Videogames: The New Homewrecker

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Videogames: The New Homewrecker

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A growing number of women who file for divorce say their husbands would rather spend their time playing videogames than playing with them.

There are plenty of reasons to get a divorce these days. Maybe your man leaves crumbs on the counter every night and refuses to put gas in the car. Maybe he's a serial killer. Or maybe he just has a problem with videogames.

A study conducted by Divorce Online has found that 15 percent of women who cite "unreasonable behavior" as the cause for their divorce filing point to videogames as the problem, saying that their husbands are more interested in spending time with games than with them. 15 percent may not sound like much but it's a huge increase over the previous year, when only five percent of women made the same claim.

Unsurprisingly, World of Warcraft and Call of Duty top the list of divorce-causing games. "He was addicted to World of Warcraft but played other games now and then. The amount he was playing gradually increased until I could not take it any more," 24-year-old divorcee Jessica Ellis told The Daily Mail. "When it became serious he was playing up to eight hours a day. I was constantly trying to get him to cut back but he didn't think he had a problem until I told him I wanted to leave. But by that time it was too late."

Videogame addiction expert Ryan G. Van Cleave said the troubles are compounded by the fact that most spouses aren't aware that videogaming can become an addiction, just like drugs and alcohol. "The reality is that with the proper professional support, a video game addict, like any other type of addict, can overcome the addiction," he said. The Mail also noted that "some" people claim that World of Warcraft is even more addictive than cocaine.

Hyperbolic stupidity notwithstanding, Divorce Online Managing Director Mark Keenan was initially surprised by the numbers but expects it to be even higher next year. "The increase could be a consequence of people staying indoors more because of the recession," he said, "or it might be being used by men in particular as a means of escape from an already unhappy relationship."

Call me crazy but I think he may be onto something.

Permalink

My God, I think I might actually take the Daily Mail seriously on this one. It is true video game addiction is just as plausible as alcohol and other drugs. And I can't even see any deliberate slights against videogaming. Nice.

Maybe if some of these people spent more time playing together instead of getting them to quit, there wouldn't be as much of a problem, and it is easier to quit an addiction with other people than by yourself.

Those that play together, stay together.

Hmmm... Maybe if they enjoy their hobbies so much they should be finding a significant other who also enjoys the hobby? I've met a fair amount of couples that play games together and I mean a lot. One couple I know took a week off work when Cataclysm came out.

I think these people just need to find someone else who identifies and enjoys their preferred poison.

If I absolutely love rock climbing and going to the gym to the point where it requires me to leave early in the morning and return late at night, i'm pretty sure if my significant other doesn't also enjoy those activities they're going to complain.

It's all about finding someone who can share or at least respect your hobbies, and of course make each other happy.

Thyunda:
My God, I think I might actually take the Daily Mail seriously on this one.

GET THIS MAN TO A HOSPITAL! QUICKLY!

Joking aside, as wrong as it feels to say this, I actually agree. That said, if it were only the Fail saying this, I would completely ignore them, but far more reliable sources have said that video game addiction can be a serious problem, and I'm disinclined to ignore their opinion. That said, I call bullsh*t on the idea that online gaming is more addictive than cocaine.

But still, CoD and WoW? Really? I know they're probably the two most played games at the moment, but there are far more worthwhile games to get addicted to.

Baldr:
Maybe if some of these people spent more time playing together instead of getting them to quit, there wouldn't be as much of a problem, and it is easier to quit an addiction with other people than by yourself.

Those that play together, stay together.

And now we have yet another reason why split-screen co-op needs to come back. Unless you refer to another kind of playing, in which case, well, couples should do that too.

Anachronism:
But still, CoD and WoW? Really? I know they're probably the two most played games at the moment, but there are far more worthwhile games to get addicted to.

Are you the sort of person who hears about a drug bust where tonnes of poorly made cocaine is seized, and simply tuts at their poor taste?

Thyunda:
My God, I think I might actually take the Daily Mail seriously on this one. It is true video game addiction is just as plausible as alcohol and other drugs. And I can't even see any deliberate slights against videogaming. Nice.

The Daily Mail... Being fair. I... I need to go lie down for a while.

Baldr:

Those that play together, stay together.

Or acuse each other of screen watching/ cheating, and dissolve into childish name calling :P

Some relationships just aren't meant to last.

