Thought Catalog

The Games Guys Play

  • 0

Guys and videogames. There they sit: asses glued to the couch, eyes transfixed, their attention leaving the screen only for as long as it takes to tell you about their latest achievements — how no, you don’t understand, their Madden team traded for Tom Brady and that unlocked a better sniper rifle which the clan can use to raid the Molten Core… or something. And why is there a Jorts Monster fighting a commando? And what is that commando wearing? I can literally see into her butt. This is gross. You’re gross. Games are stupid.

I hear it all the time. Gals will meet a guy and he’s great and totally not weird, so they go on a few dates and that goes great, too, and so the relationship progresses to a point where they both feel comfortable just hanging out at his apartment, and now, suddenly, they’re confronted with exactly how much time their guy spends dicking around on his xbox. And they think: where did this come from? I mean, he’s not a gamer, they say — he’s normal. So what the hell? Why can’t these twenty-something guys just grow up?

For sure — and I’ve written about this before — there is a contingent of guys who fully intend to extend their adolescence as far into their twenties (and thirties) as possible. These guys are absolutely the type to marathon Call of Duty with their forlorn girlfriend sitting quietly beside. These guys exist, and videogames are just one more entrée in their smorgasbord of self-indulgence. Yes. Absolutely.

But I don’t believe that’s the case for most guys. I think the reason you find some sort of video game machine in the apartment of most guys is not that they’re trying to avoid the pressures of growing up; on the contrary, I believe they’re coping with those pressures. I believe video games provide guys with a kind of psychological something, a balm against the realities of their life, that provides a wider solace than simply escapism. And I believe this is something they simply can’t get anywhere else – including loving girlfriends.

Let me explain.

No seriously, give me a minute to explain.

NOBODY LIKES GUYS. That’s where it starts. Nobody cares about guys, and guys know it. Oh, there might be a particular guy for which you’ve developed an affinity: your boyfriend, your dad, the really old Korean War veteran you saw cry on a childhood trip to Arlington — these men exist, and I have no doubt that the love you feel for them is real — but, as a thought experiment, imagine yourself in a room with all of them at once. Now imagine each can invite their five best male friends. That room’s suddenly a lot less pleasant, right? Guys are like cats or Yankee Candles — each one past the first couple makes the room exponentially more unpleasant. This effect is so widely recognized and profound that the free market spawns legions of dour-faced blondes armed with clipboards in response, and it’s only through their tireless work that the nightspots of this world become palatable. Protecting a space against the cumulative effect of guys is literally a full-time job.

And guys are no less self-loathing when they go it alone. A gal saying Screw it, I’m going out tonight and I’m just gonna dance and I don’t care what anyone thinks is adorable; a guy dancing goofy-fun alone on the dance floor is weird as hell and about ten seconds from being bounced out on his creeper ass. A gal sitting alone at a bar has the hassle of dudes — by no means uniformly desirable — coming up and trying to include her in their life; a guy at the bar alone, on the other hand, basically proofs Newton’s First Law, in that his body will stay at rest indefinitely — or until acted on by an external force, like, say, the bartender at last call. Nobody will ever approach and ask their name. No one will ever buy them a drink. As the men of the Titanic watch the lifeboats full of women and children drift into the horizon, they think: This feels right.

History has been kind to men, for sure, but it seems men never quite figured out how to be kind to each other. From the moment a guy wakes up, he goes about the business of avoiding an ass-kicking. Because every other guy we come into contact with during the day is Schrodinger’s Beatdown, and it isn’t until we make eye contact or accidentally step in front of them on the sidewalk or wear the wrong color shirt that we know for sure. A gal might make accidental eye contact on the subway and have to deal with some creeper smiling back; guys have been stabbed for less. And while I’m a major fan of chivalry, I’m also partially disabled, and the looks I get for not giving up my seat to healthy-looking women in the morning rush are unambiguous in their contempt for me.

