160: Mario Golf as Foreplay

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Mario Golf as Foreplay

"Tally up the reasons I have biffed relationships. Narrowly eking out emotional immaturity and fear of commitment stands the number one culprit: electronic entertainment. Nowadays, the industry incorporates sex and love into more videogames, but how does today's gamer handle sex and videogames?

"If my story is any indication, he (or she) doesn't."

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Brendan, you REALLY need to learn how to communicate with the girlfriend. Man, you just admitted to dumping your girlfriend, not because you didn't like her, not because you didn't want a relationship, not even because you like gaming better. You dumped her because (apparently) you couldn't explain to her that you needed some game time. That's pretty messed up!

So an article about the clashes between gaming and love... oh screw it. I'm too compu-tired to come up with a more profound response than: What the guy above me said.

I'll leave the in-depth analysis to the heavy-hitters.

Well, I have to admit that I don't have a girlfriend anymore because she was too time-consuming. I needed more time for games, books, my guitar, my record collection, movies, etc...
I just have to many hobbies. But then I think it can't be such a serious relationship if I rather play GTA IV all day than to hang out with my girlfriend.

I'm clashing with this problem as we speak. I've got a girlfriend who has a dog. She isn't that big of a problem. I can get her to play Halo 3 or Viva Pinata or Lego: Indiana Jones. It's her dog. He is a very needy little guy! I try to keep an eye on him to make sure he isn't completely engulfing the contents of a bottle of aspirin or anything like that, but when I play games, I zone. I don't talk to anyone (unless it's team on Xbox Live). When someone interrupts me or walks in front of me, I get PISSED. It may be OK for some gamers, but as a human being, it plays with my sense of friendship. I don't WANT to get pissed off when I miss a note on Guitar Hero on expert. I don't WANT to flip out when I get destroyed by a sniper in Halo 3. I have a terrible sense of aggression and it shows when I play. And when I only get a few golden hours to play, I don't like to be interrupted. I wouldn't go as far as Brendan did (Dumping my lady), but I would sure as shit get upset with her.

Well that's one of the best articles I've ever read on The Escapist.
Sure, I enjoyed reading about your failings with women, caused by gaming, so what if I laughed at your short-comings with the opposite sex?
Truth is, I could have easily written that, especially when you tell her what you think about when you're kissing her, I think about such things during sex, thinking about them while kissing is unavoidable. Don't worry my good man, at least you're not the only one.

I have a bad habit of using videogames as a crutch to recover from failed relationships. I remember playing Tomb Raider II for about two weeks straight after one breakup. Probably not healthy that.

I've always had a problem with girlfriends not taking gaming seriously. Like if I talk to them about books or movies, we can have great conversations. But I try to talk about great games like Shadow of the Colossus or Half-Life and they just look at me like I'm five years old. I guess that's just a problem with non-gamers in general. They think all games are still just basically Space Invaders and the only games they ever hear about are GTA and Halo.

I agree, this is one of the better articles I've read here. I think most gamers who've been in relationships can relate. It really does come down to communication; my girlfriend didn't mind when I said 'hey, can I call you back? This match is almost over'. What she DID mind was me hiding it like some kind of shameful addiction and then snapping at her when she distracted me from it.
Also there's the old staple of 'try to get them to play', and I don't mean Halo (unless that's her thing). I set my gf up with final fantasy ix; completely changed her view on gaming, and now she's a gamer :P

interesting article. I dont really have that much of a problem myself, but i do have problems. Example: My girlfriend loves playing yoshi games on my Wii, so we used to generally play Mario Strikers or Mario Kart Wii online together. My problem is that if i make a mistake or lose in any way i get horrendously frustrated, and sometimes (especially in mario strikers) i would end up taking it out on her. While normally i am calm and relaxed, when i play videos i get too immersed and can sometimes get frustrated if things dont go my way.

Its not like its a problem that would cause us to break up however.

Great read. Thank you, Brendan.

You need to get some balance out friend. Gaming is simply a part of life, don't let it pull you to the shoulder while the race of life, love, and sex drives by.

Kiltman

Nice read, but you might need to get your priorities straightened out a bit.

I'm willing to bet that by writing this article, the writer has come to some realization of what previous posters have opined.

We should all be so lucky as to explore our foibles through the excess of gaming rather then other bad habits: drinking, drugs, smoking, workaholics, treating women as objects ... well, you get the idea. When it comes to things we can do excessively to hide from our lack of maturity, games really are lower on the scale of life destroying, so we have a better chance of coming back from the brink and realizing we can love ourselves and others.

Self realization, acceptance, and caring are important if you want to give that to others too.

