Go On, Give It A Go!
From the way these girls were carrying on you would have thought that a single woman had gone around, slept with all their boyfriends and cooked them ‘brinner’ afterwards. Whoever this tramp was, she was tearing relationships apart left right and centre – and the passive aggressive Facebook statuses were pouring out of the devastation like the blood from a head wound. Who was this temptress that had decimated all these relationships in the course of a few hours? In one fell swoop she had ended the true-love stories of so many on my feed, and the relationship statuses were changed to prove it [Nomygod!]. Her name? Well, she was none other than our very own Modern Warfare 3.
It’s been a good couple of months for gamers, release wise at least. Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Skyrim, Saints Row the Third; we’ve been lucky. But, judging by the angry and bitter updates that are flung out by the girls on my ‘friends’ list, the past few months have been hell for them. To list them all would be pointless, so I have provided you with a few select samples taken from my very own feed [grammar and spelling cleaned up for your own convenience].
“Seriously? What the fuck does he see in those stupid video games? They’re stupid and pointless”.
“wtf? I don’t get why he plays cod so much. Video games are so stupid – they’re for kids.”
“I can’t believe my boyfriend is ignoring me for a stupid video game?!”
“My boyfriend is so pathetic – all he does is play cod all day. He hasn’t spoken to me for ages. Well he’s not my boyfriend anymore! I don’t date losers!”
And, of course, the inevitable “COD sucks!”
My initial reaction was one of rage. These girls were selfish pricks who were angry about their boyfriends enjoying a little time to themselves. Most of them (I can guarantee you) have never held a controller in their life, other than to remove it from their partners’ hands. The difference between an RTS and FPS would escape them entirely (I’m sure if I asked them the difference their reaction would be to flick their hair, remove the eyelash curlers from their view and whine “who gives a fuck? I’m far more important”). I challenged all of them, asking if they themselves had given the game a go, explaining that they might find more enjoyment in it than they would care to admit; it’s so much easier to judge something we don’t understand than to accept it. Of course they all ignored me and continued to rant about how their boyfriends were neglectful assholes and that they, quite frankly, deserved much better.
I then asked them “How many times has your boyfriend been dragged out shopping for clothes? How many times have you implored him to sit with you to watch Twilight, or did you make him pay for you both to sit through both Sex and the City films? How much stuff does he do without question in the name of love?” By then end I was begging them to at least try gaming before they knocked it, explaining that their openly-hating-their-partners pastime wasn’t attractive and that they wouldn’t stand for it if their boyfriends publicly berated their hobbies, so why should they? How these guys could put up with such self-important and jealous partners, I don’t know.
But then I got to thinking – perhaps they’re not all too wrong. I’ve known many people who have taken their gaming to an obsessive level and have let it get in the way of a healthy social life. Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of it to an extent. I myself have often sat down to play an hour, and looked at the clock in disbelief three hours later. So how does this affect those around us? It must be difficult for someone who isn’t of a gaming nature to understand the addictive quality of a particular release. So why then, don’t those who suffer with a jealous girlfriend try to get her involved? Games have split screen co-op for a reason. For me, there isn’t a better night in than curling up under a quilt with my boyfriend, some good snacks, and a co-op game.
How will your girlfriend understand your enjoyment if you exclude her from it? I’m not saying play every game with her, but if you help her understand what’s going on she might show a genuine interest. Get her involved, make her feel loved and share your enjoyment. And if she still doesn’t understand it? Then maybe pause the game every once in a while. Kiss her on the cheek, make her a cup of tea, send her a soppy text or tell her how important she is. She’s feeling neglected for a reason. And if your partner still can’t understand how important your hobby is? Stand up for yourself. For every hour of America’s Next Top Model [or your partner's equivalent] demand an hour of game time. It’s only fair.
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