Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gaming and Relationships.


(Inspired by this link. Note, this blog post primarily is attributed to MMORPGs (such as World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Age of Conan, Aion etc) but I guess it can be applied to other games as well that require a lot of player commitment.)


I was reading (lurking) through the Allakhazam forums earlier today and I came upon this thread. (See: Link above.) Olorinus talks about how her girlfriend is accepting and willing to put up with her gaming "addiction", so to say. And she was curious about how other people in the Final Fantasy XIV community are able to handle the commitment of an MMORPG as well as a real-life relationship. There was a variety of responses from ones that had girlfriends/boyfriends that found their gaming to be tolerable, to a guy whose girlfriend thinks video games make people stupid and he ends up admitting to the whole community that he only wants her for sex.

My response is: "I don't even consider having a relationship with someone who isn't a gamer. Well, personal preference anyway.". A handful of people seem to have agreed with me seeing that it got an "Excellent" rating. (Of course it's biased based on the people I was posting to. Preaching to the choir?) But my response rings true. I don't consider girls who do not play video games as dating/relationship material. Someone might come reading this and call me a shallow asshole, but I call it efficiency.

I find gaming to be fairly important in my life. Not only is it my dream career to be a video game designer, but I do gaming as my primary form of recreation. I don't spend my time going to parties, drinking, or gambling, I like experiencing a good game in my spare time, and if I am seeing someone who does not even like what is such an integral part of my life, why would I think to spend any of my personal time with them?

Now, I'm not saying this as an excuse to not do anything else with the person. But in the thread above, some relationships are seriously suffering from the fact that some of the men or women involved on the other end find games to be a nuisance or driving a large rift within the relationship. I agree with the fact that one can't ever completely ignore the other person in the relationship in the sense of just a game, but instead of games driving two people in a relationship apart, why not use games as means to bring two people in a relationship closer together? In a sense, it's a great way to spend some quality time.

There are lots of guys (as well as some girls) that would kill to have a significant other that plays the same game with them. For a while, I had a girlfriend that played the same MMO that I did and we had lots of enjoyable time as a duo, and I considered it to be one of the main aspects of bringing us closer together. I also have friends that have invited their girlfriends to their World of Warcraft game and level and do content with them (some even go the extra mile and pay for their account too). I actually find it to be quite a sweet gesture to see couples like that. They are willing to try new things and explore each others interests rather than shutting them off and "putting up with it".

Of course, this doesn't mean to cop out and be cheap and use gaming as an alternative to going out and actually doing stuff with your significant other. It's important to spend one-on-one time doing real life activities as well, I just wish games wouldn't be so streamlined and stereotyped towards just one person and driving wedges where they shouldn't be.

I also want to make it clear that I'm not being selfish and applying it to just the gamer. People in general should take time to explore what the other person in the relationship likes. Get to know their interests and try them out, don't treat it as a hassle, but rather as an opportunity to get to know the person better.


(I just realized I wrote this blog post on the release date of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Irony?)
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