Once, while working as an elementary school teacher in the American South, I witnessed two of my male students — adorable kids in private-school uniforms and matching bowl cuts — walking along a sidewalk, kicking a soccer ball up ahead and smiling, laughing, racing each other to it, tugging the other’s collar like a cheating Spanish footballer trying to slow the other down; they were having a blast. Carefree, halcyon fun. The kind that should typify childhood. And so I sped up, pulled my car nearly beside them, knowing they’d get a kick out of seeing their favorite teacher out of class. But as I rolled down my window, a black SUV approached on my right and rolled down its window; the car filled with college kids, and they hung their faces from the open window — the oppressive sun glinting off their wraparound Oakleys — and yelled to my students that they were DICKSUCKING FAGGOTSSSSSS!!! AHHHH! COCKSUCKERS! GET A ROOM AND JUST F-CK EACH OTHER! WITH YOUR TINY FAGGOT DICKS! AHAHAHAHA! The guy in the back pushed his tongue into his cheek and simulated a blowjob.

At two elementary school kids.

Because they had the temerity to show joy.

The situation was shocking for its cruelty but, horribly enough, not for its rarity. Because I think at some point every guy has had a moment like that. At some point in the process of growing up, most guys learn that it’s not okay for a man to feel — neither joy nor sadness, nor any emotion which might seek expression to the greater world — that it’s not okay to trust, that you can’t ever expect someone to keep your secrets, that people will hurt you for no reason but they’ll hurt you more if you don’t mind your own business, if you care, if you’re anything but muted and stoic; to ask for anything else is to be needy — that is, to be weak — and thus deserve whatever suffering comes from that weakness. We’re told this is how Being a Man works, and as bogus as it sounds spelled out like this, society tends to punish deviations from it rather harshly. As you can imagine, it isn’t all that emotionally fulfilling. And that’s where the video games come in.

VIDEO GAMES MAKE GUYS FEEL SPECIAL. One of the most popular video games over the last decade has been the Madden franchise, a football game released in yearly installments that features real NFL teams and players. And one of the most popular parts of that game is its Superstar Mode. In Superstar Mode, guys can create a player that looks almost exactly like themselves; your player’s appearance can be customized from height and weight, all the way down to facial features like cheekbones and the size and tilt of your ears. After working out in a virtual gym and attending virtual practices, your player will receive a virtual contract for millions of dollars, which he can then spend upgrading his virtual apartment, getting a virtual tattoo, or even a virtual haircut. And once you’ve created a virtual life deserving of your fantasies, you can start a game.

Normally, you play Madden by controlling the entire football team: you choose the plays as the coach, then cycle between the different players on offense and defense to make plays and try to win the game. In the popular Superstar Mode, though, the camera stays on your player, making him the only player you are able to control. Which means 80% of what happens on the field does not include you. When whichever unit you’re not a part of (offense or defense) is on the field, the camera cuts to your view from the Gatorade cooler. Once you’re on the field, the computer — acting as coach — picks the plays, and there is no guarantee they will involve you. As a wide receiver, you might run down the field to block for the virtual running back, or sprint down a route designed to get a different wide receiver open for a catch. Your player might get open and the virtual quarterback might just throw it over your head or out of bounds. For the vast majority of this mode, you are watching computer teammates play against a computer opponent. This game costs guys seventy dollars. And this mode is massively popular.

That’s how much guys just want to feel special. We’re willing to spend significant hours watching a computer play pitch and catch in front of us, only sometimes deigning to include us, so long as it means when we do get a catch, the crowd will roar, the play will repeat in instant replay, our player will increase his ability scores, and after we win we’ll be able to check the NFL League Leaderboard and feel a strange but seemingly real pride that our virtual selves are leading all the other wide receivers in Yards Per Reception.

In the basketball version, you can give yourself a nickname and the same announcers from TV will call the game and say your name and heap praise upon you — by name! — when you play well. And the crowd will chant for you. They’ll seriously chant for you! This might seem like a minor thing except that every guy has grown up watching movies where everyone cheers for the hero, the professional, the best of the best; everyone cheers and so does the girl and the hero basks in the glow of his public accomplishment and, ah, yes, of course, all his hard work pays off and his skill and persistence are finally recognized by everyone, just like you almost never, ever see happen in the real world. As if any guy has ever received this level of appreciation. We grow up seeing it, and we internally admit we want it. But we never get it. Only when our virtual guard hangs 45 points on the Boston Celtics do we even get a taste, a simulation — the closest thing.