My boyfriend and I are gamers. :) We play Ragnorok Online together, and he plays World of Warcraft too. We both also play console games, although he's leaning more towards PC games now, and I'm still more of a console gamer.

I think that both of us being gamers helps our understanding of each other. For example, if I ask him to do something, he can say "Just a minute I need to finish this quest" or whatever, I understand he's busy playing a game that's important to him, and he'll do what I asked when I'm done.

tk1989:
interesting article. I dont really have that much of a problem myself, but i do have problems. Example: My girlfriend loves playing yoshi games on my Wii, so we used to generally play Mario Strikers or Mario Kart Wii online together. My problem is that if i make a mistake or lose in any way i get horrendously frustrated, and sometimes (especially in mario strikers) i would end up taking it out on her. While normally i am calm and relaxed, when i play videos i get too immersed and can sometimes get frustrated if things dont go my way.

Its not like its a problem that would cause us to break up however.

My boyfriend is like that too sometimes. His big thing is people online - gamers who do things in the game that he doesn't like piss him off really easily, and it can put him in a bad mood for awhile. I differ from him in that sense in that I too can get annoyed by people online, but it doesn't bother me for more than a few minutes.

arrr_matey:
I have a bad habit of using videogames as a crutch to recover from failed relationships. I remember playing Tomb Raider II for about two weeks straight after one breakup. Probably not healthy that.

I've always had a problem with girlfriends not taking gaming seriously. Like if I talk to them about books or movies, we can have great conversations. But I try to talk about great games like Shadow of the Colossus or Half-Life and they just look at me like I'm five years old. I guess that's just a problem with non-gamers in general. They think all games are still just basically Space Invaders and the only games they ever hear about are GTA and Halo.

I think this is a great point. Most non-gamers do no accept gaming as a valid media for stories. Luckily my girlfriend does: I once explained her the whole story of Shadow Of The Collossus and she was very intruiged. Other people however are not. Everytime I try and bring up gaming, as I would bring up a relevant book or movie, people look at you in a very peculiar way.

I met my boyfriend in a web-based online game. We've been together for 6 years now and we're about to get married (I wanted to finish my university studies first). He doesn't play as much as I do now, but he understands my addiction and even encourages me by giving me games as presents. All I can say is, is easier for a female gamer to find her other half, than for a male gamer hehe. Don't give up!

I think that it isn't so much that gamers need to take their games less seriously, but that they need to find girls who either take the games just as seriously, or have enough of a life that they can appreciate gaming as a hobby, even if they don't like it all that much.

Personally there was a point after college where I decided that I'd spent most of my life in a virtual world, and that I needed to have more "real world" experiences. That's why MMOs have never appealed to me, I'd rather be out living real life than a virtual one. I still play a bit of oblivion, ninja gaiden DS, or the current RTSFPS whatever game du jour, but I try to balance it out a little more than I used to.

Why do these articles always have to be so depressing.

Well, as a shy white male, I'm already certain that I'm going to die alone and lonely.

That was so sad...Honestly, games never affect me or my girlfriends relationship. Wow. Im ashamed I read it >_<

you sure you arent gay? I mean, I love video games too, I've racked up a third of my teenage life on them, and probably 2/3 of all the money I have ever made, but I cant say I have ever thought of any of them while making out with a hot chick.

meone007:
you sure you arent gay? I mean, I love video games too, I've racked up a third of my teenage life on them, and probably 2/3 of all the money I have ever made, but I cant say I have ever thought of any of them while making out with a hot chick.

my exact thoughts....

I ditched a 6 month anniversary with an ex girlfriend to attend the first master level 8 raid for my savage in dark age of camelot when I was in high school.

Bodyguard was totally worth it at the time.

Your priorities are fine, killing dragons is far more important then ladies.

This is a very interesting article, but seriously man, you have a problem, and so does anyone else who can relate and defend the point of view.

First of all, computer games should NOT be the number one thing in your life. Doing so, you'll exclude yourself and become completely anti-social from the rest of the world. Girlfriends, marriage, even jobs could become impossible, and the stereotypical 40 year old virgin playing WoW in the basement of their parents house, becomes plausable.

And yes, there are ways to fit both a girl and gaming into a life. To help, I'll explain my situation. I have a girlfriend right now, who's not a gamer, but is a little nerdy. So, I've yet to really play games other than card and boardgames. Whenever we make plans, I go to them. Likewise, I explain to her if an online gaming event comes up, and I work around it. One time I had to do a meeting with my squad via Ventrilo during my five day visit at her place, and I explained this to her, even let her listen in a bit, and she was fine with it.

So really, there's no reason to choose to have one or the other - it's a matter of how you juggle the two fairly and smartly.

Indigo_Dingo:
Why do these articles always have to be so depressing.

