That Gamer’s Wife: On Being A Gaming Widow

That Gamer’s Wife is an irregular spin-off of our Reviews/Previews Editor Dan’s column on gaming and life, This Gamer’s Life, wherein our plucky main character is supplanted by none other than his lifelong Partner-in-Crime, and you the reader are whisked into the life and times of a self-described Gaming Widow.

They say that women get married hoping that the man in the relationship will change, and that men get married hoping that the woman in the relationship won’t. When it comes to the video games, I don’t so much want CHANGE, but maybe just a reduction in the gaming?

I’m typically not the kind of woman who changes herself when I’m with a guy. I usually figure that they’re with me because they like me and I don’t do a lot of the game-playing “fakeness” because they’ll find out about me sooner or later. My then boyfriend (now husband) likes to play video games, and I tolerated them because they made him happy. It’s not like he was addicted to crack or porn, and it seemed fairly harmless. Besides, he was 19 when we started dating, wasn’t he going to outgrow this? My answer, ten years later, has been a resounding “Oh hell no, girl!”. So, I am living in a gaming household. We have three gaming consoles in our house; it’s like a disease or an addiction without any kind of rehab facility.

I’ve never been interested in games. It’s not like I didn’t try. My little brother and I nearly peed our pants when we got the original NES (yeah, I’m old, what?). We played Mario and Duck Hunt. I even got the original Legend of Zelda with my birthday money one year, but I lack the hand-eye coordination and the patience to play a game. I usually just watched my brother play them, because that was more fun for me. We tag-teamed on Act Raiser (I played the house-building part with the naked winged kid, and he killed the monsters); I even attempted the Sims at one point, but I grew tired of their whining and their incessant need for me to take them to the bathroom (ironic, considering the fact that I now have a kid). I’ve played a lot of Rock Band, but that doesn’t really count–it’s like karaoke in my own home, minus the need for mass amounts of alcohol before I belt out my fist-pumping version of “Don’t Stop Believing.” Sad and awesome all at the same time. 

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Still, the idea of devoting countless hours of my life to a video game has never made that much sense to me. There are so many other things I could be doing with that time–reading, cleaning, cooking, having pillow fights with my hot girlfriends while we are dressed in Fredrick’s of Hollywood lingerie (just making sure you’re still there). But my husband loves it. He’ll spend hours and hours playing games and cursing at 12-year-olds while I sleep on the couch or roll my eyes at him. But I figure, I love the guy, he’s pretty awesome. I’ll listen to him explain the plot of a game to me and ask him polite questions. I’ll comfort him when the game “cheats” and he throws his controller to the ground. I’ll listen to the same music and only ask him to turn the TV down when the explosions are so loud that they trigger the baby monitor. I will accept my role as the Video Game Widow.

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