5 Dangers of Playing Video Games with a Significant Other...
by Lui Galletto
You have managed to get a boyfriend/girlfriend! We are all so very proud of you, and they are quite a catch.
Oh, and they play video games as well? You, my friend, have just hit the Jackpot! High five!
I'm sure that you two lovebirds are going to break out the controllers and play some Co-Op or multiplayer. Maybe if you play well enough, you'll get another kind of achievement (wink wink, nudge nudge).
Sex. I'm talking about sex
In all seriousness, playing video games with a significant other (SO) seems like a GREAT idea.
You get to spend time with a person you care about, share in a favorite hobby, and look down upon people playing by themselves. Whats not to love?
He can't even get a date! Our son is such a loser!
But, beware! There are hidden dangers lurking within this seemingly harmless type of date. Dangers that threaten the very fabric of your new relationship.
They Might Be Worse Than You
So, you fire up your Xbox and put in Left 4 Dead. It's perfect! You both love zombies, and its a relatively easy game to play so it won't be too challenging for either of you. Plenty of time to make googly eyes at each other as you rip apart hordes with chainsaws.
The game starts smoothly. You both are getting numerous kills, enjoying yourselves and baby talking to each other, until suddenly a Hunter pounces on you and starts to claw your face off!
After the initial shock wears off, you desperately yell at your SO to get him off! You take a peek at their screen and they running full sprint into a wall. You try pointing in vain to your dying character on screen just for them to sputter that they "don't know HOW!" By the time they figure it out ("oh you were over THERE?"), you are dead and have to sit out as they bumble through the rest of the level.
You manage to push down the frustration, and eventually you get to play again. As you play more, it gets harder and harder to keep that anger from spilling out. Even though this is the 87th time you have revived them, they still can’t seem to help your character out while they stand two feet away and shoot the air.
Eventually you will get so fed up, you won't want to play anymore. A perfect date ruined just because you had 288 zombie kills and they had...12. Ouch
They Might Be Better Than You
No big deal you say, shaking your head at the couple from the previous example. I'm a pretty good gamer already, so it will be fun to teach them how to get better!
You decide to play Super Smash Bros. Its a fun game and you've played it tons of times!
"Oh you want to play AGAINST me? Well alright I'll go easy on you... maybe"
They only respond with a low chuckle. You suddenly feel very uncomfortable.
"Babe, I'm choosing Captain Falcon, hes going to kick Jigglypuff's ass! Are you sure you don't want to try someone else? No? Okay... don't say I didn't warn you..."
The match begins and you’re feeling pretty confident. You sprint towards that pink bag of hot air, ready to give your best Falcon Punch. Suddenly they roll behind you and send you flying off stage. WHAT THE HELL?
"Lucky hit" they say smugly.
When you respawn, they begin to pummel you from every direction. Your damage percentage skyrockets into the hundreds until suddenly you are shot off the stage yet again. For five minutes they completely trounce you. Maybe you got a few good shots in, and sometimes they even came close to falling off the edge, but at the end of the match its Jigglypuff gloating over its 15 KOs while the Captain hangs his head in shame in the background.
How did this happen?? From nowhere they made you look like a complete idiot! They give you a consolation kiss on the cheek, but you can feel your ears burning red from embarrassment. You want to take the high road and congratulate them, but suddenly, you don't feel like playing games anymore. They're stupid anyway. Only losers with no life play them. Good thing you don't even care about them. Right? Guys?
Suddenly you lost not only the game, but your integrity. Competitiveness is healthy when playing games, but if you let it consume you and cause you to think negatively about your SO, you are flying into a danger zone.
They Might Not Actually Like Video Games
We do a lot of things for those we love. During my illustrious dating career, I've picked up arts and crafts, eaten ridiculous foreign foods, listened to Nickleback, even taken up a job as a performer in an amusement park.
More often than not, you will gain some interesting experiences by trying new things for a SO. But, sometimes the best intentions lead to disaster and disappointment.
You decide to share your gaming fascination with your new sweetheart. Maybe its just a small hobby for you, but maybe you buy special collector editions of every game and have dozens of statutes, art books, and other assorted gaming paraphernalia in your room.
Pictured: A Healthy Obsession
Sure they might want to try out a few of your favorite games, but it doesn't take long to realize when you don't enjoy something. So they are either going to grin and bear it until they begin to loathe you, or will flat out refuse to even try it.
So what does this mean? To the average person, probably not too much. For people who love going to conventions dressed as Master Chief? Probably a little more. If you have a SO who does not support your hobbies, that’s going to lead to a rift that will likely grow over time.
They Might Like Video Games More Than They Like You
I once dated a really book-smart girl. She would spend hours doing homework, and got terrific grades. Aside from being bat-shit insane, I am sure she will grow up to be quite successful.
Not Pictured: Diapers
As we dated, I realized she cared more about grades then hanging out. Don't get me wrong, I totally respect dedication to school work. The only problem was she ignored me while she did hers and would bother me to no end when I tried to do mine. It wasn't that she cared too much about GPA, she only cared about HER grades.
That's when something becomes a threat to a relationship.When an interest, like gaming or work is self-serving, it becomes a bigger priority than the romance.
(Psst, If you haven’t guessed, that’s a bad thing).
If you find yourself playing video games and ignoring your SO while they are in the same room, it may be a problem. If you rather stay in and play video games, instead of going out on a date, YOU may have a problem.
It Might Show You That You Two Don't Work as a Team
The best thing about having a SO play video games is that you two get to bond and collaborate to reach a goal. Whether it is split screen multiplayer, or story line Co-Op, you two are one unit, working towards a singular goal of destruction.
But what happens when decision time comes? You want to attack enemies head on, but they want to take the stealth option. Either way could work, but you need both of you to work together to succeed. You try to argue why your way is better, but she gives great reasons for hers. Neither of you can suck up your pride to work together. And while you are arguing with each other, enemies flank and kill you. Good work.
Team work and trust are necessary for any strong relationship. If you guys can't come together for a simple video game, what about when it is time for important real life decisions? Will you appease their desires or just ignore them? Will you actually try to see things from their point of view, or do you still see decision making as a competition?
Go For It Anyways
That's right, don't let this article scare you away. Gaming with a boyfriend/girlfriend is one of the best feelings. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and companionship that you just can't achieve with your gaming buddies. Just look at this as a cautionary guide.
It is good for a relationship when you share victories together and healthy when you work on your defeats. It has the same emotional pay off as actual work, with none of the stress.
Hell, maybe you two can even work together to ruin some poor trash talking kid's day. If that is not the definition of love, I don't know what is.
Originally Published May. 8th 2013