VIDEO GAMES PROVIDE IMMEDIATE PAYOFFS. Life doesn’t give us a whole lot of payoff for our effort. A hardworking guy can apply to fifty jobs a day and still go unemployed for months at a time. On the other end of the spectrum, a guy might put in sixty hours every week at work, might be the best employee in the entire department, might be making all the right moves professionally and still get passed over for a promotion. And there’s nothing he can do about it. If he complains, he’ll come off looking like a whiney baby. So he goes to the bar and sits alone. Drowns his sorrows. Nobody comes over to talk to him. He questions what he’s even contributing to the world; as a middle manager he doesn’t really build or create — there’s no tangible evidence of the fruits of his labor. Good management skills result in… something. Certainly not a high-five. A paycheck, he figures, but beyond that, he doesn’t know.

In the massively popular game Starcraft, deft resource management results in his being instantly rewarded with the ability to drop a brightly-pixelated nuclear bomb on the secret base of the 12-year-old in his headset who won’t stop shouting in Korean. Is that more rewarding than having an extra disregarded bullet point affixed to his yearly performance review? I think you’ll find that it is. And so he plays. He plays even though his girlfriend is wearing her Pretty Date Dress and asking him to pick a restaurant. Because the payoff for his ‘work’ is refreshing and, taking it a step further…

VIDEO GAMES PROVIDE A CONCRETE PATH OF ADVANCEMENT: Several years ago, the field of cognitive psychology discovered that animals — including humans — that learned their proactive efforts would not reliably produce resource gains nor protect them from suffering developed adverse physiological and psychological conditions in response, including depression. The more effort that guys expend on things which they perceive as out of their control — advancement at their job, financial security, romantic affection — the more likely they are to become maladapted to deal with future challenges.

Video games guard against this. A big part of game design lies in rolling out challenge systems to a player who, upon mastery of that system, is rewarded (and thus encouraged to continue playing) and subsequently presented with a new, slightly more difficult and possibly cumulative challenge. Game designers stand alongside cognitive psychologists in understanding that if you want to make a man happy, give him a concrete path to achievement and ‘status’ which is guided by quantifiable benchmarks — so that’s exactly what they do. Roleplaying games tell guys that after 1,000 points they’ll be able to throw bigger fireballs. Guys don’t have to worry if the projects they’re working on will give them the best shot at advancing their career, or if they need to cut more carbs (or was it fat?) to get visible abs — there’s no ambiguity, the path is clearly laid out: hit 1,000 points and the goal is yours. A shooter game might require the player to stay up all night playing a level he finds nearly as tedious as a shift at work, but in the morning, after 500 kills, he’ll know with absolute certainty that he’ll have earned the Turbo Big Dick Gold-Plated AK-47, and with that feel a simulated sense of mastery over his world. And his brain won’t know the difference. (Coincidentally, this is why guys will often tell their girlfriends about what they’ve been up to in their videogames, despite it being something no one else in the world could possibly care about.)

VIDEO GAMES PROVIDE AN OUTLET FOR AGGRESSION: In the olden days, guys responded to being slighted by removing their glove, slapping their rival across the face, then gunning them down with flintlock pistols. These days, guys recognize that sort of behavior as barbaric and absurd, opting instead to blow off steam by logging onto Call of Duty and virtually shooting the face off their opponent and screaming obscenities at a faceless assembly of adolescents. Is this pretty? No. Is it mature? No. But just because the old way had fancy-ass vests and rapiers didn’t make it any less ridiculous. And all things considered, a guy sitting alone in his living room drinking 40s and moaning incoherently while pounding a 2D Brock Lesnar in some UFC video game seems way less destructive to all parties involved than whatever the real-world analog of that might be. And to be honest, I’m glad all those people who drown/ electrocute/ incinerate their Sims in The Sims games are too busy redesigning their virtual kitchens to go outside. I think we all are. Anyway.

