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"I Heart My Gamer"
March 28, 2007 10:05 AM   Subscribe

Are you a gamer-widow? Here is your lonely corner of the internet, with forums and resources to help you find help. Inspired by AskMe.
posted by hermitosis (86 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
/raises hand
posted by bunnycup at 10:12 AM on March 28, 2007


Sitting up late one night, by myself, flipping through old movies and infomercials, trying to distract myself from ever looming fears of divorce and financial ruin, I came across the famous life trainer, Tony Robbins. Tony was talking about the power of personal development to create real lasting change and the ability to create what you want in life. Tony was offering me a user manual for this new game called Life I was trying to win at. Within 15 minutes of watching Tony's infomercial I knew that his program was exactly what I needed. Since I was so broke and terrified of what my wife would say If I spent the mere $300 purchase price (It's down to $200 today on Tony's website) I asked myself "Who do I know who might have this?" and a friend popped into mind. I called him up and he did indeed have it, and was happy to lend it to me! The program was called Personal Power II. Although this was a 30 day home study course I was experiencing major changes in my confidence level and my internal strength within two days.
First entry in "Widows Corner"... forthelulz, plzkthnx
posted by prostyle at 10:19 AM on March 28, 2007


This topic comes up almost weekly in my medical practice. This site, although somewhat weak, is at least something to point my patients toward. Thanks.

We all chuckled in 1999 when people began to talk about gaming and internet addiction. Looks like a serious academic approach to the problem is still in its infancy. (Who knew there was a journal called "Cyberpsychological Behavior" AND that it was indexed by Medline?) I'm sure there will be much more to come, it's an incredibly interesting problem. If I wasn't wasting so much time on the internet, I could write a grant and do a great study on it.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:33 AM on March 28, 2007


I just cannot see why anyone would tolerate being continually set aside for a video game. An hour each day, a big Saturday full of gaming, sure. But nothing says "Thanks for having sex with me every once in a while, which is all I really wanted from this relationship, now I have something important to do." like making someone a gamer widow.

Mind boggling.
posted by SaintCynr at 10:35 AM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I just cannot see why anyone would tolerate being continually set aside for a video game.

It starts out as just trying to let your SO do what they (claim to) enjoy. Whether it's cross-stich or gaming, they're grown-ups and are allowed to have some fun, right? It can be hard to set boundaries for another adult...because they are an adult!

An hour each day, a big Saturday full of gaming, sure.

Well, that's how it starts. Then all his friends start playing and the time gradually increases. This isn't an overnight issue.

For me, the real issue is whether video games are even providing the enjoyment that their users claim to get from it. WoW almost starts to seem like a responsibility and habit after awhile, rather than a way to chill out and have fun.
posted by catfood at 10:48 AM on March 28, 2007


At PAX last year, I picked up a t-shirt for my other half that says "Gamer Widow" on it. She loves the shirt, and wears it quite a bit. She seems even proud of it sometimes, showing it off to other people.
posted by evilangela at 10:49 AM on March 28, 2007


>>WoW almost starts to seem like a responsibility and habit after awhile, rather than a way to chill out and have fun.


That's the primary reason I never started playing it. I already have a job. :)

Also, catfood, thanks for the insight into the experience.
posted by SaintCynr at 10:52 AM on March 28, 2007


Well, that's how it starts. Then all his friends start playing and the time gradually increases ...

... and then he starts smoking crack.

It used to be that joke was men liked to work on their cars, watch football or mow the lawn in order to ignore wives and family. So, is this really a new issue, or just a previous issue with a new name?

That being said, I suppose mowing the lawn and changing the oil on the Dodge Charger provides an ancillary value ... the lawn looks great and the car runs like a top.
posted by frogan at 10:54 AM on March 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


If it weren't for the internet, i'd have never heard of internet addiction.
posted by mr_book at 11:02 AM on March 28, 2007 [4 favorites]


Christ, at least being addicted to drugs makes you cooler and more interesting. Level 70 Paladin? Not so much.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:06 AM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


To be fair, there is a social value in online gaming. In between raids and whatnot, you chat and catch up with each other's lives. It's just a common interest -- could just as well be drinking, wakeboarding, making music, or whatever.

I'm a very light "user", but I concede that I would be better-connected to my gaming friends and family if I played more. It's just *such* a time-sink...
posted by LordSludge at 11:07 AM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


For those who complain, I ask, why not attempt to play games yourself instead of lamenting the significant other's desire to play?

This is, as frogan said, just a classic occurrence - many halves of couples wish their significant other would share their favorite hobbies more.

I enjoy reading a lot and my boyfriend wouldn't pick up a book if his life depended on it. Do I wish he was a more avid reader? Of course, we'd be able to discuss books together.

As a woman, and a longtime gamer, I could only be with someone who shared my interest, or at the very least, didn't look down upon it and would try to join me now and then. I'm sure for those of you who lament being "gamer widows" would show some interest, maybe it might change how you feel.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:08 AM on March 28, 2007


"I'm sure for those of you who lament being "gamer widows" would show some interest, maybe it might change how you feel."

If you are a gamer widow/er, the only thing you should do is pack your suitcases, contact an attorney and vacate the premises. If you are, unfortunately, married to an individual who so completely undervalues you as an asset that they are willing to sacrifice their precious, limited time with you in order that they can play a videogame, there is relatively little value left in the relationship to begin with.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:15 AM on March 28, 2007


If you are a gamer widow/er, the only thing you should do is pack your suitcases, contact an attorney and vacate the premises. If you are, unfortunately, married to an individual who so completely undervalues you as an asset that they are willing to sacrifice their precious, limited time with you in order that they can play a videogame, there is relatively little value left in the relationship to begin with.

One thing that's so great about love and life is that all relationships are easy to classify, and all the answers are easy to obtain. Thank goodness.
posted by Alex404 at 11:18 AM on March 28, 2007 [10 favorites]


"who so completely undervalues you as an asset "

I'm really, really glad that my beloved gamer does not value me as an asset at all (though I'd probably be a very lucrative one), but rather as his loving partner for life.
posted by bunnycup at 11:20 AM on March 28, 2007


WoW almost starts to seem like a responsibility and habit after awhile, rather than a way to chill out and have fun.

