Wondering why your wife is threatening to leave you because of video games? According to a study done by Dr. Mark Burton, the partners of gamers feel insignificant and neglected if more time is being invested in playing video games than making an effort in the relationship. Your wife does not want to compete against a video game for your attention.
We all love to unwind after a hard day’s work with our own personal interests. Some of us enjoy comforting hobbies such as reading, crafting, and cooking. Others prefer the exploratory, indulging, and action-packed world of video gaming. However, this love for playing video games is not shared by everyone. Video gaming can cause a lot of pleasure for some but a lot of frustration for others.
The last thing we want to do is to make our partners feel neglected. So, what are our options? Should we reduce our video game time? Should we try and get our wives interested in gaming? What can we do to bridge the gap between our video game enjoyment and their frustration?
Let’s dive right into the core of this dilemma, “what do women think about video games?”
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What Do Women Think About Video Games?
Muscle and fitness magazine gathered twenty women to hear what they had to say about video games. The question addressed to all these women was, “Do you care if your boyfriend plays video games?” The consensus was that most of them don’t mind it as long as it doesn’t interfere with their quality time.
More than 50% of the woman agreed that playing video games is fine; it just should not be an obsession. However, a small percentage of the woman mentioned that they dislike the whole idea of video gaming and would prefer their spouses partake in a different hobby.
The data gathered over the years regarding women’s opinions about video games are as varied as they are interesting. A large percentage of women love playing video games and even enjoy participating in the activity with their partners. Others have a completely negative view of gaming and mention that even an hour spent playing it is an hour wasted.
Why, then, are there constant quarrels about video games in the relationship?
According to Julie Hanks, a licensed clinical social worker, most fights regarding video games are about the fear that video games matter more than the relationship.
In most cases, if your significant other is expressing frustration and hatred towards video games and time invested in them, the problem is, actually, feelings of neglect rather than hostility towards gaming.
In most cases, women who are invested in the relationship and still believe that it matters lash out at their partners for playing video games as an attempt to make them aware of this.
More often than not, women don’t mind adult males playing video games; the real issue is how men allocate their time between their hobbies and their spouses.
How Do Video Games Affect Our Relationships?
The video game industry has steadily increased in value over the past couple of years. In 2020 the industry was estimated to be worth $159.3 Billion, a 9% increase from 2019. With the popularity of video games continuously growing, their impact on our social lives has become more significant.
In a rapport done by the NPD group in 2007, they became aware that more than one-third of children between the ages of two and seventeen are playing more video games than the year prior. Half of these children spent five hours or less and average playing video games, whereas the other half can easily spend six to sixteen hours.
So, how does this behavior of children playing video games affect their relationships in the future?
The Padilla-Walker et al. study outlined that video games run the risk of affecting adult social development because it was related to less time being spent with parents and friends.
A study by Cole Griffiths in 2007 had similar results. This study recorded that 912 participants, between the ages of eleven to sixty-three years old, who spent time participating in online role-playing games had difficulties with the relationships of their friends and family who did not participate in the game.
Even though the correlation between playing video games and developing and maintaining personal relationships between friends and family was weak, it was still significant.
Although the studies showed that the negative effects were minor, they were still present.
On the other hand, 50% of global gamers said they made new friends through online gaming in the “state of online gaming 2021” report, 36% of which stated that interacting with other players is extremely important.
We will learn more from the effect of video games on relationships in the years to come.
How Does Playing Video Games Affect Our Time During The Day?
According to a study commissioned by limelight networks Inc, the average consumer of games spends up to eight-and-a-half hours per week gaming.
Not only has the time increased of gamers playing games during the week, but the time spent consecutively on gaming also grew by 13%. This means that some gamers can spend up to five hours binge playing a single game.
How do these statistics affect the way we manage our time?
A study conducted by Cumming et al. in 2007 had interesting results. According to their data, which included 1941 children between the ages of ten to nineteen, participants who played video games spent around 30% less time doing leisure activities and homework than non-gamers.
Therefore, playing video games had a negative impact on time spent on social interactions and other activities during the day.
In a study done by the Stanford Institute For The Quantitative Study Of Society (SIQSS), it was disclosed that around thirty-one percent of frequent internet users allocated their time differently from those who used the internet less. Daily, frequent internet users spent seventy minutes less interacting with their family, twenty-five minutes less sleeping, and thirty minutes less watching television.
This study has become vital as the majority of games now require an internet connection to interact with other gamers.
We can deduce that playing video games affects how we manage our time. Hobbies are meant to help us unwind.
To aid us in spending hours a day relaxing and recuperating. Playing video games can be an effective and enjoyable hobby as long as it doesn’t interfere with our core responsibilities.
Neither managing our time efficiently nor allocating quality time for our partners will result in our spouses being frustrated and irritated. This is the core issue of gaming in the relationship.
How To Avoid Conflict About Video Games In A Relationship?
All the data gathered on this topic mentions that the biggest issue regarding gaming is not the hobby itself but the time invested in it. The more time we spend gaming, the less we spend on other parts of our lives, like relationships. However, there are ways to juggle these two important things in our lives without sacrificing either one.
Habits form routines, which is paramount in creating a structure and familiarity in our household. The biggest complaint from spouses was that they don’t want gaming to interfere with the quality time of a relationship. So, how can we avoid this?
We can start by setting limits on the amount of time we spend playing video games. It is important to set realistic and constant goals of when to game, and when to spend some quality time with our partner. Show your significant other that she is what is important by making time in the day for her.
During this allocated quality time, we should listen to what really bothers our partners. Be responsive and listen to what the real issue is. Often, gaming is not the core of the problem. We can also use this time to share with our partners what we love about gaming. Don’t hesitate to delve into the psychology of gaming and why it’s important to you.
Our spouses prefer spending quality time together, and we should focus on creating opportunities to spend more face-to-face time together. Try and convince your significant other to play video games together, and return the favor by doing something that she enjoys.
Remember to be in control of the amount of time you spend playing video games. Taking responsibility for the most important things in our lives is all part of being an adult.
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Gaming, like most hobbies, is expensive, time-consuming, and, most importantly, exclusionary. Learning how to manage the time we spend on this hobby can prevent many quarrels in the relationship. Make time for your significant other, and show her what is most important to you.
After earning his Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, Stuart gained experience working with families in community mental health settings and in the child protection sector. Since becoming a father himself, Stuart now works in private practice offering psychotherapy services. FatherResource is an opportunity for Stuart to share what he learns on his journey as a father with a larger audience.