VIDEO GAMES SIMULATE TRUST AND AFFECTION: In the hit game Mass Effect, the main character (who, as with Madden, you’re given the option to make look like yourself with an excruciating level of detail) is the Intergalactic Belle of the Ball. You’re allowed to make eye contact without people thinking you’re trying to creep or start a fight. Folks can’t wait to talk with you. They say you’ve made them proud. That you’ve changed their lives. That they trust you; they trust your judgment. When you’re faced with the tough decision of sacrificing 300,000 Batarians in order to save the lives of billions across the universe, your commanding officer doesn’t even ask to see the report – he knows that you always do what must be done to protect the innocent. All of humanity — and the alien species, too! — knows your reputation for skill and efficiency and talent and confidence and daring and (the fellatio continues) and they’re glad to have you onboard their ship, because there’s a situation that needs handling and they trust you for the job.

How often does this happen in the average guy’s life? How many times does a guy feel underestimated? Talked down to? Confronted for forgetting the gift or the wine or the keys or leaving the seat up? But then you come back from the job and bask in some simulated glory — everyone thought that job was impossible! — before moving on to the next problem, the next conflict where you can show up and really make a difference.

Really make a difference.

Of course, guys know on a logical level that it’s all make believe. But games like Mass Effect sell so well because they pour millions of dollars into being as immersive as possible. That’s what the developers are going for: ‘immersive.’ They know that it’s not really about shooting space lasers at Krogan or Geth stormtroopers, that’s why they write, cast, and perform tens of thousands of lines of voice acting. That’s why they populate these virtual worlds with so many moving parts, so many characters with their own backgrounds and life stories. They want the player to forget how much time they’re spending playing videogames and instead wander the virtual city streets, talking with all the people, maybe getting involved in Citadel politics, maybe raising money for the virtual orphanage, maybe ousting the local crime lord and running a smuggling business — all these options beyond simply gunning down bad guys.

Guys know on a logical level that they aren’t really doing anything but sitting on their couch, but – as Thought Catalog writer Josh Gondelman showed me — it isn’t logic which makes you cry in the middle of a pizza place because a particular song came on the radio. And it isn’t logic that causes the feelings swelling within a guy’s chest when he spends three hours helping a space-lizard assassin reconcile at long last with his estranged space-lizard son. The people of Illum didn’t really throw you a ticker-tape parade. The abused and broken psychic warrior chick didn’t really battle her misgivings to fall into a profound love for you. And there (as far as I know) is not an imminent Reaper threat to civilization. None of it is real. But the charge a guy can get from it is. And it might be the only place in modern life where he can get that charge. So if the rest of him is functional and productive? Ladies, let ‘em play their video games. TC mark

image – Shutterstock
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  • Nishant

    Thank you. Thank you so much! :)

  • yoshiiiiiiiii

    I’m a 20-something female who plays video games for exactly the same reasons this article suggests.

  • Guestropod

    It only sucks when you come over to hang out and spend time together and the other person won’t get off the damn machine.  If I’m living with someone and/or we’re really comfortable and spend a lot of casual down time together, if s/he wants to play COD for eight hours I’ll just go do something else, probably I’ll go leave some anon comments somewhere on the internet for a few hours.  I don’t get why anyone would just sit there forlornly… watching.  How boring.  

    • Guestropod

      Also: ”
      A gal might make accidental eye contact on the subway and have to deal with some creeper smiling back; guys get been stabbed for less.”  

      Or, a gal might make accidental eye contact on the subway and have to deal with some creeper following her home or something, or rubbing his dick on her on the L-train, which, granted, is not a stabbing, but still quite horrible, I don’t know where your dick has been, GOOD DAY, SIR

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=642250038 Jules O' Meingott

        not at all the point though

      • Guestropod

        ok cool

      • Anonymous

        yeah women have it way worse

        i recognize that and tried to make it clear with the ‘history has been good to men’ part but didn’t want to dwell on it because, yeah, i think everyone knows its tougher being a woman

      • Guestropod

        I didn’t mean to come off as trying to start a ‘WHO HAS IT WORSE’ conversation, I mean, that’s usually a nowhere road anyway… I just thought that one sentence was kind of dismissive.  I was reluctant to say so, though, because this is a really important topic and there should be space for dudes to be able to discuss dude issues with dudes, and I think you did a great job of that with this article so A++

  • Kmodek

    Applies for girls too, we just don’t like the sports themes as much.