Thyunda:

Anachronism:
But still, CoD and WoW? Really? I know they're probably the two most played games at the moment, but there are far more worthwhile games to get addicted to.

Are you the sort of person who hears about a drug bust where tonnes of poorly made cocaine is seized, and simply tuts at their poor taste?

Maybe...

No, I see your point. I phrased that pretty badly in hindsight. I guess it's because of the multiplayer aspect to them; a single player game has a definite ending, whereas games like these don't, so they're obviously going to be more addictive.

Andy Chalk:
"or it might be being used by men in particular as a means of escape from an already unhappy relationship."

Nahhhhhhh, it's gotta be the cocaine thing!

Anachronism:

Thyunda:

Anachronism:
But still, CoD and WoW? Really? I know they're probably the two most played games at the moment, but there are far more worthwhile games to get addicted to.

Are you the sort of person who hears about a drug bust where tonnes of poorly made cocaine is seized, and simply tuts at their poor taste?

Maybe...

No, I see your point. I phrased that pretty badly in hindsight. I guess it's because of the multiplayer aspect to them; a single player game has a definite ending, whereas games like these don't, so they're obviously going to be more addictive.

I was messing with you. I, too, am offended that such...lacklustre titles are given ADDICTIVE status, and yet the real, classy games are treated as the odd herbal cigarette.

Your editor is naughty.

I've known couples who have suffered this though (WoW caused especially,) but it's not a behavior I'm prone to.

I believe it's more of a personality thing...people who are weak minded and easily influenced can get addicted to anything they enjoy, including gaming. It's not the game that has the problem, it's the player.

aren't drugs and alcohol physically addicting, unlike gaming?

These are always funny "by the time I told him it was a problem I was leaving"...

So you could have made a huge issue out of it but decided to leave instead. Yeah.

I understand that many relationships suffer because of this hobby. But to blame it on the hobby is rediculous. There is a reason he is spending all his time ingame, your a bad lay, you are annoying and/or clingy.

There is a reason people play games to an obsessive level and it has nothing to do with games (IMO). Mental defects, depression, satisfaction with life all effect how much we choose to temper our lives with other persuits. Marriages and relationships are complicated, and often the time sinks which MMOs are can definetly hurt a failing relationship, but a good one? To say these people's relationships were good before hand is a load of balls. I am married, I play MMOs. I know when my wife wants attention and when it would be dangerous to my well being to login. Just as she knows when I need to chillout and escape.

I think this just shows a greater trend on people getting married when maybe they shouldn't be? Divorce rates in general are going up so there is a much bigger trend then, "my husband has sex with trolls under a bridge!"

Andy Chalk:
A growing number of women who file for divorce say their husbands would rather spend their time playing videogames than playing with them.

The solution is simple: Role-play

A lot of gamers probably find meat space needlessly stressful and unrewarding. What, if the guy spent all day watching TV or fishing or hanging out in bars just to get away from the wife, would that somehow be an improvement? If the woman wants to go out or take some scenic trip then they should work together to schedule that sh_t. Can't imagine what she thinks people do after work. Cook, clean and...

Just what expectation did these women have when going into these relationships? Life isn't some glitzy sitcom with regular drama and high adventure. The every day hum-drum routine you know now is what the bulk of the future will look like aside from disaster, child rearing and home maintenance.

Hell, consider your parents if you want a sign of things to come. What did YOUR dad do when home from work and free from chores/child care? Oh boo hoo, he's always doing X instead of fawning over me like a starstruck teenager. Shyea right; dunno about ya'll but my mom was a better woman than that.

Bretty:
These are always funny "by the time I told him it was a problem I was leaving"...

So you could have made a huge issue out of it but decided to leave instead. Yeah.

From OP:
"When it became serious he was playing up to eight hours a day. I was constantly trying to get him to cut back but he didn't think he had a problem until I told him I wanted to leave. But by that time it was too late."

I think you misread the quote. She was making a big deal out of it, but he didn't care. (or, at least she thought she was) That said, the rest of the things you said may well have been true. You can find people with just about any problem, generally without wanting to admit that problem, if you look hard enough. (... and I wouldn't want to admit any such problem to the newspaper anyway)

I do wanna point out that there's literally no such thing as "video game addiction". It's complete nonsense from a medical stand point.