Well, as a shy white male, I'm already certain that I'm going to die alone and lonely.

Dude, the stereotypical gamer is white and shy, so it's not as weird. I've got an even harder time... I mean, who the hell has heard of an Indian gamer? Really?

As for the actual article, I really think you need to prioritise. Games are nice and all, but I think a girl who you've been with for 4 years deserves more than gaming.

stompy:

Indigo_Dingo:
Why do these articles always have to be so depressing.

Well, as a shy white male, I'm already certain that I'm going to die alone and lonely.

Dude, the stereotypical gamer is white and shy, so it's not as weird. I've got an even harder time... I mean, who the hell has heard of an Indian gamer? Really?

Me. I knew a fair couple at high school. Wait, which Indian?

It's funny. I'm an incredibly avid gamer. I've being playing games since I was eight years old, owned most of the consoles ever released, started making my own games when I was fourteen and now at twenty one I just got my games design diploma; I actually found myself loosing interest in games because my girlfriend was so into them. I basically stopped playing World Ends With You because it was a depressing reminder that she was more interested in finishing her pin collection than talking, going out, kissing or anything else. The same goes for Final Fantasy XII, Phoenix Wright, Trauma Center and quiet a few other titles that I really don't care to think about these days. Ironic, huh?

So yeah, even though I can easily log 6-8 hours a day playing video games. Spend hours discussing the merits and drawback of the Final Fantasy X leveling system; I'll pass on the whole gaming girlfriend thing. It's much easier to compromise to play less video games than deal with someone who is obsessive over them.

Whilst I can't quite grasp your severe addiction to games (particularly of the RTS genre o_O), I do understand your wanting to break up with a girl over a matter of needing your "game night".

When i'm in my own bad moods, I just need time to myself to work it out. However, I was actually daft enough to think my ex-girlfriend would understand that, and thus she thought I was breaking up with her o_O

Amy may've been more understanding, who knows, the girl i was with could've just been faulty. But don't underestimate the why of his breaking up with her over it.

Excellent article, made me crack my sides because, especially the Dawn of War part. Its very true, i broke up with my girlfriend twice in 1 month because of DoW, and my friend too. Seems this game was not intended to be played while your in a relationship. Luckily we were mature enough to understand that we cant brake up just because i refuse to open the door for her, i mean, there is nothing more important than defending your base while 3 Chaos players are sending in a Defiler rush. She said i was addicted, since all 4 of my friends were on the phone coordinating our moves.

thecreativitymunchies:

Amy may've been more understanding, who knows, the girl i was with could've just been faulty. But don't underestimate the why of his breaking up with her over it.

Mines wasnt, so I was not the least surprised. If she isnt atleast a casual gamer, then they simply wont understand our addiction. But as you all have said, you have to find a balance to your RL and your games. It takes a bit of maturity to that, and eventually im sure Mr. Sears will get it, some of us got lucky and got the hang of it sooner.

I think this article was a great look into the life of an obsessive gamer. I'm sure most of us have experienced things similar to this at point, so it's good to see it from the outside.

I realize I'm making many judgements here. It's hard to draw lines between acceptable levels of interest and obsession. A common definition of when something becomes an addiction is when it begins to have negative effects on the rest of your life. By the stories given in this article, I think it's clear that gaming was doing just that, at least when it came to women.

I won't lie; I've had similar experiences. When I was young, I didn't have a lot of chances to play games, though most of my time with my friends consisted of me watching them play (which I loved). So when I was in my late teens and could afford systems and games, I started to spend a lot of time playing. My first girlfriend was a nerd. Gaming wasn't a major part of her interests, but she enjoyed Zelda and Mario Kart. At the time I was quite involved in Counterstrike, joining a clan and playing in leagues. It was fun, but it was serious at times, and like any competitive sport, it can be stressful. It generally didn't cause a problem, but there were times. For example, we played our league matches every Tuesday night at 7. She knew this, but she liked to call every night and talk for an hour. So when Tuesday came around and she called in the middle of a match, I wanted to call her back. She didn't like that. There were also times when she tried making plans for Tuesday night and I replied that I already had league matches planned. To me, it was no different than having a baseball game, but to her, playing video games should never take priority over her. It didn't cause the end of our relationship, but it certainly didn't help.

My current girlfriend used to be a bit of a gamer, but after I set her up with a nice system, she's become quite the WoW player. We used to play together, but I grew to dislike the game. Now I see it from the other side. She refuses to believe that she's addicted -- and perhaps she's not -- but it looks that way to me. On my side, I play different games. What used to be something that brought us together is now something that keeps us separated, even though we play in the same room.

