The Fanatic Issue

The Fanatic Issue
Those Left Behind

Logan Westbrook | 3 Mar 2009 13:16
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I'm not alone, of course; there are groups out there for people like me. But even a quick browse through a site like GamerWidow.com brings up horror stories of divorce, bankruptcy and lives generally being ruined by gaming, and I don't think hanging around with a lot of very bitter people is really going to give me what I'm looking for. Besides, the fact that I'm a gamer might be something of a sticking point - it's kind of like bringing a bottle of scotch to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

It's a strange thing being married to a hardcore WoW player, a hearty blend of frustration, irritation, worry, resentment, loneliness and, as I mentioned, no small amount of irony. WoW represents a breakdown in our marriage, not in the sense that we don't love each other anymore - nothing could be further from the truth - but in the sense that I feel like am in some way competing for her attention. Imagine starting a conversation with someone only to discover that they're on the phone. Now imagine that the person with whom you want to speak constantly has the headset to their ear, whether they're on a call or not, and you can never tell whether they're listening to you or to some disembodied voice on the other end of the line.

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This situation (or one very much like it at least) is a regular occurrence in our house. The necessity of tight organization and rapid communication in one of WoW's high level instances means that VoIP is ubiquitous, and so I find myself in a sort of quantum state, a "Schrodinger's Phone Call," if you will, where my wife may or may not be able to hear me and the only way to know for sure is to speak. Perhaps it's just wounded pride talking, but I can't help but feel a little left out when my wife asks a question and I realize a split second too late that she wasn't actually talking to me. It's amazing how a person can be so far away from you and still be in the same room.

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