Anybody find the concept of filing for divorce because your spouse plays them video games for too long absolutely hilarious? I mean unlike alcoholism or drug use, the fix for this is stupidly simple: unplug the goddamn TV/computer and say those dreaded four words "we need to talk."
'course, too many people get married in the first place, so I am not particularly surprised that somebody would use one's gaming habit as an excuse to file for divorce. Whatever, people being idiots, nothing new...

Although I have to say this: The Daily Mail not printing an outrageously stupid article is a first for me. I think I may still be in shock..

Video games are no cause for problems in my relationship. Me and my boyfriend play games together and it brings us closer. Of course co-op is preferable to pvp, playing pvp against a lover could cause relationship issues if one of us happens to be a lot better then the other.

Daddy Go Bot:
I do wanna point out that there's literally no such thing as "video game addiction". It's complete nonsense from a medical stand point.

How is it any different from, lets say, sex addiction or gambling addiction?

This is not as distressing as the trend of folks who would rather use pornography than come to the bedroom.

Andy Chalk:
snippety bippety bop

CVG have done a fun little piece on this.

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/303761/news/wrong-video-games-causing-divorce-its-the-daily-mail-maths-challenge/

I kind of wish you guys wouldn't cover every retard statement the Daily Mail says about games, its only going to get their site more hits.

esperandote:

Daddy Go Bot:
I do wanna point out that there's literally no such thing as "video game addiction". It's complete nonsense from a medical stand point.

How is it any different from, lets say, sex addiction or gambling addiction?

There's a board that looks at it and declares it I believe. Just like a mental illness has to be recognised by *whoever* as a mental illness.

Daddy Go Bot:
I do wanna point out that there's literally no such thing as "video game addiction". It's complete nonsense from a medical stand point.

It is an overused term in this day and age but you're talking to a group of people who over/mis-use the word "entitlement."
I've seen video games be the reason a wife walks out on her husband. However, in that case I don't know the husband well enough to know what caused him to lose interest in his wife... she's pretty hot.
She did seem to be a bit of a princess though so maybe no amount of attentiveness would've satisfied her.

Maybe if the spouses wanting a divorce weren't such flabby-armed harpies, their (ex)husbands would probably take more interest in them instead.

Anachronism:
And now we have yet another reason why split-screen co-op needs to come back. Unless you refer to another kind of playing, in which case, well, couples should do that too.

Too bad the reason that split screen co-op left is because current consoles are too weak to render the game twice without the developers putting in a ton of extra work to cut back everything enough for it to work. Developer's technical limitations take a priority over gamers saying "I want split screen co-op!"

Oh jeez not this shit again...

two part answer

1:---------------------

Addiction is a myth. All "addictions" are caused by having a shitty life, this experiment proved it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Park

Naturally the establishment hates this idea because it doesn't justify either authoritarians power over "evil addictive substances" or the presence of a "recovery" industry.

2:---------------------

99% of arguments between men and women in a relationship go like this:

Woman: You do too much of behavior X, you need to do more of behavior Y

Behavior X is one which does not directly benefit her, behavior Y is one which does directly benefit her.

Once a man realizes this and doesn't bother responding beyond a cursory "yes dear" he wins the relationship game.

Oh ho ho.

Did you mean this...

A growing number of women who file for divorce say their husbands would rather spend their time playing videogames than playing with them

...the way it was written? :P

I would play with all these white women.

First I want to say that there is indeed such a thing as video game addiction. I was addicted in fact for quite awhile to text based muds (the first MMO's), and it was worse in many ways then a drug addiction. It was so addicting because you had non-stop constant stimulation and entertainment and so I played on average 14 1/2 hours a day for a year straight at the end.

Part of the problem was the kind of game I played, It encouraged you to play as much as possible as you were in competition with other people, and the game (back then) would reset every 12 hours or so forcing you to make equipment runs so you could progress as rapidly as possible. I would set my alarm by when the server would reset and over the course of 2 years (Before the final year when I played non-stop) I stopped hanging out with my friends, working, going to school or pretty much anything else eventually. That is certainly addiction and it was quite unhealthy. After accomplishing a huge goal (something that wasn't supposed to be possible) in the game I stopped and realized I had wasted the last year all together and that my life had totally gone off track and I stopped playing cold turkey (Even deleted my characters).

The urge to go back and play was very strong though, but I resisted it and 6 months later I met my wife.