There's your problem right there! MMORPG's aren't games in the traditional sense, it's simply a GUI to a massive backend of database tables that take the place of traditional dice rolls.

I'd imagine you'd despise your SO's "gaming" habits less if they involved a Nintendo Wii and some party games you both could enjoy together.

The best part about discussing this kind of thing with MMO players is when they bring up commitment... to what? The demographic is 20-30 something Males with middle class income and no significant other... you've got to keep that in perspective.

They are committed to wasting time with people who have nothing better to do, and it's a reciprocating action.

Dood where were u omg we were raiding (like every other day) and this **** went down (like every other day) omg u should have seen it (like every other day)...
posted by prostyle at 11:21 AM on March 28, 2007


>>looked down upon the fat masses who ignore their equally fat wives and would try to join me now and then in mockery of them

Wow, nice stereotype! Does the volume go to 11?
posted by SaintCynr at 11:27 AM on March 28, 2007


Way to stereotype, pieoverdone.

Those stupid kinds of comments are tired. Neither me nor my boyfriend are overweight or ugly, and neither of us plays WoW. We do, however, enjoy MMOs. Somehow, the housework gets done, dinner gets made, and we get exercise.

Must be magic. Or, you know, being a responsible adult.

Video games are just another leisure time activity, and the point I was making is maybe instead of lamenting or complaining about it, try participating a little. You never know if you might like it or not. If you don't, that's perfectly fine too, but don't dismiss them outright or stereotype those of us who enjoy this particular activity.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:33 AM on March 28, 2007


I'm sure for those of you who lament being "gamer widows" would show some interest in the gym or housework maybe it might change your situation.

Are you saying that we should be better "wives" so our husbands' would be more interested in us than in the games? Because that's sorta what it sounds like you're implying.

Either way, it's nice to see that assholes aren't an endangered species after all.
posted by catfood at 11:39 AM on March 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


For those who complain, I ask, why not attempt to play games yourself instead of lamenting the significant other's desire to play?

If the game was just a hobby for the SO in question, then you'd have a point, but what's being discussed here is people who spend all their free time playing one of these games. It's not so much a game anymore, but an addiction and at that point, encouraging the behaviour isn't such a great idea.

And when it gets that bad, it's no more 'just a game' than whiskey is 'just a drink'. It seems ridiculous, but it's about what the game enables, not what it is, and that's constant distraction from an unsatisfying life.
posted by picea at 11:42 AM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, prostyle, the whole commitment aspect falls under the social umbrella (with another layer when it comes to guilds), but also because MMOs are a journey of sorts. People like seeing their characters through until the endgame, and along the way, especially if they are RPers, develop a history and such.

The demographic does generally run to young males, though there are a lot of us women out there too. However, a lot of couples, and people with significant others do play. Populations vary by title, but it's not uncommon at all to see a lot of couples and families playing the City of Heroes/Villains games, for example.

And while the Wii is a nice entrance to the world of gaming, I'm kind of bugged that people are referring to it as the sort of de facto gateway for women (that's also partly Nintendo's marketing department's fault too). That kind of limits the approach, when there's a whole world of entertaining titles out there. Don't get me wrong, I love the Wii, but there's this sort of notion that you can only appeal to us through cutesy. Of course, that approach will work for some.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:44 AM on March 28, 2007


i really have no problem with the time my computer geek - uh, geeks-out. we put the computer in the living room just for that reason: so he could game while i watch tv,read, paint or whatever.

actually, it's kind of nice knowing where he is every night instead of worrying where he could be. geeks rule! ... and it has created some rather hilarious and naughty events .... when a game doesn't seem to be going 100% his way...
posted by eatdonuts at 11:45 AM on March 28, 2007


If the game was just a hobby for the SO in question, then you'd have a point, but what's being discussed here is people who spend all their free time playing one of these games.

This "gamer widow" thing is just like "football widow" and such. It is a leisure activity.

I'm not saying that addiction does not exist, but for the most part, I'm sure it's more a matter of people just having fun than being actually addicted. The first site linked to does not say anything about addiction, but rather about people who devote more time to their games than their significant others.

A Gamer Widow is a term for those who have a relationship with a Gamer (one who plays video games, be it on a console or on the computer) who pays more attention to the game than to their partner


What I suggested was trying to get into it together, so maybe people can spend time together with a mutual interest. I know I've discovered certain hobbies I enjoy through trying them because a friend or boyfriend was interested and I was curious.

So yes, I do have a point.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:50 AM on March 28, 2007


And just one more comment re: the Wii.

It's not all cutesy and I wasn't trying to imply that (heck, it's getting Manhunt 2). I was talking more about the marketing approach when it comes to media aimed at women.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:52 AM on March 28, 2007


Y'know, it's not like gamers can't lead fulfilling, active lives and relationships AND play games, too (self link).
posted by ShawnStruck at 11:56 AM on March 28, 2007


I'm not saying that addiction does not exist, but for the most part, I'm sure it's more a matter of people just having fun than being actually addicted. The first site linked to does not say anything about addiction, but rather about people who devote more time to their games than their significant others.

I'm not a doctor, but I kind of think the use of the term "addiction" should be confined to things that are literally, physically, addictive. I don't think anyone is going to have WoW withdrawals. Yeah, there is "psychological dependency," but there's a thin line between that and just really liking something.

yes, some dictionary definitions will differ: " the state of being given up to some habit or compulsion," but I stand by my point

People who are addicted to heroin or nicotine usually know they are harming themselves and want to stop, but can't. People who play WoW a lot want to play WoW a lot.

And, as many have said, it's not a new phenomena- I heard they had a similar situation in River City with pool-playing.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:05 PM on March 28, 2007


I'm not saying that addiction does not exist, but for the most part, I'm sure it's more a matter of people just having fun than being actually addicted. The first site linked to does not say anything about addiction, but rather about people who devote more time to their games than their significant others.

Perhaps so, but the very first link on their "Resources" page is the Online Gamers Anonymous site that I also linked to. So while the gamerwidows pages (and their T-shirts) are rather cutesy, I'm pretty sure that's just whistling past the graveyard.
posted by hermitosis at 12:05 PM on March 28, 2007


I apologize for that comment above.

hangover + intense personal experience = making asshole comments on the internet.


