Monday, March 5, 2012

Gamers Anonymous

I am about to tell you a true story. One that you will not believe because it is just so sad. I had a friend once who was working to put her husband through school. She worked her butt off. Every day she went in early and every night, she left late. She did everything she could to provide for them. Her husband worked part-time. Why did he work part-time? To help pay the bills? To make enough for tuition? Nope. He worked to afford new video games. So, while she worked and took care of the home, he played video games and made C average grades.

I HATE video games. I loathe them. I think they are a complete waste of time. I hardly ever let my son play them because I think they really change the way he behaves. He gets more violent and defiant and he loses the ability to play independently and use his imagination. I am so lucky that my husband does not play them. He has no interest in them. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. I have seen countless women become second place to their husbands' video game addictions. Just last week I heard a man admit that he played at LEAST 3 hours a day. His wife finally begged him to spend more time with their children and only play occasionally.

My husband just got back into town after being gone for 10 days. That's right, you can feel bad for me. While he was gone, my two kids and I got the stomach flu. For days and days. I let my older son play video games while I rested on the couch and the little one napped. I know it is against my principles, but my ox was in the mire.

Then, one night, while they were both sleeping, I found myself playing a video game. I'm not lying. After completing round 2 of the game, I realized what I had done. I threw the game down, went to bed, and have vowed never to do it again. Please tell me that my sickness impaired my judgement?


  1. I'm with you on this one. Joe plays rarely, he's more of a Mario fan which is just fun and doesn't get all serious about it like other people do. I'm talking once a year is how often he plays. My kids have a few games on the wii but they don't play because they aren't very good and they end up asking me to help and I get stressed out. Honestly, video games stress me out. I only do my yoga on wii fit and then we're done. Video games are a complete and total waste of time and I loathe the person that invented them.

    To answer your question, yes, it was the illness, not you. ; )

  2. I'm with you. Video games are disgusting. They will never be allowed in my house.

  3. I am pretty anti-video games too and don't really understand the appeal of being a "gamer" (thankfully, Cameron doesn't either). I played video games fairly regularly as a kid, but it was always socially (Mario Kart, for example) and I don't really have a problem with the more social games like Rock Band and the like as long as they are played with other people and just plain not that often (once a week maybe?). We don't own any game systems and I don't think we're missing out. The gamers that really baffle me are those that play RPGs like World of Warcraft for hours and days at a time. I just don't get it. I think it can be an unhealthy addiction like anything else.

  4. Tetris is always okay though. ;)

  5. I don't think that video games are bad, you just have to be careful. Anything can become addictive. Even my diet cherry coke.

    On the flip side of your little story, my mom used to visit teach a lady, that was VERY lonely. Her husband worked long hours. So she would sit and play video games. She stopped taking care of herself, put on weight, didn't do her hair or make up, only wore sweats type of thing. Her husband ended up having an affair. Now her husband made his choice, but I can't help but think a video game addiction pushed him in that direction.

    The key word is MODERATION

  6. Ok, I have to step in and defend the gamers. My husband plays games pretty regularly. If he was a bum, never went to work, never did anything around the house, and ignored me, I would probably be up in arms about it. He plays online with people he knows in real life, not mystery people in distant lands.

    I think it is silly to "hate" video games just for the sake of hating them. Women spend just as much wasted time on Pinterest, Facebook, and blogs. What about those who aren't into the tech scene but spend hours making knick-knacks that sit on shelves? I could easily dub it "wasted time." Knick-knacks serve no real functional purpose.

    The problem isn't video games--it is any issue in marriage or family life that conflicts with spending quality time with other people. It's important for everyone to have limits on their leisure/hobby activities.

    1. Oh, and I should add men who watch ESPN/visit Why does gaming get such a bad wrap?

  7. Yeah, I only have girls with no hand eye coordination and my husband and I are both terrible at video games so we have no video gaming devices other than phones and computers, but I can see both sides of this argument. I definitely have (and need) my leisurely time wasters, and I think we all need to check ourselves and our time wasters to make sure they are improving our lives (ie relieving stress, spending time with loved ones while doing it, etc), but there have been studies linking video games to ADHD, lack of drive in life, sleeping disorders, depression, and addiction so to some it could be more damaging than just any old hobby.

  8. I mean we've all heard the "video games ruined my marriage/life" story a thousand times, but I have yet to hear a "knick knack making ruined my marriage/life" story. Although I have heard "Facebook ruined my marriage/life" stories; so all hobbies that people spend time on aren't as damaging as others.

  9. We own every video game system. Mostly because my husband is a big nerd. :) However, he only plays about once or twice a week for about an hour each time. He understands that family comes first. He works full time and goes to school full time, so I have no problem with him playing for an hour once or twice a week to unwind. However, I can see the flip side of this argument--there are many people who take it to the extreme and play for hours or days on end. That's just not right. Also, I told my husband when we got married, that if video games became a problem, then all of his systems and games would have to go. Thankfully, it has NEVER been a problem.

  10. I don't like them unless they involve to singing or dancing or exercise. That being said, all things in moderation, right? To bad moderation is a super hard principle sometimes :)