Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Video Games and Couples' Communication

Day 156: Deep Dark Secrets 

This post is intended for my fellow gamers and I am hoping that non-gamers lack interest and do not explore.  Today I will reveal some deep dark secrets that might have implications (so don’t rat me out or I will stop blogging).

I will stop blogging if you rat me out.

And I will come after you.  Be afraid. 

Video Games, Venting, and Long Phone Calls

When bad stuff goes down most people need to vent and if a therapist is not available they call a friend or relative.  I am so lucky to be part of a large family and have a great network of friends that support one another.  The downside is that I regularly get calls that last for a minimum of an hour comforting or letting some just talk through their current crisis.  This is not me whining because I will be the first to admit that I have the gift of gab and talk just as much as the next person.  But some days I just don’t have it in me to be a good friend and console others. 

Question from a Reader

Recently I received an email from a wife asking what my thoughts are on her hubs ignoring her to play games?  My first impulse was to say that is a jerk move and its never okay to ignore you partner.  I even started to construct a blog post about patriarchy and power relationships between different genders.  But then I realized that’s actually a lie.  There are several times when it is completely acceptable to both be at home, hanging out, and not fully engaged with one another because one of you is playing a game (um I did that for 10 minutes this morning before I got out of bed while playing PvZ).

It’s Okay to Play Solo and Block Out Drama

For example.  When lets say just for sake of argument that my twin calls and needs to tell me about the horrible encounter she had with her kids school that day.  As soon as she takes a deep inhalation I know this is going to be a long call.  If she seems particularly upset I will put my controller down and give the hubs a knowing look.  He is cool about letting me sit beside him while he plays a solo game and I listen and support my sis. 

The way I use games that is NOT good while interacting with others

"Oh no they didn't: what did you say?"
What is NOT cool to do to your partner is to use games as a way to dodge communications.  For example.  Sometimes people call and I just need to finish a final planet so I can get my upgraded mech in Helldivers.  I will still answer my phone and listen to my sis (just an illustration) but will often mute my phone.  If I do not mute my phone I will mute the TV and wear headphones while I soothe the sis and kill some bugs.  So I totally do this.  Like more than once or twice a month I am guilty of being there for someone but being a superficial and shitty listener.  I mean I get some brownie points for answering the phone but really any advice I provide is not really going to make the school administration stop being crappy to the person telling the story.  Even though I do this on a regular basis it is really uncool to do this to your life partner.  Well its really uncool to do it to anyone but lets get real.  Its like the scene from Ferris Buellers Day Off when sometimes people just need a reassuring “ah”, “I know” and “I agree that is so unfair” not for you to actually solve their problem. 

Tip for the day: try to be together even when you play single person games.  I fold laundry, grade papers, and read my angsty paranormal romance while the hubs plays solo games beside me that don’t interest me.  He sleeps, folds laundry, paints models, give instructions, and surfs the internet while I play solo beside him.  We do not always have to be playing a game together to feel connected.  Plus watching someone kill big ugly demons can really be soothing while you are on a long venting phone call.

Don't be a Jerk and use games to ignore people (all the time)


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