Videogame addiction played a large part in the disintegration of my marriage. So often the argument came down to - "I like to spend time with my friends on the internet." I bought the game in the hopes that I could recover some level of intimacy, at least through the lens of the videogame, and I discovered in a pretty awful and humiliating way that one of these friendships had developed into a romantic attachment. But I was so terrified of losing her that I was never able to simply ask her to choose between the game and myself.

I know now that the videogame addiction was a product of a number of things - her own struggle with depression, an inclination toward social isolation and, perhaps, an unfulfilling marriage. There was a time, however, when getting up in the morning and driving to work to support a family while the other supporting member logged onto a computer to spend time with another person who they obviously cared more about than their spouse was a wretched experience - a very real hell that I lived through.

The thing about "online friends" is that they aren't friends in any real sense of the word - in fact describing people that you only know through the internet as "friends" does a diservice to the meaning of the term "friend."

Friendship - and romance - requires personal investment and sacrifice. You have to be willing to take risks and make sacrifices.
While I love all of you people here on metafilter, I can't really depend on any of you to drive out to the highway in the middle of the night to help me change a tire. Or to bring me soup when I'm in the hospital with pneumonia. Or to attend the baptism of my first child. Online friendships provide validation and verbal support, but they can't provide the real-world support that friendship is founded in. They're a poor, thin substitute for the hard work that honest friendship demands.

This may be the wrong venue for making this sort of statement, but nothing angers me more than people losing the quality of their marriages because someone is stuck in a videogame, and then watching those same people turn around and defend this destructive habit as "cute" or "endearing."

I still play videogames, but I limit it just as I would limit any other leisure activity. And I highly recommend that people who game for more than an hour a day, or the occasional Saturday marathon, seriously examine their priorities. Go outside. Bake a cake. Paint a portrait or write some poetry. And don't let your spouses off the hook - marriage is the highest form of zen and it requires work to keep your spouse accountable. Sometimes it hurts, too. But nothing hurts worse than being shunned for false friends and a fantasy world that will never, ever be as rich or rewarding as the beautiful world around us.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:05 PM on March 28, 2007 [27 favorites]


I should temper my comments with the knowledge that I know more than one person with a 6+ hour per day gaming habit. That's not healthy. Certainly, it has negatively impacted their lives with their respective significant others. (Although one guy I knew actually lost weight because he sorta forgot to eat while gaming, heh!)

But for the gamer-haters out there, how is gaming together any worse than watching movies/tv together, going to bars, or whatever it is that you do to unwind? It's fairly pointless, as is much of life.

Everything in moderation.
posted by LordSludge at 12:06 PM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I like the fact that this forum has a CEO and COO. No mention a COW though. I guess they took Bart's advice.
posted by srboisvert at 12:07 PM on March 28, 2007


So if your partner ignores you in favor of some other activity, you should join them in that activity? I don't really get that in terms of gaming. I mean, if someone likes to take walks, sure, there is something about walking that is enjoyable to most people - but gaming? It seems like a pretty exclusive activity. Only certain people feel the need to screw around in make-believe and their partners may no share that particular interest.

Besides, why can't gamers participate in an activity their partners enjoy? Why is this being repeatably suggested, yet no attention is given to the inverse course of action?
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:11 PM on March 28, 2007


I have (I believe) managed to avoid turning my wife into a gamers widow by doing two things: first, I don't play WoW. I generally stick to console games, which while capable of being very addictive, don't seem to have the same crack-like qualities of that particular MMO. And more importantly, when I do play, I try to find games that she will either want to play with me, or at least find entertaining to watch.

She's not a huge gamer, but if the game is good enough, she will demand that she get to watch every minute of it. Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time, was a great example of this. She felt she was too 'thumby' to do the acrobatics, but she really enjoyed seeing the story unfold.

Of course, some games are too scary (Doom 3) and she won't even come in the room when they are on the screen.
posted by quin at 12:13 PM on March 28, 2007


Mrs. Everichon is a Novel Widow, and I am an Online Real Estate Listings widower. Possibly too niche to support a forum.
posted by everichon at 12:13 PM on March 28, 2007 [5 favorites]


Everything in moderation.

Bah. I prefer the self destruction of a grand obsession. You can be moderate, I want to be magnificent and for that I need an epic mount.
posted by srboisvert at 12:18 PM on March 28, 2007 [8 favorites]


Whoa, Baby_Balrog, that was very well said. As I get older I find very much of your essay rings true. Online friends arent really friends. Blog readership arent friends. Videogames arent the problem theyre a symptom. Serious online attachment is a sign saying 'check your priorities/self/social skills.' etc.

There's a balance out there. I dont feel my BF2 marathons or my gf's tv habits hurt our relationship, but I can see how easily they could if either of us went overboard with them.

I find the anti-game rhetoric to be pretty empty. If gaming is such a problem then no intervention at that point can help someone who is this socially isolated, depressed, or whatever. By the time he/she is clocking in 8 hour Wow sessions a day the damage has been long done. I've seen it in myself with MUDs.

If anyone is going to walk away from this debate with anything other that axe-grinding I hope they walk away with the message that working adults do not have time to play MMORPGs the way theyre meant to be played. You just dont have the time, sorry. You've got better things to do. Maybe in a next life they'll have MMOs when youre still in high school.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:38 PM on March 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


forums and resources to help you find help.

Resources to find help? Why not just give them a link to some popular online dating services.

I'm sorry, but if you neglect your SO in favor of some stupid game, you don't "have a problem." You "are an insufferable bore."
posted by Afroblanco at 12:38 PM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


(And yes, I am saying that "gamer widows" need to find new boyfriends/girlfriends. DTMFA.)
posted by Afroblanco at 12:40 PM on March 28, 2007


This thread, the posts in that gamerwidow forum, and that AskMe thread are scaring the ever-loving crap out of me, and I don't even play games. The stories all sound identical.

A lot of you sound really, really confident. Man, I don't know how you can be so confident in a relationship. You never know what's going on in someone's head. Some of you are comparing gaming to working on a car or having a little workshop. I can't speak for women, but my guess is that women see fixing cars and building things as real hobbies where the guy is doing something. I don't think non-gamer wives see gaming as a productive hobby in the same way. They probably see it as a waste of time. Furthermore, gaming, and message boards, and community blogs (gulp) are semi-social activities. Like going to a party, but without your wife or girlfriend.