    Give me Uncharted, Bioshock, Dead Rising, etc. & its ON.

    I’m 39, but I’m pretty much the only person I know over 13 who plays.

  • gamerchick?

    girls play video games too!! uncharted and assassin’s creed are my favs!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/ZachAmes macgyver51

    Man, things have changed since I was addicted to Madden 2002. Back then, it was all about getting Warrick Dunn that Super Bowl ring and the career rushing yds record all inside of the same year.

  • A Guy

    Amen!  Now, back to KoA:R (the new DLC was released yesterday on PSNetwork!).

  • http://dirtyyoungmen.wordpress.com/ Maxwell Chance

    You just wrote my heart-soul.

    At some point in the process of growing up, most guys learn that it’s not okay for a man to feel — neither joy nor sadness, nor any emotion which might seek expression to the greater world — that it’s not okay to trust, that you can’t ever expect someone to keep your secrets, that people will hurt you for no reason but they’ll hurt you more if you don’t mind your own business, if you care, if you’re anything but muted and stoic; to ask for anything else is to be needy — that is, to be weak — and thus deserve whatever suffering comes from that weakness. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=612170317 Christina Carroll

    As a former World of Warcraft addict, The Concrete Path of Advancement section is dead on.

    • Anonymous

      Came to say just that.

  • yandat

     That’s incredibly insightful article.

    But this really is ultimately depressing. What does it say about our society that this is the only form of achievement that satisfies ourselves? If anything this is an argument for social revolution, whatever that would look like, than for continuing to lose ourselves in virtual worlds. Not to say “durp let’s start Project Mayhem and take down society” but on some level, if people continually get lost in convincing fictions, if the treadmill of Capitalism just produces armies of ineffectual stunted manchildren, what does that say about the worth of society – the worth of what humans have built as the real world?

    Seriously, girlfriends shouldn’t put up with this shit. Because it really does suck. Fuck this cruel earth.

  • Try a dose of reality

    it’s called THE REAL WORLD with REAL LIFE PEOPLE. you should all try it sometime…it’s refreshing i promise.

    gamers (guys and girls) are not attractive and are usually socially awkward because they just spend all their time playing stupid video games. way to waste your life away.

    • Anonymous

       You just exposed how incredibly ignorant you are about the culture in question.  Good job.

      • Andrew Rowland

        He or she didn’t read the whole article, or even the first two paragraphs.

    • Guestropod

      This isn’t about some basement-dwelling stereotypes, it’s about normal, everyday people who enjoy video games

    • http://twitter.com/iamthe0nly Jordana Bevan

      i don’t think you gave jack a minute to explain

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2311203 Kevin Pritchard

      Foreveralone.jpg

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=576806771 Jennifer Rose Pope

      Wth…. 

    • http://twitter.com/SoosSahar Sahar Soos

       dude… smh

    • xra

       poster then smiles a satisfied smile as they open a new tab and log onto facebook

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYDVROKY4PUBOKUHB3QF42FH2Y Paul S

    So much truth in this!  But then, you can substitute pretty much everything guys do with “video games” as well; playing sports, being in bands, working out, hobbies, projects, etc.  But yes, video games are the easiest/quickest path to these feelings.

    But I do have to say that I NEVER play videogames with other people around; they’re primarily a solitary thing. I enjoy the occasional game, but I much prefer actual human interaction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=642250038 Jules O' Meingott

    i am a guy who likes gaming. not COD and not Madden (well, im not from the US) but i enjoy it in general. I also work in the games industry and sometimes wonder how “normal” i actually am. After reading this i feel okay again :) 
    Girls watch more TV (always talking about the average, not the absolute) and guys rarely tell them not to. I really enjoyed reading this article; thank you!