I still play video games today, although I stay away from the more time intensive MMO's like WoW. I can see how some people who go overboard and stop caring about anything else might not be there anymore for their domestic partner, but to be honest if that does happen I think there was already a problem since the couple should be doing things together. If I had been married to anyone I cared about at all, let alone loved, I certainly would never have become addicted to video games in the first place.

The main reason you become addicted is because you enjoy the games and any source of endless enjoyment can be addicting. There are not many things you can do in life that never cease to be enjoyable. You can't eat constantly (you'd get to full), can't have sex constantly (you'd get too tired....and for that matter bored eventually.....even taking drugs non-stop would eventually cause you to need more and more, and get less out of it.

Video games on the other hand can give you a constant sense of enjoyment, accomplishment and even a sense of community. They are especially dangerous if you life sucks, you are lonely, in a relationship that is not working for you, or have things in life that you just don't want to deal with. That is of course why many people used to drink alcohol and become addicted to it, and video games to a large extent are a similar coping mechanism (although again....you can't drink ALL the time at least not for that long......you could play video games all the time as long as you have any source of re-occuring income or money saved up.

I want to mention one other thing, and that is unlike drugs, alcohol and other addictions, video games in many ways simulate real life (depending on the game), or at least other forms of entertainment. You probably would not normally think to yourself "I'd rather be doing heroin" when watching a movie...but that is certainly a common though for many video game players. You might have cravings for drugs etc, but you would not compare their use with all other things you do in life to entertain or enjoy yourself after you stopped taking them.

A video game addict can try to stop playing them all together, but as a previous addict I found it much better to simply take control and limit how much I play. I play video games while my wife watches her decorating shows, cooking shows etc....although sometimes I watch them with her even though I don't like them myself. We watch many other TV shows together and do many other activities together on a regular basis. If a couple is not interacting with each other or doing anything together then the relationship is already over, and in most cases that is not video games fault....in fact the excessive video game playing is probably BECAUSE of a bad relationship more then anything else.

8 hours is a bit much, might be an over exaggeration though. The problem is they only have one side of the argument.

There is no such thing as video game addiction. Most likely the marriage already had problems and video games were a way for the husband to escape the stress and to be frank I'd rather have troubles husbands and wives play video games all day than hit the bottle or the needle.

Serris:
aren't drugs and alcohol physically addicting, unlike gaming?

that's probably true. although there are plenty of drugs/behaviours that can become just as addicting mentally instead of going into physical withdrawal, and usually ppl don't really notice/care as much about them as the physically addicting ones, so it could really have a chance to do some serious damage to a person's life.

Personally I think that any behaviour can become addictive. eating, video gaming, golfing, whatever. And let's face it, as ppl have said above, if a guy is spending 8 hours a day playing an MMO, he's probably trying to escape from something in the real world.

I have stopped playing video games as much as I used to but for a summer a few years ago me and my friends played alot of Halo on XBL and it's pretty easy to see how ppl could become hooked on playing upwards of 5-6 hours a day if they really wanted to. I can see alot of comparisons between it and gambling actually. didnt win this game? maybe next game! had a great game just now? next game will be better etc. For me it didnt really do anything to me on the level of becoming actually addicted (it just messed up my sleep cycle when I was playing till 4 in the morning), but for someone whose having problems in life (trouble at work, shy etc) then I could really see it becoming an addictive habit for either feeling empowered from winning/completion of quests and the socially interactive aspect.

If your husband/wife/significant other has started to play video games other than spend time with you, I would say your relationship already had problem far more serious than "he likes to play World of Warcraft."

People with addictive personalities can become addicted to most anything, but citing video-gaming as a divorce reason just screams to me: "UNDERLYING ISSUES."

Another case of the media leaping on the symptoms rather than the cause, couple isn't happy, one finds something to do rather than spend time with the person that now irritates them, and they irritate, and therefore it must be the fault of the evil games destroying marriages.

No mention that 100 years ago they'd just be out in a field violating local livestock rather than playing WOW, but hey, who needs facts when you've got an agenda to push, hey?

HankMan:

Andy Chalk:
A growing number of women who file for divorce say their husbands would rather spend their time playing videogames than playing with them.

The solution is simple: Role-play

That could give whole new meaning to WOW terminology.

"LFG for Onyxia raid" would take on some...alternative interpretations

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