Oh, and guys, a lot of those stories in the forums seem to end up in divorce. I don't know about you all, but fuck that. I think you'll all be seeing me a lot less around here at nights and on the weekend. Shit.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:42 PM on March 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


...the whole commitment aspect falls under the social umbrella (with another layer when it comes to guilds), but also because MMOs are a journey of sorts.

Yes, and as Balrog so eloquently posited:
"The thing about "online friends" is that they aren't friends in any real sense of the word - in fact describing people that you only know through the internet as "friends" does a diservice to the meaning of the term "friend."

Thanks for the history lesson though, that's really cute.

People like seeing their characters through until the endgame, and along the way, especially if they are RPers, develop a history and such.

If you look at the statistical breakdown of RP servers vs PvE and PvP you will see they are in the distinct minority. Also, correction - there is no endgame. Jokes on you, err, your bank account!

This treadmill is a goldmine, make no bones about it... you are paying Blizzard softare $10-15 a month and if you actually transposed "earnings" in the game by selling your account and/or items your "wages" would be in the ballpark of .10 - .15 cents per hour.

So it's not exactly a design flaw that there is no finite end to your digital avatars ability to run that treadmill, be it for experience or epic gear, there's really no difference.

...while the Wii is a nice entrance to the world of gaming, I'm kind of bugged that people are referring to it as the sort of de facto gateway for women...

What? I suggested it because it is the most accessible and fastest selling console in the last decade, not because of gender. I suppose suggesting they pick up an HDTV, Xbox 360, Gears of War and a Live Gold account would have been slightly less misogynistic - or mildly retarded. You decide!
posted by prostyle at 12:46 PM on March 28, 2007


And yeah, sorry if my contribution in this thread came off as a bit harsh, but I'm a bit anti-videogame.

I have a roommate who spends most of his time sitting alone in his room drinking and playing videogames. I mean, it's like, "yeah, whatever makes him happy," but still. The dude is just wasting his life away.

I mean, yeah, videogames can be fun, and in moderation they're no more harmful then any other waste of time (*cough* metafilter *cough* *cough*), but when I see someone spend so much of their lives playing videogames, I find it depressing and kinda disgusting. It's like they've given up on real life or something.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:51 PM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I dunno, all the hype about this seems to leveled (pun intended) at a few really maladjusted folks who let .. something.. be it drugs, online games, etc adversely affect their lives. I like WoW. I play it for perhaps an hour or so in the morning before I go to work and sometimes for a bit on the weekend when my distant friend can join me and we have mutual time to spare. Other than that, I'm just too damn busy to find the time.

On preview, what damn dirty ape said. It's all about balance.
posted by elendil71 at 12:54 PM on March 28, 2007


“I generally stick to console games”

This is much safer. Consoles and non-MMO computer games have a major advantage over games like World of Warcraft, a pause button. When you sit down for a WoW raid you’re going to be there for a while. There is no taking a brake and finishing it up later. As for joining your significant other in their pastime, with MMORPGs unless you’re willing and able to devote the same amount of time and effort to the game as your SO you just won’t be able to play at the same level and in the same circles which makes it pretty pointless.
posted by Tenuki at 12:56 PM on March 28, 2007


Do any of these people have kids?
posted by docpops at 12:58 PM on March 28, 2007


looked down upon the fat masses who ignore their equally fat wives and would try to join me now and then in mockery of them

Great, now I've got "Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2" running in my head.

Also, "Wiidow" would make a decent neologism if the Wii weren't so conducive to social play.
posted by kurumi at 1:08 PM on March 28, 2007


I mean, if someone likes to take walks, sure, there is something about walking that is enjoyable to most people - but gaming? It seems like a pretty exclusive activity. Only certain people feel the need to screw around in make-believe and their partners may no share that particular interest.

Exclusive? Screwing around in make-believe? Like reading fiction or watching movies that tell fictional stories? So few people do that.
posted by juv3nal at 1:22 PM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm not a gamer widow (which is why I'm in this thread and not askme), but if I my husband were sitting on his duff doing this while I was home I would leave. Go for a run, go spend some money, go get a drink -- maybe meet another cute guy. I'd invite him along, of course.

As it stands I'm lucky if I get an hour of 'face-time' a day with my wife, I'm not going to hose that away on Mario or Metafilter.

And if there were kids involved, and I were the wife, I'd rip that console out of the TV and toss it off the balcony.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:27 PM on March 28, 2007


“I generally stick to console games”

This is much safer. Consoles and non-MMO computer games have a major advantage over games like World of Warcraft, a pause button. When you sit down for a WoW raid you’re going to be there for a while. There is no taking a brake and finishing it up later. As for joining your significant other in their pastime, with MMORPGs unless you’re willing and able to devote the same amount of time and effort to the game as your SO you just won’t be able to play at the same level and in the same circles which makes it pretty pointless.


That and an ending. My g/f recently purchased an old game cube and I hit Luigi's Mansion pretty hardcore for a week and a half or so. But then I beat the game and after that stopped playing it. Now, I'm thinking maybe I'll take her dancing this weekend.
posted by SBMike at 1:35 PM on March 28, 2007


There is no taking a brake and finishing it up later.

Actually there is: you can just quit mid way through the raid. Does it really matter if strangers -- or "friends" -- on the Internet freak out? (I do get what you're saying. People won't invite you to go raiding if you are quiting all the time, but really, does it matter?)
posted by chunking express at 1:49 PM on March 28, 2007


Do any of these people have kids?

Not anymore.

posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:06 PM on March 28, 2007


Does it really matter if strangers -- or "friends" -- on the Internet freak out?

Once there was an individual who rented a room from me, in which he would dwell, constantly basking in the CRT glow with a bag of fucking chips and a two-liter of soda at the ready. His truck needed to be moved so a guest could vacate the premises. We asked him kindly and waited outside, ten minutes later... nothing. Asked again, and the reply was "Hold on, I'm in the middle of a raid"...

We - the people who he fucking rented from and lived with - didn't matter in that context. This is how all of these people operate as they are functionally ignorant of the real world whenever they are absorbed in that petulant time-sink.

