he is mad at a game.

  • Rina

    Me and my boyfriend met online through Xbox live on Gears of war.. I was the queen of that game and Halo back then. Lol yes I’m bragging..

    Him and I would play video games, Skype, talk everyday.. Games games games.. I was addicted. We were addicted.. We have been together for 5 years but I’ve known him for 7.. We had a long distance relationship as well and was well worth it..

    I just moved in with him last year.. That was when I started college, working, and hate the feeling of learning to grow up and it sucked.. Especially bills! fuck that shit… All those changes made me have a less pleasure to play video games with him..

    He dropped out of his college and just works now and I really want him to be successful instead of play those RPG’s online like League of Legends, WoW, Guild.. Sigh.. I wish he would use all that gaming for a career.. Or make money out of it.. Lol.. Because his video gaming is so unhealthy…

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not a bad girlfriend I don’t force him to stop playing when I wish he could because he plays more than 50+ hours on his games and lanning.. Don’t laugh but I used to play Minecraft and was addicted while he played..

    He tried it and didnt like it and trust me I played wow, lol, guild, kingdom hearts, final fantasy, sims, phantasy star, Zelda, Mario, walking dead comic game, dead island, call of duty zombies, all Cod games, and halo with him and I loved it!!! But I can’t explain it when you do the same thing everyday it gets annoying.. We just stay home and I just stay home and wait to do something fun with him.. I don’t know!! Gosh

    I just want to try something new like hiking, biking, going to the gym together, going to the park, walking our corgi, cooking together, camping, trying out new restaurants, taking road trips and having crazy sex somewhere on his car, idk!!! I suggest all these things with him but he doesn’t get into it! I’m like wtf babe seriously….

    It hit me on my birthday after I came back from spending a week with my parents because I missed them.. It’s a complicated story.. anyways, I came back it was my birthday… I feel really rude and stupid for saying this but I expected a lot from him… He picked me up from the airport with his friend and my boyfriend didnt get me anything.. No flowers or a card… I wanted to cry and I actually did when I came home and went straight to the bathroom and told him I was going to shower.. I just sat there in this emotional stupid feeling state and started crying and thought I deserved better while I was sitting in the shower..

    I’m crying right now just thinking about it, it even got worse.. Sigh.. I got done and him and his friend were in the room watching football and my boyfriend asked me if he can play wow.. What the fuck am I supposed to say when his friend is around?? No you dumbass it’s my birthday I’m the princess! But I just said yeah… And just watched the football game.. Right then and there I felt like… Gosh.. Can you just take me back to the airport and I’ll just fly back to my parents and find a guy who can be more thoughtful and have some common sense??

    Anyways it was our anniversary a little back and he played video games the same with last year.. Fucking shit idk what to do.. I’ve been with him for so long and put up with his gaming shit for a while now.. I guess ever since my birthday I’ve held this bad grudge I even tell him today.. He says sorry and says he will change but I don’t want anyone changing for me.. He told me that a long time ago..

    Maybe I should just break up with him but it’s too hard because he won’t let me and will try to bring his romantic side or cry to me and force me to not leave him.. Fuck. This is insane. Whatever ill just have time tell me. xx

  • Kyra

    I’m kind of in a different situation. I am a gamer. I like gaming a lot. But, I feel like that’s all we do. On my days off, we’ll have spent ALL day playing video games. Not a single moment doing something else, but if I don’t hang out with him virtually, I don’t see him at all.

    It gets annoying always having to ‘just play games with him’ to have something to do together. Not only is it making me bitter towards gaming (something I used to love to do), I feel that there should be some give and take.

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