Editorial: Gaming While in a Relationship

Two Girls Love Pillow
Not My Girlfriend

Relationships are a complex entity that come in many different forms. No one relationship is the same as any other. The way relationships are crafted is much like clay, you have to work the clay from a formless blob to something of beauty. Assuming your relationship is a functional one. You can be in a relationship where two individuals are just in a complete state of lust and feel nothing but lust towards each other. Then you have the people who do truly love each other and want their relationship to work. As humans I believe we need relationships to keep going, if you be gay, straight, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transsexual you will always need someone to share your life with.

What does this have to do with gaming you may ask? Well, quite a lot actually. Last August, I wrote an editorial about relationships in games. I listed my top three relationships, each being from a different era in gaming history. Now I am back once again talking about relationships. As many of the readers and staff know, I am in a relationship right now. For those who care, know it is going well and I am really happy with the girl I am currently going out with. But there is one thing, it is kind of long distance. Please, spare me from your comments of “It will not work out” or “It is doomed to fail”. I know the record of long distance relationships is not the best one. So, with that being said I do tend to spend A LOT of time on Skype just talking to her. Sometimes, when we both have school off, entire days will be spent just talking and looking at each other on Skype.

Now, instead of playing games on my days off, I am talking to her all day. This can be a bit of a problem when you work at a site that is centered around writing and talking about video games. But, being the somewhat clever guy I think myself to be, I came up with a plan – and by “came up with a plan” I mean I did what Lusipurr told me what to do. You see back in the day my girlfriend and her parents used to all play World of Warcraft together, but she quit when her parents stopped playing shortly after Wrath of the Lich King content was completed. Thus began a month long process of trying to get her to reactivate her WoW account. Finally, about two weeks ago, I sent her a scroll of resurrection and we both rolled Pandarens. Myself a Monk and my girlfriend a Hunter and we are having a blast. I have to say it is fun to have someone you really, really like playing an MMO with you.

World of Warcraft US Boxart
World of Warcraft Bringing Couples Together Since 2004

But what about my console games? The console games I play are usually heavily single player based with large amounts of play time needed to beat them. I have tried playing games while we are on Skype together, but that is kind of awkward seeing as I am commenting on the game and she cannot see what I am playing, also it seems kind of rude to not be paying attention to her. This is the problem I ran into with the Final Fantasy XII playthrough. So I would finish talking to her on Skype at about 9:00 PM my time and then would sit down to try and play FFXII, but I would be so done with the day I would give up about half way through my session and just go to bed.

Although oddly enough I can play Xenoblade Chronicles and not feel super rude when we are on Skype together. I find this really odd seeing that my girlfriend is a video game fan but, has not really been into current video game culture until I started bringing her back into it with introducing her to this site and other sites like Lusipurr.com. So maybe I just need to let her borrow some of my games so she gets the type of games I am into. Would things be easier if we lived closer together? We could play single player games together, with trading off the controller when the other one dies. Have you ever been in this sort of situation readers? Do you have some favoriate games to play with your loved one? Are you going to be playing Final Fantasy VI with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Let me know in the comments and I hope you had a safe Halloween.

10 comments

  1. Ya know it’s much more difficult to FIND somebody that you can enjoy spending time with doing the same things together. I would love to have somebody I could share gaming with and at the same time a good relationship.

  2. My wife used to play Legend of Mana when she was in college because her friend suggested it to her. However, she hasn’t ever really played games before that nor after. After we got married I introduced her to Starcraft and she became obsessed with destroying the computer. It got scary and she wouldn’t go to sleep until she won. I asked her to give up playing Starcraft after that. Then we played Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and we had a WONDERFUL time. She got totally obsessed with casting Fire on everything she could. Since then, I haven’t found a single 2 player co-op game on the PS3that I thought we could enjoy together. Are there any recommendations?

  3. @Korusi Yeah, I am really thankful that I 1) have someone that I enjoy spending time with and 2) is even remotely interested in video games.

    @TLZ I can’t read that comment without hearing you say the word “Mana”. Keep playing FFCC, it’s a good couples game.

    @Lusipurr Yes

  4. I AM going to comment on the long distance thing, but only because I have positive things to say. I’ve only had one long-distance relationship – when the girl I was dating lived in Kingston, Ontario for school, but it was one of the most positive drama-free relationships I’ve been in. The reason we eventually broke up was not the distance, and in fact, the distance was good for allowing to give each other independence.

    In terms of balance, that’s always going to be the case with two important time-consuming things in your life. Both games and a lover are worth your time and full attention, but it makes sense that in the beginning period, your time priorities will lean toward fostering your relationship. The important thing is that you both understand when the time eventually comes when you’re not able to dedicate that much time every day any more. It sounds like a healthy relationship, therefore she’ll be understanding, if not a little sad, if you really need some video game time, and you’ll be the same way if she has important things in her life to tend to or if she needs time to herself.

    But as full-fledged gamers, I don’t think the importance of having a lover who either shares or supports our passion for games can be understated. It’s an important, legitimate part of our lives and if it’s trivialized or not taken seriously, there will be issues.

    I’m lucky too in that my girlfriend is a life-long gamer, so a common pasttime for us will be gaming. We play Majora’s Mask together, beat Limbo together, and NSMBW is a common standby. We also started a Kingdom Hearts game too because I’m trying to slowly convert her into an RPG fan.

  5. Lol like gamers can or should have relationships with real humans

  6. @Bokeh: I think that sort of mentality is ultimately detrimental to the entire approach of gamers to non-gamers and vice versa. In a graduate class I taught on World of Warcraft this week, that was the initial thinking of some of the non-gaming students–that somehow games represented an uncrossable divide to the detriment of the non-gamer in the relationship, but I pointed out that there are many hobbies and pastimes which take as much or even more of a time investment. What is important is being honest up-front about what one’s interests are, in a relationship. So that, if you are a woman who requires a high-to-near-constant degree of attendance and presence from your partner, maybe don’t date a fellow whose hobbies are sailing round the world in a yacht, or mountain climbing, or hardcore WoW raiding.

    That said, there are plenty of opportunities for gamers to date non-gamers; I’ve done so and, I should not hesitate to add, it was much easier more recently than, say, ten years ago. There are so many games now, and of such a broad variety, and targetted at every conceiveable audience, that there is almost certainly *some* sort of game that even a current ‘non-gamer’ can appreciate. Moreover, many gamer-oriented games have now reached levels of graphical and audio fidelity that they may prove interesting purely as a visual experience, as a former girlfriend found WoW to be.

    So, in short, I think it is somewhat fallacious (and perhaps even a negative act) to uncritically promote the idea that a gamer cannot have a successful relationship with a non-gamer. Whilst it is certainly easier for people with similar hobbies to get along, there are many instances of the obverse. Pretending this is not the case, and advocating it as a ‘social truth’, only perpetuates the myth and makes it harder to overcome.

  7. Hi there, I’m on the other side of the relationship – happily dating a gamer :)

    He’s into games like LoL and Starcraft, and I’ve given some games a go but they’re really not my type of thing. We still find ways to bond over his hobby though, e.g. we often watch pro tournaments together, or he explains some of the strategy behind his play style. I think he’s pleased when I show interest and put effort into trying to understand the game and memorising names of players and champions. Not sure if it would translate over to the games you play, but maybe these are the types of things you could do with your girlfriend – organise a Skype date watching an exciting stream together!

  8. Nothing more romantic than watching the GSL together. My girlfriend is a gamer, but doesn’t know the progamer scene. But now that she’s seen enough to know some big names and basic rules, she’s mentioned it’s gotten her even more nerd cred when she can join in mild StarCraft conversations.

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