People won't invite you to go raiding if you are quiting all the time, but really, does it matter?

In the context of an individual who is dedicated to pursuing interaction within this gameworld the simple answer is yes.

The long answer is that due to Blizzards inability to create an actual engaging, entertaining "experience" once you have "capped" your characters "levels" the players have been forced to create one for themselves. This is where raiding comes in to play. If you've spent the last year and a half gestating your character from zero to 70 you aren't going to "throw it all away" because there is no finite point at which the game ends. So you keep playing - but how? Raid groups. If you piss in your bathwater with raid groups you have nothing to do, and if you have nothing to do with this worthless digital representation of your shallow fucking life for the last year and a half you might wander into a moment of self reflection and realize how pathetic you are - and we can't have that!
posted by prostyle at 2:07 PM on March 28, 2007


Here's the thing. You can - MANY people do - balance WoW or any other MMO and real life.

I raid. Twice a week, Fri and Sat evenings. Sometimes I tell me group "Nah, I can't make it, here, I found a mage who can take my spot, hope you manage it without a soulstone as I don't know any other warlocks who I'd trust in my spot." (Hell, I LEAD my group and I do this.)

I also work, have a relationship, another major time-consuming hobby, and for 2 and a half years, balanced that with a regular class in TKD. (Dojang closed, and then I moved. Haven't found a good replacement yet, not for a lack of looking.)

Is it 'pointless'. I guess so, but it's REALLY fun. For me. And my fiance, which is nice, since paladin/warlock is a REALLY faboo duoing team.

It's as pointless as the swing dancing I went out and did with him two weeks ago and the martial arts I used to take and the sci-fi writing I do on the side and the Terry Pratchett books I read on airplanes and buses and the jambalaya I spent 2 hours making.

I could've hit the gym and worked out, I could've learned a Serious Self Defense (TKD is not. It's fun as heck though.), I could write deep philosophical or political books that change someone's life, I could read Deep Meaningful Works, I could make REALLY healthy fat-free food that is perfectly nutritional that doens't stink up my house.

None of those are nearly as fun as my first options.

But I can empathise with "gamer widows" - My fiance plays Magic:The Gathering. I loathe it. LOATHE AND DESPISE. HATE. I twitch when he talks about it. So I asked him not to talk about it. TO ME. He doens't always remember, but he does most of the time. He goes out to tournaments, he plays a bit, gets some cards, reads stuff on it... and all without my input.

It's about compromise. If you can't stand to have your partner do something you dont' like? You need to take a step back and remember that your partner doesn't need to be attached to you at the damn hip. I love chocolate ice cream, my fiance can't eat it. He loves to eat spicy food, I get violent heartburn at more than a little bit of spicy.

Now, if they're spending EVERY waking out at it - it's not the hobby, it's the person. If it wasn't a game, it'd be something else. Get them some therapy, or get out of the relationship, either way.
posted by FritoKAL at 2:08 PM on March 28, 2007 [5 favorites]


On a typical evening, my wife and I will have dinner, then wind up either watching documentaries on TV or (more often) sitting at our side-by-side computers.

For a while we were playing WoW together, but we canceled our accounts because we both wanted to concentrate on our creative pursuits.

By gamer standards we're casual players, simply due to priorities and available time. But that doesn't mean we don't often wind up playing games several hours a night, even if they're different games. My current poison of choice is Anarchy Online; hers is The Sims 2.

IMHO, gaming > watching TV. The only disadvantage in terms of a relationship goes is it's harder to snuggle on the sofa while gaming, but that's why you don't spend all your time gaming :)
posted by Foosnark at 2:19 PM on March 28, 2007


Baby_Balrog,

Sorry for sniping you earlier. Your comment was a whole lot less moronic then what came later.

I'm very sorry for your loss. I know video game addiction can mess people up. It nearly ruined my academic career. But I got over it, realized I wanted to build something for myself in the real world. It took a lot of time though, and help. I'm sorry your wife never... what? Had the luck I did? That's probably all there is to it. I met the right people at the right time, she didn't, or was more far gone then I was anyway.

And in most ways, I agree with you about the meaning of 'friend'. Personally, I'm a huge technophile, yet I never IM or any such thing. It doesn't do it for me.

But generally, I think people need to stop judging gamer addiction and gaming one way or another. Why say that it isn't addiction? Most of the behaviours are the same. It doesn't matter if it's chemical or simply a lack of emotional control (or whatever), the symptoms are the same.

And...

It's like they've given up on real life or something.


I hate this attitude. What's so great about real life anyway? Sometimes it just kicks you down over and over and that's it. If the only source of happinness or pride or accomplishment or whatever you get is from a videogame, then good for you. At least you have something.

Life can be shit. And then you die. Why do you think you have things so figured out that you could pick anyone who plays a lot of video games and tell them to get over it.

"Just say no?" Fuck that. And fuck Nancy Reagen. And fuck everyone else's condescening bullshit too. Instead of explaining why people are inadequate, help them out, or just leave them alone. Your tone of voice probably isn't helping.
posted by Alex404 at 2:26 PM on March 28, 2007


I play my PSP while I poop.


That's it.
posted by Pecinpah at 2:30 PM on March 28, 2007


The first site linked to does not say anything about addiction, but rather about people who devote more time to their games than their significant others.

The first site linked is SEO chum. "Some popular terms in the Gamer Widow community are ..." BS.

gaming > watching TV

bears repeating.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:38 PM on March 28, 2007


As someone who admittedly uses games (although not MMOGs, I know what they would do to me) to help cope with depression (far safer than alcohol which I've seen one too many people use), does anyone know of any other help sites besides OLGA? I refuse to say "I feel that I am having trouble controlling this aspect of my life, so I will surrender all of it to something else." (I've always had this gripe with all AA modeled organizations.)

So yes it is there (gaming addiction). But it's almost always a symptom of something else. I play less when I'm less depressed. In a way, it's a useful index.
posted by Hactar at 2:45 PM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


At the end of the day, it's about priorities. What comes first? Real life (TM) or the internet?

The line starts blurring when the people you know on the internet also happen to be people you know in real life, and happen to be friends in real life.

I don't consider myself a gamer widow. I've occasionally considered myself a programmer widow, though. And when that's happened, I've told my husband about how I feel, and about how to remedy the situation. Because the standard response of passive-aggressive sulking isn't going to work on someone with tunnel vision.

