Computer Games and Relationship
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|Tue, 01-14-2014 - 4:37am|
My girlfriend and I have been together for four years. We had a fight over the weekend and I would like to post here because I need to work out how to resolve things.
I'm 37 years old and still into computer games. I feel embarrassed as I write this because there's a feeling in the back of my mind that I should have given up gaming years ago. However, I like them, I enjoy playing them and always have done. It's something I do in moderation and I would not consider myself addicted in any way. I don't play them at every opportunity; I don't let them get in the way of spending time with my girlfriend, or doing house duties. In fact, I go to extra lengths to ensure the house duties are done and that my partner is busy with something else. Only then do I feel comfortable to play a game and sit down with it. I cook, I clean, I hoover, I iron. I believe in shared responsibilities and would hate to get to a point in my life where I neglect these things and my partner for the sake of a game; or for anything.
I was playing a single player computer game over the weekend that had a story arc. I play as some kind of engineer who's trapped in a space station and have to fight my way to the end. During the course of the game I came across another survivor, a female, who was fighting their way through. Note: I am not playing online. It is an offline singleplayer game. This NPC (non-person character) was a womam wearing combat trousers and a t-shirt. She was attractive. I knew this would be a problem for my girlfriend as soon as I encountered the character. My girlfriend has a history of getting jealous of other women, even women in films, and now ... games.
My girlfriend saw this NPC in the game and exploded with anger. She shocked me by accusing me of playing online, in little groups, with women, and of messaging them and trying to form relationships with them. This is completely untrue! I tried to explain this calmly and tried to prove to her that it was an offline singleplayer game but she wouldn't believe me. She said that I would find a way to make it look like I was being honest even if I was being dishonest. Note: I have never cheated on her, or done this kind of thing!
She then went on to claim that I was addicted to games and could not live without them. Note: I had only played the game when she was doing something else, such as bathing or reading or putting her 12 year old son to bed. While "gaming" I often pause the game and go to her during the game to give her attention, offer a cup of tea. I also spent some time next to her reading my book! When she was putting her son to bed, I made sure to go into the room a couple of times and spend time with her. I do not feel I'm addicted or play too much. Over the last six months there have have been many weeks and days where I haven't played at all! I have never played on the game after she's ready for bed. Often, I am the one waiting for her to finish reading or something.
She also commented how she finds it terrible that I play games with stories in them. Especially ones with female characters. I play all kinds of games (from racing car simulators, to flight simulators, to story games, to strategy games). It just so happens that this time, it's a story game. And this time, there was an attractive female character. Note: There was absolutely no romantic or sexual relationship or connection between this character and the character I played!
I stayed calm and tried to resolve the conflict. I tried to break the issue down into it's many parts so we could address them calmly, rationally, and like adults:
A) accusations of playing online with women
B) addiction to gaming
C) games with female characters.
For A) she could not accept that I was being honest and was not prepared to work with me to show this. She had her mind made up and that was final. I asked her if she would sit with me and I show her the game. She refused. I asked if I could show her my save game history to prove when I had been playing. She refused.
For B) I tried to discuss game addiction with her and what it means to be addicted to a game. I found some online articles to determine/explore game addiction but she blocked all attempts to work on this. I found a checklist for people that are worried about game addiction to determine if they showed signs of addiction. To this, she reacted with fury. I too would like to be sure I'm not addicted. I want to find the balance between doing something I enjoy and making my girlfriend happy. Note: I love spending time with my girlfriend! I am considering giving up gaming but I worry that giving up gaming for her would be wrong because it wouldn't be for love it would only be to appease her. I think that true love is when you know your partner enjoys doing something and you support them in that. Of course... within reason. As long as the interest is healthy and it's not hurting either party...
For C) She was not prepared to discuss it further and got very angry when I tried to discuss this. I tried to explain how important she is to me and that even though I didn't believe there is anything wrong with my playing this game perhaps I should consider only playing simulators. I said that I will take some time to think about the morality of what I'm doing. I am prepared to think of others opinion and accept if my view is wrong.
How do you think I can resolve this? What are you views?