  • Guest

    This kinda screams /r/mensrights

    • http://twitter.com/mung_beans Mung Beans

      hahaha

    • Anonymous

      i don’t know what that means but pretty much everyone knows women have it harder both historically and internationally, plus that’s really a subject that benefits from a Chelsea Fagan analysis rather than my own. so i didn’t get into that. because it’s beyond the scope of the article.
      this article is about cool dudes playing a reasonable amount of video games 

      • http://twitter.com/mung_beans Mung Beans

        you should be so happy you don’t know what that means

      • Anonymous

        i’m like, really bad when it comes to internet stuff

        i seriously have to send my articles to someone to post because i’m a troglodyte

      • Guest

        and that’s cool!

      • beatrice

        This was a brilliant article, very much appreciated. I remember my boyfriend trying to explain to me the concept of guys and video games but he just ended off with how men at any age will never get tired of video games. Also, congratulations on being  a lot more objective than chelsea fagan on topics similar to such.

  • Anonymous

    i don’t know what that means but pretty much everyone knows women have it harder both historically and internationally, plus that’s really a subject that benefits from a Chelsea Fagan analysis rather than my own. so i didn’t get into that. because it’s beyond the scope of the article.

    this article is about cool dudes playing a reasonable amount of video games 

    • http://twitter.com/RESEWON Theresa Won

      you’re a good man, Jack Cazir.

  • http://twitter.com/sodiumsepia Rick

    This was incredibly insightful. I’m glad you chose to violate social mores and just come out and say it. Sure we’re “privileged” in some ways, but that seems to make it unacceptable to talk about a culture that largely renders us disposable. I’m not a gamer, but those same voids left by society’s excoriation have screwed me up plenty in my own way. So thanks for standing up and saying something, even though every man around you has been conditioned to say “QQ, fag.”

  • Kelsey

    i imagine you’re a lovely human and am positive you’re a lovely writer. thanks for making me swoon via words on a wednesday afternoon. 

  • Andrew Rowland

    Awesome article! I’ve always had a hard time explaining to my wife why guys like games as much as they do, always mumbling something about a “feeling of accomplishment” and how it satisfies a “competitive” need for me. It’s nearly impossible to put together a strong argument when you’re talking about make believe. At least I can share this with her, and make her see I’m not the only one! 

    This article really nails it on the head, especially how we make our WAGS listen to us describe our achievements (made my wife through a 10 minute video of me getting a MOAB in MW3… shes too nice to me). I’ve definitely cut back on the video games significantly though since getting married, gets in the way of being the 12 step southern gentlement from Jack’s previous article.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I haven’t owned a video game system for years — between time and money I can’t make that sort of investment in it anymore — but they’re ubiquitous enough that just about any guy you shoot the shit with will have a Madden hookup or something. So I’ve been able to keep up to date with it.

      And, of course, some things never change.

  • Anonymous

    I really, really enjoyed this. I don’t know if it’s divided between men and women as easily as you say, though that was a good point. I enjoy all the things listed here as reasons for gaming, so maybe it’s just a certain kind of person?

    • Anonymous

      I think the difference is that women who play games very seldom need defending — at least from the opposite sex. A girl that can quote, uh…[GAMER STUFF], at least from what I can tell, is making herself *more* attractive to a lot of guys.

      Whereas if your average twenty-something guy starts talking about Zelda to your average twenty-something girl — which might skew, for example, closer to the one or two of the commenters here who only made it into the first paragraph before scrolling down to the comment section — she’s probably going to be less enthused about all that.

      Know what I mean?
      Or am I off-base there?

      • Guestropod

        I think it’s interesting that you picked Zelda in your example, because IME hanging out in groups of nerds there’s something of a hierarchy of games that it’s cool to like?  I’ve heard a lot that women ONLY like games like Zelda, or S/NES games, or ‘cute’ games like, idk, Mario Kart or whatever.  So that sets the bar for who can be considered a gamer kind of… artificially high, if that makes sense.  In my group of friends, most of my female friends do play games.  Those games just might not necessarily be Mass Effect 3 or w/e.  