He's done the same for me. I occasionally get overinvolved in a game, or a community, and neglect my relationship with him. He's courteous enough to gently clue me into what is happening, and his preferred resolution. Usually it involves a hot beverage, outside, and talking.

Whilst the gamer widow phenomenon is a problem, I think that it is partially caused by people not being willing to stand up for themselves in a relationship, or willing to clearly communicate concerns they have about the other person's behaviour, at a time where it is a concern, not an issue or a problem. But that's a pretty universal thing that applies to relationships, I suppose.
posted by ysabet at 2:47 PM on March 28, 2007


What about television? I know people who drop two hours per diem on the TV without batting an eye, yet I never hear the word "addiction" coupled to it. If videogames were not art, but mere escapist indulgences, still would they have the power to enthrall, to traumatize, to hypnotize, on par with a 24-hour cable news circus? Are they chattering in the background of every nursing home, hospital, and airport?

I'll take "the barefaced irony of a Fox expose on videogame addiction" for 400, Alex.
posted by kid ichorous at 2:52 PM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


(Also, it's better than being a porn widow.)
posted by kid ichorous at 2:55 PM on March 28, 2007


Hactar:

Same thing for me. Except somehow I got it under control. I don't know of any good help groups.

I can tell you what worked for me though: Destroy your graphics card. Throw away your tv/console. When I got depressed, I would throw myself into a game, but it tended to perpetuate things. Of course, I was having tons of fun while playing, but then, the 10 hours a day would damage other things in my life, which would make me more depressed, etc...

Identifying gaming as a partial source of the depression as well as a symptom is/was very important for me.

Also, I've always found that quitting a game is only really bad for the first few days. I keep thinking about it, thinking of new strategies, min/maxing this that or the other, but it peters out after a few days. Finding ways to cut off any gaming access was key for me. This would devolve into breaking CDs, randomizing passwords so I won't know them anymore, and so on.

All this only worked for me though only because I had something else to do (School). Once I found school rewarding, it got a lot easier for me to not play games during the school year. I don't know what your deal is, so I don't know what you can do to "fill the void". If you don't have anything, all I can (tritely) recommend is to try different things until you find something you love.
posted by Alex404 at 3:01 PM on March 28, 2007


A good friend of mine and his girl are both gamers. They are both parents and both have full time jobs.

My friend is also a writer in his spare time.

But whatever. On the internets, everybody is the exception to the rule!
posted by The Power Nap at 3:16 PM on March 28, 2007


I lost the love of my life to World of Warcraft.

Be warned.
posted by squidfartz at 3:17 PM on March 28, 2007


all of you guys are completely missing the point here: WOW is the greatest fucking game ever.

/he says as he nervously itches himself and waits while his younger brother bogarts the only copy of WOW in the house
posted by Avenger at 3:31 PM on March 28, 2007


Alex, I'm teaching, which I love. But I'm in a rural area without much human contact outside of work. So depression has been something of an issue this year. I suppose its to my benefit that the games I play tend to be at least 6 years old, I have no graphics card. So they are never quite as immersive as some of the newer ones. And my civ III CDs are at my parents. But thanks for the advice. I need to remember to run temptation blocker more often.
posted by Hactar at 3:38 PM on March 28, 2007


My last serious bout of game addiction was the original Sims game. I had what they call a moment of clarity -- my Sim was well-dressed, worked out every day, had a good job and a pretty well-decorated apartment. His life was way better than mine -- and then I realized, of course it was -- I spent way more time on his life than on my own.

Now, I still get down with every Grand Theft Auto, but I only play games with definite endings or caps.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:10 PM on March 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


kid ichorous:

I call the obsession with TV an addiction. Sitting there hypnotised by moving pictures ... *shudder*. I don't understand how people can just sit there and do nothing for hours on end! I mean, they're not even busywaiting like you do in a lot of videogames.

Yeah, I don't own a TV. If I'm going to watch moving pictures, it'll be in a window on my computer so I can at least do something (semi-)meaningful with the time, like make plans for the weekend or read something interesting, or talk to my husband when it's not in an exciting bit.
posted by ysabet at 4:26 PM on March 28, 2007


What's so great about real life anyway? Sometimes it just kicks you down over and over and that's it. If the only source of happinness or pride or accomplishment or whatever you get is from a videogame, then good for you. At least you have something.

I see a lot of people here being judgmental based on the fact that for them real life[tm] is better than what they find in games. For some people, their experience is the opposite, and THAT'S OKAY.

And for people saying that online friends aren't "real" friends, well, I think the issue there is that you simply haven't ever made any. Guess what? Many of us have. Love, support, shared good times, cooperating to overcome a challenge - these things can all be conveyed online just fine. So you don't get your friendship needs met through online media - so what? Don't denigrate the experience of those who do.

I play WoW. A lot. But you know what? Before I played I wasn't doing anything incredibly amazing with my time. I am not very social in person and tend to have few friends - but online I have a ton more, and socialize a lot more than I would otherwise. It is a net plus, for me. Obviously other people may be different, and I accept that and don't try to discount their experience.

And this may sound ridiculous to you, but in some ways playing the game deeply and well is an art form. I imagine this is true for other games as well. Would the people sneering in this thread sneer as much if a partner were spending a lot of time practicing their music, or painting? I highly doubt it.

That said, maintaining a relationship obviously requires at least a minimum investment in the other person, and if for whatever reason, that is not being met, then the relationship is in trouble. This is not unique to gaming at all.
posted by beth at 4:27 PM on March 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


EVE Online was my poison. I was a trader. It was the market that consumed me. I had pages and pages of spreadsheets with cargo space per model of freighter and profit per cubic meter per jump. Insta-bookmarks for entire region. Trying to find the pattern in the price fluctuations and timing my buy and sells accordingly. Dumping inventory into low traffic systems in an attempt to game the market. Squeezing out those last few drops of ISK on a run would make my day.

Then one day it hit me. This is work. Way too much like work, in fact. I'm a god damned interstellar broker.

So I stopped playing. "If I'm going to work, I'm going to get paid for it," I thought. But while playing I found a talent I didn't know I had.

