Posts Tagged ‘understanding gamer widows’


Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Its a relatively new word in terms of addiction. How does one exactly get to be a gaming widow? Normally, it has to do with when a person feels abandoned by their partner because of video games. I realize that people don’t hold this as a valid addiction nor do they believe that the situations widows find themselves in are truly that bad. They also sometimes believe that if they’re in that situation they can magically click their fingers and be out of it. It doesn’t work that way. Not at all.

If you need to an example try to imagine a woman or man who’s being abused. Physically, emotionally, what have you. They’ve spent 10 years with this person, are emotionally invested in the relationship and their lives, they have kids together and all the while the person knows something is wrong yet they can’t get out of it. They stick to the same situation over and over, first because they believe the person will change, then because they fool themselves into thinking that their relationship is healthy. Then it’s because of the children but little by little the person’s sense of self slowly starts to slip away. Eventually they’re left empty, bitter and broken.

This is very similar to how a gamer widow feels a lot of the time. MMORPG’s are a wave of the future, and for a lot of people its a scary future. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG’S) are basically a bunch of children, men, women playing the same game, at the same time all over the world. The allure of it, is that you can roll (create) any character you want for some games, you can be anything or anyone that you want to be. So if you’re a 400 pound person unhappy in life, these games can offer an escape. If you’re unhappy at work, at home, anywhere games can offer an escape.

While a person’s hygiene, welfare, job, and family suffers, they rarely if ever truly notice the impact of their gaming habits. Families fall apart, jobs are lost and the relationship between parent and child becomes broken and strained. Some people can recover, they give up their game of choice, they re-integrate themselves back into their family before its too late and relationships that were once broken, now begin to be mended.

As much literature as there is on gambling, alcohol, drug and other addictions, gaming is fairly new and has often times met with a lot of resistance in the ‘real world’. Those of us who are unfortunate enough to have been a widow or widower not only have to deal with our partners troubles and addiction but we also have to deal with those who scorn us. They figure we should be able to sexy ourselves up, cook a favorite meal and all of a sudden our powers of seduction will kick in and all will be well.

They make fun of our suffering as if it’s nothing, and never even try to understand our position or where we might be coming from. They only wish that we’d shut up about it already and quit bemoaning our widowhood. The only thing I can think of is, that if, your spouse or partner sits on his ass for 16 hour days playing, ignoring everyone including their family responsibilities and sometimes work responsibilities perhaps then you’d understand. But if your spouse is the type to do that anyway and you enable them in that, perhaps its you, who I and other widows should be feeling sorry for. How frustrating must it be, to sit day after day and pretend you’re ok with the downhill direction your life must be going.

Then again, who am I to assume anything? Much the same as who are you to assume you know anything about a widow’s life and anything she may or may not be bemoaning. Perhaps you could try patience and understanding next time instead of being miserable about it. Perhaps you could leave your assumptions at the door and instead be open minded. If its something that you know nothing about, here’s an idea - quit spouting off like you think you do.

You only once again make the world a narrow minded, prejudice-filled place. We have enough of that already, do we really have to add more to the mix?