It all started so innocently four years ago in an aisle of Best Buy. My husband pulled me into the video game section and pointed to a game called World of Warcraft. The “Gee, honey, I’ll only play a few hours on the weekends” quickly turned into inside jokes with his friends, and mind-numbing talk of talent trees and farming dungeons. It’s now evolved into endless weekend nights where he sits in front of a computer screen, pressing buttons and speaking in a language so foreign most women would need a Rosetta stone to decipher it. I sometimes feel like I should start a support group for other women widowed by the console games and MMORPGs — or massively multiplayer online role-playing games, for those who haven’t already lost their loved one to this menace — that have taken over their husband’s and boyfriend’s lives. This might be a good first step in offering support, presenting the top 5 confessions of a video game widow.
5. I’ve Dreamed Of Putting A Hammer Through The Computer Screen
Or a shovel, an axe or whatever is handy. This thought generally occurs while my husband is staring blankly at the computer screen, mouth agape, instead of listening to anything that comes out of my mouth. I think I could honestly tell my hubby that I’m planning to run away to Borneo with our six-toed neighbor and he’d just nod complacently and ask for another cup of coffee.
4. We Use Their Addiction To Justify Our Own Addictions
I’ll be the first person to admit I’m not perfect, and I do have a tiny, insignificant “addiction” of my own. It’s to Coach handbags, which admittedly aren’t cheap and I’ve noticed there is a direct correlation between the amount of time my husband spends playing Star Wars the Old Republic and the number of Coach purses in my closet. All I have to do is go onto the Coach website every few months and when my husband points out the size of my present handbag collection, I just casually bring up the amount of time he spent last weekend playing his precious video games. Works like a charm every time.
3. We’re Terrified The Addiction Is Hereditary
I was basically fine with my husband’s affinity for video games when my daughter was an infant. She was pretty low maintenance … well as low maintenance as a screaming, barfing, pooping little person can be. As my precious child grows up, her interest in video games has turned from a casual curiosity to a full-blown, addiction-in-the-making. My worst fears were finally realized on a recent trip to a big-name department store. I turned my head for 30 seconds only to return to my husband and daughter standing there like idiots with big, suspicious grins on their faces. Turns out my wonderful husband purchased my 5 year old a $169.99 Nintendo 3DS. She’s 5! Cornered by the prospect of looking like the bad guy to my daughter or a psycho-possessive mom to my husband, I was forced to cave. As I sit here writing this piece my daughter is next to me punching away at her 3DS with the same blank, open-mouth stare as her father. The family resemblance is scarily uncanny.
2. We’re Secretly Worried This Has Gone Too Far
This piece is intended as entertainment, but please don’t think I take video game addiction lightly. It’s a serious issue, and many people are losing their homes, families and lives because of their addiction. Recently, a 20-year-old from England perished from a blood clot in his leg after a 12-hour marathon session of “Halo.” Women are citing video games, particularly World of Warcraft, as grounds for divorce. This is a serious issue and if you think your spouse or child is afflicted by a video game addiction, please don’t hesitate to seek help for them. If need be, drag your spouse away from the computer or television and smack some sense into him. If this doesn’t work, refer to the above section about putting a hammer through the screen. That’s guaranteed to get his attention.
1. Some Of Us Are Secretly Jealous We’re Not Playing The Games
Back in the day before kids, stress, a mortgage and bickering in-laws, I was known to rock a little Soul Caliber and Champions of Norrath. I really miss those days, and sometimes I think the real beef I have with my husband is actually jealousy, not that I’d ever admit it to him. Video games are an awesome distraction, and that is probably the allure to most men, my husband included. In the interest of shared passions bringing a marriage close together, I just might have to grab the Xbox 360 controller, slip Modern Warfare 3 into the console, hop online and gun down a few noobs.
Disclaimer: In real life, my video game-loving husband is a wonderfully attentive partner and father. He does play a lot of video games, but in all fairness my handbag collection is also getting a little out of control.