I'm currently employed as a network engineer, but I've been scraping together my transcripts, letters or recommendation, and test scores in an attempt to get into a local Applied Mathematics program with an eye on a Master's in Financial Engineering. Funny how things work out.
posted by quite unimportant at 4:30 PM on March 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


God help my marriage when Halo 3 comes out. I have already pre-warned my wife. I'm considering taking days off work and even paying for my wife to take our son to England for a week so I can get on with it and get it over with.

I solemnly vow never to pick up WoW or anything similar.
posted by Frasermoo at 4:47 PM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


And for people saying that online friends aren't "real" friends, well, I think the issue there is that you simply haven't ever made any. Guess what? Many of us have. Love, support, shared good times, cooperating to overcome a challenge - these things can all be conveyed online just fine. So you don't get your friendship needs met through online media - so what? Don't denigrate the experience of those who do.

Bears repeating. Word. My online friends are just as much "friends" as my real-life friends are - they may not be able to come and pick me up in the middle of the night, but they've certainly done equally important things.

My husband has periodically been a game widower (Civ III, f'rex...or the various Zeldas), just as I have periodically been a game widow (Half Life 2, I'm looking at you). But I'm talking about at most a few weeks or so of seriously intense time-investment, this sort of thing on an ongoing long term basis is pretty disturbing.
posted by biscotti at 5:13 PM on March 28, 2007


Seems a lot of people would rather blame a videogame than their own poor choice of marriage partner...
posted by nightchrome at 6:16 PM on March 28, 2007


The thing about "online friends" is that they aren't friends in any real sense of the word - in fact describing people that you only know through the internet as "friends" does a diservice to the meaning of the term "friend."

I am really, really surprised no one has called B_B on this. I mean -- I understand that your marriage ended in a horrible way, and you suffered some real trauma from that. But that statement is still absolute bullshit. I have and continue to trust online friends -- including one who's in the Army -- with the ability to get me kicked out of that same institution. I've showed up on the doorsteps of a couple different people with little to no warning and hung out and been able to crash at their place, and I've put up other friends in my place.

I get along just fine with offline people. It would be impossible to survive in the Army if I didn't. The fact is that the above quote is simply wrong. Incorrect. False. Other synonyms. It is not the case. People you first encounter on the 'net are still people.

And remember that the flipside to the coin you just dropped is the sort of behaviour that treats 'net people as if they weren't real, the pranks and frauds that result in very real emotional, financial, and occasionally physical harm.

As for the subject of the post, I dunno. I don't see "gamer widows" as any different than any other sort of emotional widow. If your SO doesn't care about you, then what he does care about instead seems sort of immaterial to the question, to me.
posted by kavasa at 6:51 PM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm currently employed as a network engineer, but I've been scraping together my transcripts, letters or recommendation, and test scores in an attempt to get into a local Applied Mathematics program with an eye on a Master's in Financial Engineering. Funny how things work out.

My story is kind of like that too. People often fail to grasp how video games can have some positive effects.

So I've played a lot of role playing games, and I always identified with the heroes. You know those games where you had an option to be evil? I couldn't do it. I always had to pick the good guy way. I often thought though that the whole sale slaughter of supposedly "evil" things was a disturbingly racial and simplistic notion.

I would say that Fallout, Final Fantasy, and Planescape Torment all had a profound effect on my moral development, and my windy road to studying philosophy and ethics in university.

Similarly, initial desires to be a 'video game programmer' led me to thinking about what was lacking in many video games... what I would like to change in them... etc... Artificial Intelligence.

Now I'm studying philosophy and artificial intelligence. I'm having a blast too. All thanks to DeVry! (Kidding!)

-

On an another note, it seems like a lot of people treat specific video games as responsibilities to discharge. I do the exact same thing. It's hilarious. My girlfriend doesn't get it.

"But if you enjoy it, why not spread it out over a couple weeks?"

"You don't understand. I have to do this. The sooner I get this out of the way, the better."
posted by Alex404 at 6:54 PM on March 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


One of the members of my guild is a 13 year old kid. He's smart, rambunctious, witty. His father is also in the guild. His father serves in the United States Army, and his work keeps him away from home for long periods of time. He and his son are both at 70, and frequently run instances and quests together.

One of my good friends, who has yet to appear in this thread, decided to attend grad school on a coast this year, leaving his long-time girlfriend here in the midwest. They decided to stay together, and started playing WoW together before he left. They chat on Ventrilo, level together, and spend as much time as they can interacting with one another that would be impossible without the interactive platform the game provides.

Video games can isolate people, but they can also bring people together in amazing ways. My fiance and I play WoW together- I play my main when she's at work or school, and have a character that I play together with her. It's a great way for us to hang out, relax, and have some fun together. We also do other stuff, like go out, hang out with our friends, play Frisbee golf, go to concerts, and otherwise try to accomodate one anothers' interests.

In the end, the "video games are the devil" argument is completely ridiculous. The devil is in all of us, and we choose how we express it. People who condemn video games and MMOs outright are simply choosing to invalidate the experiences of others based on their own, which strikes me as a bloody stupid thing to do. Expressing the superiority of your leisure activity of choice over another's is just asinine, especially if you do it on MetaFilter.

"Crack is bad for you, good thing I just do meth!"
posted by baphomet at 7:12 PM on March 28, 2007 [5 favorites]


I would say that Fallout, Final Fantasy, and Planescape Torment all had a profound effect on my moral development, and my windy road to studying philosophy and ethics in university.

True. I don't know about Final Fantasy (I'm fiercely anti-console!), but jeez, those other two blurred the line between game and art for me. And Infocom strutted over it.
posted by kid ichorous at 7:16 PM on March 28, 2007


supposed to say "in a way that"
posted by baphomet at 7:44 PM on March 28, 2007


The devil is in all of us, and we choose how we express it.

QFT.
posted by Alex404 at 7:46 PM on March 28, 2007


Oh man, here's an odd anecdote. Only tangentially related to video games though, but much more related to internet forums... er, like Metafilter.

I had a friend for ten years, he's a good guy, I guess. He went to University, and all he did for the first year was take advantage of the fast connection and play video games. (This was back when fast connections weren't available for the home.)