        Uh, I don’t know, I’m kind of off on a tangent I guess.  And then women in gaming have their own struggles, but that’s kind of this OTHER thing and I think you’re right that your average straight man would not be put off by a woman who played games.  

        anyway writing that helped me put off going to do errandy shit for another like five minutes so awesome

  • cg

    Dumbest tv article. I’ve ever read. Your pity party is a ridiculous display of illusions. Poor you.

    • Anonymous

      your takeaway there was -pity-?

      i don’t even know with some people
      how do they get by out there?
      the world must be so confusing

      • h-may

         LMFAO
        I heard Walter Benjamin wasn’t actually into sociology, just a sad bro who needed a slam-piece

  • http://www.facebook.com/ubeda Joant Ubeda

    A- grade for this article. Just needed a bit more Zelda.

    “The most attractive people on Earth are video gamers.”
    -Abraham Lincoln 

  • You-Mei Est

    So my guy likes playing games, telling me about his quests achievements, going to games shops and literally pouring to me all the details of the games and he even knows when the new game is coming out. Ok. He’s an IT guy and all the more, he’s into them. 

    As far as my concern goes, I enjoy sitting beside watching him play those games, listen to him boasts of his achievements, being with him at the guys-filled game shop (while the other guys looked out of the shop and see their g/fs staring with their phones), getting myself informed of the new games and keeping a lookout/reminding him when the game is coming out soon so we can go check it out together. 

    I’m not a gamer and never will be but I guess, I learn to see the beauty in him when he punches those buttons of the control, the confidence and pride when he shares his achievements, his knowledge of the games and his boyish eagerness of wanting the new toy up on the shelf. 

    Well, he learns to appreciate the beauty something that’s boring to him as well – shopping.

    Guess it really goes both ways.

    • Anonymous

      you sound awesome

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYDVROKY4PUBOKUHB3QF42FH2Y Paul S

         A little too awesome… the cynic in me is pretty sure that post is written by a guy in a shitty relationship, wrting the opposite of what his significant-other feels about him playing videogames.

      • You-Mei Est

        Dude, I’m a girl. Gosh. Thank you for saying that I’m awesome and I think he feels the same way as you initially. He was skeptical as well until we went out like countless times to game shops and him telling me about all the game stuff but I didn’t fall asleep! That’s when he believed me and thinks I’m awesome too. Haha. So anyway, I’m a girl. thanks.

      • You-Mei Est

        Thanks! :D

  • guest

    Most of my ex-boyfriends play video games, it never really bothered me unless it was a beautiful day out and I was hanging out with them, we both had the day off (for once), and they couldn’t take their attention away from the game, even though they had been playing the whole day before, to go outside and do something for a change. A hike, toss a frisbee, ride a bike, go climbing, look at the stars, anything! Just get out and live life a little! Especially when this became the norm, which is part of why this relationship couldn’t last. I never pushed the issue, and I never felt that video games made them immature (I grew up with a brother and all my cousins are male). But when it reaches the point where you are so addicted you can’t even go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather, the people who love you, and do something fun, it’s too much.

    • guest

      Also, I never told a guy not to play video games either or threw a fit. I am just pointing out that there is a difference between guys who play video games and guys who are severely addicted to video games. I’ve dated both and as much as it can be justified some people truly are addicted and have a problem with it.

  • Anonymous

    Great article – solid points, really well-written.  I can sympathise with men (and women) who crave some kind of rewarding outlet after a day of real-life drudgery.  My only contention is that it’s possible to take gaming as a coping mechanism to an unhealthy level.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with unwinding with your Xbox after work…to a point.  A few hours?  Who cares.  But when a guy starts gaming to the absolute exclusion of any other kind of recreational activity, that seems problematic.  

    It’s important to compartmentalize.  If gaming is how you deal with work-related stress and frustration, maybe play for a couple hours after work to unwind, and then go on a date with your girl/boyfriend – talk about your achievements over dinner instead of while parked on the couch and pausing to yell at the douchebag 12-year-old through your headset.  It’s all about balance!

    But anyway, I do agree with a lot of the points here; hopefully it helps other people understand where their game-obsessed partners are coming from.

  • Alex

    dudes(to everyone), please all go out now, get an xbox/ps3/PC, get some games and just play.

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