Being a gamer myself, I'm of the view that video games are no different than sports. They are a leisure activity, but they are also a healthy way of exercising. As my friends noticed in paintball, for a guy who has only held a gun a few times in my entire life, I can hunt, flank, and shoot quite well. I have no doubt that practise at team-based FPSes has helped me learn those skills to a large degree. And like other organized sports, I don't see anything wrong with taking games seriously at times. It's okay to want to be a good player in a video game -- to practise and hone your skills -- and sometimes it means being frustrated when you don't live up to your own standards. In the end, a person gets satisfaction from improvement, especially when they get to share that with others. And just like a good basketball or hockey player, I hope that others can share in my interest of the sport. Talking about the Quake match last night can be just as exciting as talking about the big football game.

Unfortunately, video games still don't have the same general acceptance in society that sports have. I don't find this particularly surprising: video games have only been around for about 30 years, whereas sports have been a big part of life at least as far back as the Greeks. At the same time, there's a lot of difference between many games. Some video games require the skill of Go Fish, whereas others can be as complicated and skilled as being a football player or an army general. Add to it that games exercise the invisible muscles (your brain) while atrophying most of the visible ones, and video games have garnered a stigma for being the opposite of sport -- as we've all been told, "Those video games are a waste of time."

What this all means is that video games need to be treated more like a sport. First, they need to be kept in balance with the rest of your life. Secondly, some (but certainly not most) women won't view games the same way that you do and will consider them wasteful. Like any other interest, sharing common interests with your partner goes a long way to a healthy relationship -- if games are a big part of your life, you'll want to find somebody who at least understands and appreciates your interest in them, even if they don't share the same enthusiasm for them. Lastly, the gaming community needs to make a point of showing how video games are sports no different than hockey or chess and have their own merits.

More than any of these issues, it's important to realize that, like anything else that gives us a natural high, video games can be addictive. We need to remain salient of priorities, so that our favorite past-time doesn't interfere with the rest of our lives. We also have to work on our stereotypically-worst problem -- communication -- to make others aware of our intentions. Picking one day a week as "my time" is completely acceptable, even if you spend all of that time playing video games, and your partner should accept that. At the same time, if something important comes up, even though you may not want to miss your weekly practise, sometimes life has to take priority. No relationship fails because of video games -- they fail because of a lack of communication and cooperation.

Build a Farm!

reminds me of the Meet the Team: Soldier.

Video games and love are hard to reconcile if your partner isnt a gamer.

It's been said, but I need to say it myself. There is more to life than games. It seems an article like this only depreciates the reputation of gamers. It's pathetic that a gamer seems to depend on games just to eat up time in a given day. Why can't we play games as an engaging, meaningful experience? Why do we have to sit and unlock achievements all day, though it may take us days of play time and no meaningful reward in the end?

I might sound trollish... maybe I'm just in a bad mood today... but as a game player and an aspiring designer, it's frustrating that gamers do nothing to earn the respect that is clamored for. When games are proven to ENHANCE life, like literature and films before them, rather than BECOME life, then we'll get our respect.

SirSchmoopy:
I ditched a 6 month anniversary with an ex girlfriend to attend the first master level 8 raid for my savage in dark age of camelot when I was in high school.

Bodyguard was totally worth it at the time.

Your priorities are fine, killing dragons is far more important then ladies.

... That's just sad. I would have settled no less then a level 10 raid.

I could go for a long explanation and advice but simply saying: Idiot

People really need to remember that girls are people too and you can talk to them...

ReverseEngineered:
What this all means is that video games need to be treated more like a sport. First, they need to be kept in balance with the rest of your life. ... Lastly, the gaming community needs to make a point of showing how video games are sports no different than hockey or chess and have their own merits.

I don't necessarily disagree with you, I guess I'd just like to add that not all gamers see gaming as being like a sport. Some gamers are in it for the competition. Some are in it for a single-player experience where story and character and exploration are important.

It would be awesome if non-gamers respected competitive gaming the way they respect sports. Similarly, it would be nice if games were given the same respect as movies and other entertainment. For example, if my girlfriend came home and I was in the middle of watching a movie, she wouldn't expect me to stop it and hang out with her. But if I am in the middle of playing a game, she thinks I can just stop playing. And I try to explain that I'm in the middle of something and there's a story going on, but she doesn't understand.

I think we can all agree that there is no universal answer to this issue. After all, gaming is a hard niche to pin down; it's viewed as everything from a nerdy pastime to a championship sport to a die-hard way of life.

What I think is apparent, however, is how this article identifies this diversity and encourages us to embrace it. Sure, there have been a couple of wiener kids leaving tasteless comments, but more important is the discussion happening here. We can know a little bit more about ourselves by relating to each other's tales of an issue often passed beneath the UAV.

Or we can all just BUILD A FARM

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