Then he got kicked out for his failing grades. I'd say it was almost predictable. He had a pretty miserable life to begin with, I would say, so it was understandable-- his escapism I mean. I'd often wish he do something about his misery instead of just wallowing in it, but whatever, not my life.

Over the years we've grown apart, but we still saw each other once a year when he would come home to visit his family. The last time we saw each other he stayed with me for a couple of days... and what kind of shocked me was... all he did was check the internets. We barely even talked, and when we did, it was like he wasn't really even there or listening. We'd make plans with other people, but he'd keep dragging his feet... cause wait... he has to check Metafilter... !

It was really depressing. I don't talk to him much anymore. And this is a friend of ten years. I can't imagine how what it would be like if he were my wife or something. He's "just" a friend, I don't consider him to be my life partner, I mean. But I couldn't help but think that even though we were in the same room, he was just an empty shell.

I mean, obviously, I don't think Metafilter is the problem... the problem is his, not the internets, and the thing is, I entirely understood where he was coming from.. after all, we were friends because we were so similar. There was a period of my life when I was in between jobs, and all I did too was spend time on IRC chatting with people. I probably did this for a good eight months, and it dominated my life. And I have to tell you, those "friends" whom I made really weren't friends at all. I guess, fortunately, I ultimately realized this, and decided to unplug. I messed up my passwords and so on, and cleared out my bookmarks. I sworn to myself that I wouldn't log on.

And then I got bored. And when I got bored I went out. And when I got bored I got another job. See, by hanging out with my internet "friends", I had a safety net. Even though I had real life friends, I didn't feel any need for them. Once I got rid of my internet crutch, it forced to me walk a real life again.

And I think ultimately it comes down to you... The internet or video games aren't good or bad inherently, and what you do with them depends on your self awareness. I know that I can use the internet for procrastination, so now I've gotten rid of my bookmarks, and monitor my internet habits much more. (As I was reading this thread, I was on my stationary bike... When I use the internet recreationally, it's only when it can complement something else.) I know also that I have an addictive personality, and for that very reason I don't ever have more than two drinks at one sitting. And I think that's it... the trick is to using technology to *complement* your life, not as a *replacement* of your life.

So yeah, the first step is self-awareness... But the second step's the really hard one... and that's a matter of will. And by gosh, it's hard... It really is.
posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 7:53 PM on March 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


I am really, really surprised no one has called B_B on this.

kavasa, meet beth. Hi, I'm biscotti. No ones, both of us.
posted by biscotti at 8:27 PM on March 28, 2007


Avenger has a good point: WoW is awesome.
posted by chunking express at 8:52 PM on March 28, 2007


Would the people sneering in this thread sneer as much if a partner were spending a lot of time practicing their music, or painting?

When you create a work of art or piece of music, you create something that may enrich the entire human race.

Videogames are more like highly-stylized masturbation; MMORPGS, a circle jerk.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:19 PM on March 28, 2007


"When you create a work of art or piece of music, you create something that may enrich the entire human race.

Videogames are more like highly-stylized masturbation; MMORPGS, a circle jerk."


What's wrong with masturbation or circle jerks?

This talk of "contributing to the human race" is laudable in the abstract but utterly divorced from reality. Most people don't make much of a contribution and it's an absurd standard by which to judge someone. A better standard is simply whether they are happy and aren't hurting anyone else.

I simply don't understand—or, rather, I think it's irrational—the way that many people place relative value on different activities, all of which are purely recreational. Going to bars or parties and drinking and socializing isn't productive. Listening to bands, watching movies, playing softball, or reading novels aren't productive. Watching TV isn't productive. Sitting on the front porch isn't productive. Exercising isn't productive. If someone divided all their free time each week between these activities, no one would complain that they're wasting their life. However, if such a person did all these things to the exclusion of spending time with their spouse/partner, then there would be complaints. The problem isn't the activity, it's the relationship.

It's common in certain social circles to condemn heavy television watching and contrast that against a "good" activity, reading books. I share that sentiment. But, frankly, it's not entirely justified. Yes, a person is likely to get more from reading than watching TV. But what does that matter if they don't "produce" something more as a result? If the emphasis isn't on production—which I don't think it should since it's mostly theoretical and I doubt most people would feel comfortable having their lives and decisions judged on the basis of what they've contributed to the rest of humanity—then all that matters is the person's happiness (barring metaphysics). Let people do what they enjoy doing and don't make your cultural prejudices an excuse to be irrationally judgmental. Most judgments about recreational activity X being "better" in some universal sense than recreational activity Y are simply matters of tradition and familiarity.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:56 PM on March 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


When you create a work of art or piece of music, you create something that may enrich the entire human race. Videogames are more like highly-stylized masturbation; MMORPGS, a circle jerk.

Ergo, videogames cannot be a work of art, and cannot enrich? None of them? What if, like Mindwheel, it were penned by a poet laureate? Is it a work of art yet? Does audience interaction preclude artistic value?
posted by kid ichorous at 11:03 PM on March 28, 2007


When you create a work of art or piece of music, you create something that may enrich the entire human race.

Videogames are more like highly-stylized masturbation; MMORPGS, a circle jerk.
posted by Afroblanco


People who still proudly claim they've never played a video game exist in the same category as people who proudly claim they have never read a book.

I've been re-typing this comment for 20 minutes now trying to come up with a way to explain how wrong you are. My life and the lives of all the people I work with (in a games company) have been enriched by videogames more than you can ever imagine.

My girlfriend works as a nurse. In very practical, everyday terms she makes other people's lives better. Whenever I feel bad about 'only working on videogames' I remind myself what it was like when I played my first videogames as a kid. The sense of wonder and awe that still hits me to this day when I play a game that immerses you in its world. That, to me, justifies the existence of this industry. We make people happy. If that doesn't enrich the entire human race, I don't know what will.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:35 AM on March 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


I know folks who have claimed to be "gamer widows" but their relationships were over without the game. Playing WoW (or any other game) and ignoring your partner is inevitably a symptom, not a cause.

As for "real friends" ... I'm not even gonig there. Suffice it to say most of the folks I've met in person have turned out not to be "real friends" when it comes right down to it. I'll take what I can get.
posted by dagnyscott at 9:23 AM on March 29, 2007


A sobering thread.
posted by craniac at 10:09 PM on March 29, 2007


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