Everything That's Wrong With Mainstream Media's Portryal of Video Games
Posted on Friday, November 19 @ 10:03:01 PST by Nicholas TanAn article by dailymail.co.uk entitled "Of course I love you darling... Now just let me finish this game. Could computer games spell the death for your relationship?" represents everything that the mainstream media doesn't understand about video games (apart from the value of having shorter titles in articles). In fact, I would say that it's stuck in the 1980s.
1) They call them "computer games" - an archaic word, really - never a good sign.
2) The first sentence: "A growing male obsession with computer games is taking a heavy toll on romance." Immediately, the article assumes that the rise of video games is gender-specific. Who hasn't heard of the woman obsessed with Facebook games, Peggle, Bejeweled, or World of Warcraft? Please acquaint yourself to the 21st century, mainstream media: Women play video games.
3) The article goes further to report what games are "most likely to cause problems in a relationship", even going as far as providing a TOP 20 list. As expected, the list is filled with first-person shooters and open-world RPGs. But anyone who plays Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Halo, FIFA, World of Warcraft "obsessively" are likely not playing it by themselves but with friends online. The entire concept of "social gaming" is lost on articles like these. If playing games with friends is addictive and unhealthy, then so is shopping and watching daytime soaps with friends.
Now, of course, if the guy is serious about the relationship, he will make time to spend with his partner. But it feels like any time spent on a video game is now perceived as "too much time". Escapism is always healthy in moderation.
4) Near the end of the article, a quote from a woman is highlighted: "My boyfriend is addicted to Call of Duty: Black Ops. I'd love it if he would spend all that time talking to me." Are you sure? If your boyfriend plays Call of Duty for three hours a day, do you really want him talking to you for three hours every day? Would that be over-dependence issues?
5) But then it goes on to post a comment from a male poster: "If you want some attention, date a guy who doesn't play computer games." Exactly right! Having dedication (not an addiction) to a hobby is not limited to games. If it's not video games, it's cars; if it's not cars, it's sports; if it's not sports, it's pubs. But really, if a woman goes into a relationship knowing that the man loves video games, then she has to take partial responsibility for feeling dismissed.
6) Showing just how much this article is out of step with "reality", plenty of up-rated commenters have already landblasted the article:
"ya know i used to be the jealous wife but then i wanted to see what the big deal was so i picked up a video game and now its something me and my husband can do together and have fun at it..." - nadine
"How about when the woman watches her soaps, the guy plays his computer games? I'm in my 40s and play GTA (yep and I love it!) while he likes playing his games on the PC. We're both in the same room so we can still interact, swear, shout and scream ... at the game thankfully, not each other!" - LO
"Au contraire, me and my wife love computer games, mainly MMO's but we have all three major consoles and we actually play together for hours on end and we have lots of fun. Our relationship is rock solid. 11 years married and many many more to come. :)" - Jim
"I've given up playing computer games with my wife. She beats me every time." - Stuart Gray
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