Friday, January 16, 2015

Can Video Games Save a Marriage?

Day 10: Doing it in Bed 

My parenting and career are cutting into my game time.  Returning to teaching and being a parent in 2015 is starting to wear me down.  Yesterday I set the challenge to my partner to bring gaming to me in my warm comfy bed.  I was so tired and unsure how long I would stay awake.  He downloaded the game Forbidden Island for the iPad.  It was the perfect end to a chaotic day and I just lost myself in the challenge of beating the game together. 

System: iPad
Developer: Button Mash Games/ GameWright

Reflection: Losing myself in playing games with my husband is the entire point of this experiment.  Once playing games becomes I chore and not a shared moment: then we have failed. But I truly do believe that committing to play games is the thing that will save my relationship.  
Can video games save every marriage?

Therapists and self-help books remind couples to spend time together to improve their relationship.  But thus far none that I have come across recommend playing video games as a way to improve marriage.  I was surprised to discover there are a lot of blogs and websites dedicated to how video games harm relationships. 

Jane McGonigal reminds us games can be used as tools for solutions through simulation and social stimulation.  I agree with Jane whole-heartedly but I will be the first to admit that games can’t save every marriage.  But I know this one thing to be true, that when we game together we are happy, surprised, joyful, and present (insert other awesome adjective here).

Guidelines for Gaming to Save Your Marriage 

Here are 3 basic guidelines for good candidates to replicate this experiment.

You both have to be gamers.
You both have to want to be married (to each other).
You have to use games as one tool, not the only tool to connect.
To Blog or NOT to Blog 

Deciding to blog was my decision and my partner has to deal with the fallout of that decision.  For better or worse, sometimes he finds out for the first time what I think when he reads it online.  Ultimately the worst part about my blog is that it makes our very personal struggle as a couple open to the public.

This is a great time to say that the specifics of our marital struggles are not anyone else’s business.  And though I initiated the conversation by openly admitting that we are having problems that is not an open invitation for you pry into our pain.  No one is entitled to anyone else’s pain and we are sharing our journey but not freely explaining the bad choices that put us on this path. 

Through Sickness and in Health  

An online journal for me is a mechanism to hold myself accountable.  My blog is a way to ensure that I am actually committing, all the way to every single one of the 100 days.  No matter what else happens in RL, no matter how hard or painful it gets, I will still play games every single day with the person I married. 

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